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.
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!
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.