Living Art That Is California-Inspired, Naturally


A self-professed treasure hunter, Inner Gardens owner Stephen Block has a wealth of goods stored in his Los Angeles showroom. “I can walk into any store, and my heart starts thumping for a great find,” says Block, who founded his landscape design studio in 1989 with only a bucket and a pair of scissors.

He set himself apart by incorporating global antiques-market items into his work, and nowadays you’re as likely to find him checking up on his recent installation for Elton John as building one-of-a-kind floral sculptures in the studio. That includes living art incorporating a swampland cypress knee—a natural projection that juts out from the water like a woody stalagmite.

This six-foot-tall example mirrors the contoured form of California. To create the final piece, Block anchored epiphytic bromeliad plants to the cypress knee because of their clean, architectural lines and easy maintenance, which suit the local low-key outdoor lifestyle. “It’s not always easy to find art that can live outdoors,” says Block. “But with just a spritz or two of water per week, this will thrive.”

This was originally published in California Home + Design’s Summer 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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