The Venice Beach Garden Tour is perhaps the most popular garden tour in California, and has turned into an annual event that even has food trucks along the tour route. When I went on the tour in 2010, it was a gleaning of ideas tapping current design trends. The design styles that start in So Cal, tend to move outward through publications, TV, movies, etc. What I saw in great repetition was a ‘Dwell-ified’ look. Fencing and gate entry’s with either horizontal board or the latest use of a materials, such as cement board walls left unpainted, which I found way too light and reflective in the California sun. Certain plants or plant palettes dominate every year, and it was aloe attenuata, senecio mandraliscae and euphorbia sticks-on-fire – over and over again. More elements that stood out were: the gated fortress style front entry, succulent extravagance of vertical walls, corten steel edging, large scale cement barbeque cooking areas, long skinny swimming pools, mulching with aggregate, timber bamboo, and way too many outdoor fire pits.