Detailed photos reveal the magical wilderness of a native garden in LA

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Scott Logan's macro photographs of the famed Gottlieb Native Garden show how biodiversity can thrive in an urban oasis.

To anyone who doesn’t know the nooks and crannies of Los Angeles, they might be surprised to discover that nature is abundant amidst the miles of sprawl. Parks, hills, mountains and shore host all kinds of wildlife, as do the plentiful gardens surrounding homes. With water a precious commodity in this arid landscape, more and more Angelinos are trading in tidy grass lawns for the native plants that thrive with what nature provides. One of the most renowned of these gardens is the Gottlieb Native Garden, created by Susan and Dan Gottlieb, devoted environmental philanthropists who have turned a formerly-covered-in-invasive-ivy acre into a glorious riot of flora and fauna. The New York Times described their urban oasis as a “haven for animals that most people would not consider appealing guests, including bobcats, gopher snakes, cottontail rabbits, bats, honey bees, and the occasional coyote.”

With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat. And it is the subjects of the garden that photographer Scott Logan has selected as his muses.

Logan is a naturalist and photographer who not only has one of LA’s coolest stores – Wild Wings, a store devoted to backyard birds, it looks like heaven – but has been working with the Gottlieb garden to catalog the incredible array of species in the region. His macrophotography of native insects and plants are featured in an exhibition titled The Gottlieb Native Garden: A Closer Look, on view at The G2 Gallery in Venice, California, until December 23, 2017.

On the following pages you can see some of the eye-opening photographs included in the show, like the one pictured above of a syrphid fly on mallow seed pod.

“Nature is all around us,” says Logan. “It’s captivating to take a closer look and see how interesting these tiny things are.” Indeed, and as these photos show, miniature natural universes abound, even in an ever-sprawling city like LA.

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