Garden of Oz: A Quirky Destination for Folk Art Lovers

Last Updated on April 20, 2023 by Jess

Have you seen the movie or read the book? The Wizard of Oz? If so, you know the yellow brick road and Munchkinland. This magical place inspired Gail Cottman to create her own Garden of Oz under her Hollywood Hills home.

Learn more about this unique attraction and what to expect there!

What is the Garden of Oz?

The Garden of Oz is a small garden under the modest home of Gail Cottman in California.

It was never intended as a public spectacle, but rather as a place where she could give free rein to her creativity, planting shrubs, trees and flowers, and incorporating other works of art such as tiles and mosaics.

One of Gail’s favorite movies is “The Wizard of Oz,” so she picked up the idea of Munchkinland to create her own concept with a yellow brick road, a wall of toys, musical thrones and a mailbox based on Oz.

Where is the Garden of Oz?

The exact address of Gail’s home in Los Angeles, California is 3040 Ledgewood Drive. It is located in the Hollywoodland/Beachwood neighborhood, which is known for some of the best views of the Hollywood sign.

Gail’s home is located northwest of downtown and is just steps from the popular Griffith Park.

How did the Garden of Oz begin?

When Gail Cottman’s contractor, Manuel Rodriguez, planted her roses in a concrete bed, he noticed that the gray concrete was pretty boring. To brighten it up, he added tiles and beads. Cottman loved it.

Immediately, she felt transported back to the land where everyone is a wizard. Thus began her “Garden of Oz” project.

What can you see in the Garden of Oz?

When you enter the Garden of Oz, you follow a yellow tiled path that winds through the trees and shrubs of the garden.

Thousands of glowing tiles, a crystal ball and beautiful mosaics attract your attention. Through the mailbox visitors can send letters to Oz.

Gail also has her own palace thrones in her Oz garden. You can see musical thrones dedicated to Elvis Presley and Duke Ellington, and peacemaking thrones dedicated to Rosa Parks and the Dalai Lama.

Others include the Dorothy Throne and a throne dedicated to a personal friend who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.

Is the Garden of Oz open to the public?

The Garden of Oz is not a public attraction. This is Gail’s personal residence.

However, Gail supposedly gave keys to the neighborhood children so they could open the garden gate and explore the magical land of Oz at any time. But from the street you can see part of the garden.

When the gardener is working in the garden, the garden is open to the public for a few hours. This depends entirely on the gardener’s arrival and departure times, but is usually between 10am and 12pm on Thursdays.

You can contact the gardener by email if you would like to schedule a visit. There is a sign at the entrance gate with the email address [email protected].

If you visit the garden, you may not take photos or videos there. As always, be respectful as it is a private residence.

Close up of a flower in the garden of Oz

Other unique attractions near Garden of Oz

Whether or not you can see the Garden of Oz, you can visit other local attractions that are worth exploring.

These unique stops offer a different experience than the typical Hollywood atmosphere.

Stone gates of Hollywood

These huge stone gates, built in 1923, remind residents and tourists of the early days of Hollywoodland. Italian immigrants completed the beautiful work. Today, the stone gates form the entrance to the upscale neighborhood.

On display are the bell tower, a non-functioning chimney, an oak door, a gilded clock face, wrought iron lattice windows, stone planters, a small community library, and a bronze plaque welcoming visitors to Hollywoodland.

Parking is limited, so try to get to the Stone Gates of Hollywood on a weekday.

Remember: If you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz, you need to take a road trip to the house from the movie!

Bronson Cave

About 10 minutes from the Garden of Oz is Bronson Cave, which served as a filming location for a scene in the “Batman” series in the 1960s. Bronson Cave, located in Griffith Park, has served as a filming location for decades.

Ironically, it is used as a cave in the movies, but it is actually a small tunnel. Videographers have to film it at an angle to hide its true appearance. The Bronson Cave is a great photo subject for movie fans.

Hollywood Sculpture Garden

A 5-minute drive from Gail’s magical Garden of Oz is the Hollywood Sculpture Garden. Artist Robby Gordon moved into his home in 2012. Now it looks more like an art exhibit than a house, as he used every inch of space to create a masterpiece.

The backyard is beautifully landscaped with dozens of sculptures. At night, the garden is illuminated with glowing lights.

But the sculptures are not just the work of Robby. Other artists also enjoy creating stone designs, psychedelic mannequins, and recycled metal sculptures. You might even meet one of them at work during your visit.

You can visit the backyard garden for free, but you can also call Robby ahead of time and get a tour of the inside of his home, where you can see even more of his artwork. You can reach him at 323-848-4699.

But even if you don’t go in, it’s always respectful to knock on the door to let him know you’ll be viewing his masterpiece in the backyard.

Remember: Is it rude to have wind chimes at a campsite? Here’s what we have to say about it!

A sculpture in the Hollywood sculpture garden

Is the Garden of Oz worth a visit?

Los Angeles, California, is known for many things: Movies, sports, art and much more.

The Garden of Oz has probably been so well received because it is located in the Golden State. This is a place where art thrives and creativity blossoms.

So if you’re in the area, stop by and see the garden from the street, or email ahead of time for a chance to explore the yellow brick road for yourself.

Will you be wearing ruby slippers when you visit?

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