A Flower in the Hills


We drove to the top of Beverly (Hills, that is) to look at the amazing views across the canyons. We had driven the maze of curving roads lined with beautiful gardens, high walls and mansions (swimming pools, movie stars) with signs that warned of armed responses to trespassers.

The gardens outside the high walls were nothing short of astounding, so what glorious gardens were tended behind the walls?

We passed a film crew doing a shoot of a pretty woman in front of a pretty house. The road ended in a cul-de-sac where we stopped with views of both the canyons and the film action down the street.

I was distracted by a big construction site surrounded by a tall chain link fence with more warnings to trespassers. Probably the beginnings of another palatial estate that will take years to complete.

I was shooting with my camera when coming up through the ground, something caught my eye in the construction zone. Bubbling crude? Not oil, but a flower. I decided to risk sirens and arrest to poke the camera lens through the fence to photograph the flower.

I had no interest in identifying the star of the film shoot. I lost interest in the views. I wanted to identify the flower.

Do I know you? Are you a famous flower? I've never seen you in my area, but I have seen photos of you in seed catalogs. I guess Californy is the place you ought to be since you like warm zones, sunshine and drought.

Dressed in an orange striped uniform that reminds me of the pants on the Swiss Guard at the Vatican, I decided the bloom must be a Treasure Flower (Gazania). I don't know how the seed found its way to the top of Beverly Hills, but the similarity to the pants of the Swiss Guard must have provided it with Divine transportation methods such as the wind or a bird.

Out of place in a ritzy neighborhood? I think not. The flower was flourishing in an untended construction site rather than a star's garden. I realized that I didn't need to worry about driving our tiny, rented Hundai up streets where we passed such brands as Mazerati, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The Gazania is worthy of a being photographed and featured in a blog story. There are no movie star gardens posted here. I might have been hauled off to jail had I tried to photograph the rich and famous. So, thank you folks for kindly dropping in - Y'all come back now, y'hear?



Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. References to lyrics for "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" by Paul Henning. All brand names listed are trademarks of those respective companies.

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