Palm Springs, Part 1: Parker Le Meridien

Guy and I spent the weekend in Palm Springs to celebrate a pair of special occasions. We stayed at the Parker, an Old Hollywood landmark, recently renovated, with gardens by Southern California's Elysian Landscapes. Maybe you know Elysian from their numerous appearances in Sunset magazine or perhaps you read Elysian designer Ivette Soler's blog The Germinatrix.

I feel like I have to say that Guy and I are pretty down-to-earth people, but the older we get the more fabulous we seem to become. I don't think we've ever been as fabulous as we were this weekend. But let it be known that on previous vacations, we've slept in places as un-fabulous as the Motel 6 in Costa Mesa. And, for what it's worth, as far as Motel 6's go, the one on Whitley Avenue just north of Hollywood Boulevard is downright decent. I would stay there again if I had to. (Although Guy probably would not!)

Also: Valerie Cherish relaxes at the Parker in the 8th episode of Lisa Kudrow's short-lived HBO comedy series, The Comeback, one of my all-time favorite shows. Highly recommended.

Would you like to have a look around?










Please know that the resort was not abandoned. I got up in the morning to get pictures of what I could, discreetly, without including people who I'm sure would prefer not to be seen on my blog. To do that, I had to leave things out like the swimming pools and a lot more landscaping. I think I captured the plant palette pretty well, although maybe I'm not showing a representative enough sampling of the Agavaceae.



I don't know what Cortaderia Elysian used, but I didn't see any volunteers...so there must be sterile Cortaderia after all! Of course you wouldn't use anything else in resort landscaping.





Another plant they used a fair amount of but maybe you can't tell because it wasn't flowering is Tagetes lemmonii. Is its fragrance controversial? It's one of my absolute favorites. After I learned where it was, I took paths just to brush by it.





Sigh...Adieu for now Parker Palm Springs. Perhaps our paths shall cross again some day. The more I visit this area, the more I come to enjoy it. Unsustainable, impractical, surreal Palm Springs. If Taco Bells in desert strip malls can have green lawns, the water situation in California can't be that bad, can it?


Come back soon and I'll have new posts from Joshua Tree National Park and the Moorten Botanical Garden. In fact, I'll have to break the blog post for Moorten into a few parts...it's just an acre or two of garden, but I took 352 pictures.

In the meantime, if you can't wait for more desert scenery, we were here last Christmas and visited the Coachella Valley Preserve, Tahquitz Canyon, and Palm Canyon.


Paul said...

What a fabulous place. I too get up early when away and head out with the camera. The early shift staff often give me odd looks.

Christopher C. NC said...

They would have to ruin the landscape with Bougainvillea, but I'll take it that it was already there and Ivette did not add it in the redesign.

Kristi said...

Wow, it looks so relaxing. I want to be swinging in the hammock.

Ivette said...

Chuck B.!!! Well I've ALWAYS found you tres fabulous - I'll bet The Parker was just sitting there in the dessert waiting for you!

I loved doing this garden! It really was an adventure, creating an oasis that didn't look "too dessert-y" (as per the client's request) but still had the kind of architectural plants in it that Judy and I love.

We used Cortaderia selloana 'Pumila', which HAS produced seed in trials, but very very few. We've used them in many other gardens, and they have yet to seed, so I trust it in SoCal. I'm SO glad you like the smell of Tagetes! I do, too - I love a pungent herbal scent here and there, it's invigorating!

And yes, Christopher, the boug was already there and we had to work around it. But funnily enough, once the garden grew in it didn't bother me - it looked right in a kind of fantastical way.

You are SO AWESOME for taking these beautiful pics and shouting out! I am so glad you had a great time - maybe one day we can have a rendez-vous and have a little twilight tour over cocktails! XOXO!!!

Pam/Digging said...

This is what I picture when I think of California. It's lovely and fabulous and all that. Of course it is, if Ivette had a hand in it! Thanks for letting us know about that. It gives new dimension to a post about a garden when you know the designer who worked on it.

danger garden said...

"but the older we get the more fabulous we seem to become"...what a great line. I hope to be able to use it myself someday. Great tour!