The Constant Gardener

The garden is a livewire biology of gossip, a thing heard through—but also is itself—a grapevine.

Courtesy the author

In an Instagram story reposted by D., @samshoemaker writes, “Two years ago @davidhorvitz asked the owner of this vacant lot if he could open the gate and build a native plant garden. It was just a dirt plot/ @terremoto_landscape and many artists contributed. This photo was taken today[.]” I texted my gardener friend Aurora about it. I had caught mention of it in a social media postalgorithmic breeze pushed into my line of sight. An event was happening there soon. “I haven’t been there, yet, though I keep meaning to—but I can connect you to D.,” Aurora responded. A couple days later, D. agrees to meet me there in the off-hours.

Seventh Avenue Garden is in Mid-City, an area of town I could never make heads or tails of. It’s about halfway between Matador Beach and the campus of Cal Poly Pomona, or about halfway between the pristinely cluttered CalArts studios in Santa Clarita and the camouflaged oil derricks off Long Beach. About halfway from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo and the Republic of Slow-jamastan en route to the Salton Sea. About halfway between northeaste…

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