Garden of Oz: A Quirky Destination for Folk Art Lovers

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View of a yellow brick road at garden of oz

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

Let’s learn more about this unique attraction and what you can expect to see there!

What Is the Garden of Oz?

The Garden of Oz is a small garden beneath Gail Cottman’s humble abode in California.

It was never intended to be a public spectacle but rather a place where she could use her creativity to plant shrubs, trees, and flowers and mix in other art like tiles and mosaics.

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

Where Is the Garden of Oz?

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

Gail’s home, located northwest of the city center, is just a short distance from the popular Griffith Park.

How Did the Garden of Oz Begin?

When Gail Cottman’s contractor, Manuel Rodriguez, put her roses in a concrete bed, he noticed that the gray concrete was quite dull. 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.

View of a dog house for toto at garden of oz

What Can You See in the Garden of Oz?

When you enter the Garden of Oz, you’ll follow a yellow-tiled path twisting through the trees and shrubs of the garden.

Thousands of shining tiles, a crystal ball, and beautiful mosaics capture your attention. Visitors can send letters to Oz through the mailbox.

Gail also has her own palace thrones in her Garden of Oz. 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 one dedicated to a personal friend who survived the bombings at 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 allegedly gave the neighborhood kids keys to get into the garden gate to explore the magical Land of Oz anytime. But you can see some of the garden from the street.

When the gardener works in the garden, it is open to the public for a couple of hours. This is completely contingent on the gardener’s arrival and departure times but generally ranges from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays.

You can email the gardener if you’d like to schedule a visit. There’s a sign on the front gate with the email address

You can’t take photos or videos inside the garden if you do get to visit. As always, be respectful, as it’s a private residence.

Close up of a flower at garden of oz

Other Unique Attractions Near the Garden of Oz 

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

These unique stops provide a different experience than the typical Hollywood vibe.

Stone Gates of Hollywood 

These giant stone gates, built in 1923, remind residents and tourists of the very beginnings of Hollywoodland. Italian immigrant masons completed the beautiful work. Today, the stone gates are the entrance to the upscale neighborhood.

You can see the belfry, a non-functioning chimney, an oak door, a gilded clock face, wrought iron-barred windows, stone planters, a small community library, and a bronze plaque welcoming visitors to Hollywoodland.

It has limited parking, so try to venture to the Stone Gates of Hollywood on a weekday.

Keep in Mind: If you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz, you’ll have to road trip to the house from the movie!

Bronson Cave

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

Ironically, it’s used as a cave in movies, but it’s actually a small tunnel. Videographers have to film it at an angle to hide its true appearance. Bronson Cave is a fun photo spot for the movie fanatic.

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 house in 2012. Now it looks more like an art exhibit than a house, as he has used every inch of space to create a masterpiece. 

Beautiful landscaping and dozens of sculptures fill the backyard. At night, the garden is illuminated with glowing light. 

But the sculptures aren’t just the handiwork of Robby. Other artists also enjoy creating stone designs, psychedelic mannequins, and recycled metal sculptures. You might even run into one of them working when you 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 house, where you can see even more of his artwork. You can reach him at 323-848-4699. 

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

Keep in Mind: Is It Rude to Have Wind Chimes in a Campground? Here’s what we have to say about it!

A sculpture at hollywood sculpture garden

Is the Garden of Oz Worth Visiting?

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

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

So if you’re visiting the area, swing by and view the garden from the street or send an email well ahead of time to have a chance to walk down the yellow brick road yourself.

Will you wear ruby red slippers when you visit?

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