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A Secret Garden

Worth Their Weight in Green, We Uncover San Diego’s Most Vibrant Living Walls



Southern California’s bountiful vibe is home to many things, but architectural greenery is probably one of the last that would immediately come to mind. Introducing four of the most outstanding works of art composed solely of plants, where a vertical wall acts as a canvas and chlorophyll dances off an invisible paintbrush. Living and breathing masterpieces located not much farther than outside your backdoor, these hidden gems seduce all who visit. A similar stylistic approach is visually paralleled with the clothes we wear every day. Designed and individually chosen with an end result in mind to effectively convey a feeling or style to those who watch. Whether you are shopping, dining or dancing, each of these looks speaks volumes and are worth their weight in green.


7007 Friars Rd.
San Diego, CA 92108

Unexpected upright gardens at this premier San Diego shopping mall utilize 4, 000 plants harmoniously living in found spaces. Unique compositions of ornamentals, ferns, grasses and eight different types of ground coverings are arranged in such a way that they resemble keys of a piano. An instrument synonymous with luxury makes for a perfect element of classic fashion through form and function. This is the space for a bold statement,  like a candy colored day dress by Halston Heritage, a brand known for its ultimate sophistication.  A handheld box clutch speaks of modernized design and whispers refinement while the ankle boots incorporate some California cool.


1055 2nd Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

The iconic Westgate Hotel is a full-service property evoking that of mythical palaces of Europe. The recently redesigned rooftop area is much sleeker and more contemporary than the rest of the hotel. The freestanding landscape creates an exemplary introduction of greenery in urban areas. This vertical garden, dressed in four types of grasses and seven types of succulents is composed of 1, 300 imported plants. This impeccable Maison Scotch outfit focuses on laid-back feminine. Detail oriented vintage style with notes of sensuality and grace bring this effortlessly European interpretation full circle with a casual, conservative flair.


4020 Goldfinch St.
San Diego, CA 92103

The Patio on Goldfinch is alive with vibrancy. The lush uninhibited greenery enviously conspires against its polished décor. Passersby are drawn in by the robust living wall on the front patio, while patrons are greeted by the second wall, located all the way in the back. Thick and wild tropical ferns and flowers electrify this vibrant vertical rainforest taking the interior’s ’70s vibe to new heights. Disco days are here again, dressed appropriately to dine or cocktail in a sequin top and floral hot pants both by Topshop. Simplistic patent leather sky-high stilettos are right on point for this day to night glam.


793 J St.
San Diego, CA 92101

Fairweather is a dual- concept venue. It is a bar hidden within-a-bar. Entering through a series of dark hallways and staircases, you are led to a spectacular living wall. A flora lined space is hidden away in the rooftop of Rare Form, thoroughly embracing the vibe of San Diego’s ‘fair weather’ with vibrant beach décor and tropical design elements. The unique merriment of this neighborhood deli and open-air stylish rooftop bar overlooks the Padres’ Petco Park baseball stadium, making this hidden gem a perfect melting pot of unusually sexy, cool. Expertly outfitted in a crop top and high-waisted pleated skirt, this head to toe frock by Topshop is perfect for leisurely lunching; an effortless home run hit straight out of the park with simplistic elements.

About The Author

Shante Schwarz

Shante Schwarz, a Chicago native began her creative pursuit while studying the arts at Columbia College Chicago. After she received her bachelors in Illustration and design, she moved from the hustle and bustle of city life to sunny, laid back San Diego in pursuance of a career in the creative industry. Since then she’s made a name for herself, perusing all different avenues of the industry. Her experience ranges from working as a creative and styling director, to dabbling in red carpet correspondence. She’s worked personally and professionally with all different types of celebrities, utilizing her design talents through company branding and logo design. Her latest venture is focused on establishing a consulting company that specializes in creatively building and rebranding one’s personal style and aesthetic.

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