When a developer linked to Wal-Mart threatened to wipe out Trancas Canyon Nursery to build a strip mall, furious Malibu residents including Martin Sheen and Katharine Ross (The Graduate's Elaine) turned out in full force to help preserve their best-kept secret. The nursery is run by a sweet Latino man, and although it does sit on Walmart family land, it is the stuff of storybooks. A house of lilies sits in the middle, its drowsy aroma doing a Wizard of Oz number on passersby. This loveliness is rivaled only by Trancas Canyon Nursery's insane backyard — a potted jungle of flowers, greens, cacti, veggies and fruits that fade wordlessly into the resident foliage. It's just detangled enough to wander through, but not so much as to lift the spell. And then there's the bunnies. (Yes, bunnies.) And chickens. Benches. Fountains. Not even America's fattest corporate bully could touch this kind of sacredness. Wal-Mart affiliates reportedly agreed to work out a new lease agreement with the nursery. And we're sure the celebrities didn't hurt. 6444 Trancas Canyon Road, Malibu. (310) 457-3981.

—Simone Wilson

LA Weekly