Day 143 - Silver lake, Los Angeles

Visiting an old friend

Back in LA! This magnificent garden is Alberto Hernandez’ residential ‘playground’. I have been here before. 6 years ago I ended up here by surprise. I was staying with Chris via a Couchsurfing, who rents a room in his house. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of this place that I captured it in a short documentary, including an interview with Alberto. Now, 6 years later I couldn’t wait to come here again. There are a lot of new pieces, but it’s colourful and vibrant as ever.

It’s 24 years ago that Alberto and his partner bought the house with the garden in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, and since then it has been a living canvas where Alberto expresses himself artistically. Besides his painting works the garden exists mainly of recycled parts. People in the neighbourhood bring boxes full of stuff they don’t use anymore and Alberto uses it to make something for his garden. “What’s trash for one person, can be art for another person. I want to show my friends and the people in the neighbourhood that it’s important to recycle. To make a contribution to save the world or save whatever is important for our future generations. But it’s also important to have fun, I really enjoy what I am doing.”


The last time (2011) there was a lot of jewelery in the trees. This time the garden is full of cut-up plastic bottles, spiralling down from the palm trees. Since his partner retired a year ago, he also contributes to the garden. The embellished vases and jars are all his work, following the same thinking. 

In the evening, after Alberto has taken me to his favourite Mexican restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, we hang out on the couch in the garden. The night shows a different side of the garden. When the city quiets down you can hear all the subtle sounds of hundreds of plastic parts and jewellery touching each other. A concert of rustling and tinkling. It’s unbelievably beautiful. And it’s all trash. 


The short documentary about the garden, recorded 6 years ago.