Sought after by the local and international elite, Jay Griffith's theatrical gardens are bold, expressive juxtapositions of materials, plants and textures that have garnered him a reputation as enfant terrible of landscape architecture. Griffith's assertions of the needs of a site are never gratuitous, and he pays close attention to the Southern California landscape, climate, lifestyle and terroir to produce green spaces that are needed and inviting. Besides his high-end clients, Griffith's lifelong project as a gardener has been Venice itself. He has paid homage to the neighborhoods he's lived in for most of his life by creating guerrilla style public projects and gardens along the district's sidewalks and alley ways. His abundant personality and immense creativity remain an inspiration to younger generations of botanists in Los Angeles and beyond.
"Gardens are about the suspension of beliefs. People can be lost in time and space, and literally just take a break from reality."
"You can't retain the character of a neighborhood if you tear it down. You destroy the thing that you love."
The Garden Tour
"We do the house and garden tour here in Venice, once a year, the first Saturday in May. It services a children's center we founded, and the poorest neighborhood in all of Los Angeles. The first year, I raised $1,200, and in the second year we made $5,000, and now it's a fully realized planet."
"All those small gestures are coming together in the community in a very big way. All the dots are starting to connect at this point."