Not far off of Sunset Boulevard in the Pacific Palisades, I was introduced to a couple of chickens named Rizzo and Frida, a new puppy called Luna Moon, and a cat who prefers to go by Fig. The small menagerie is fortunate to dwell in the garden and home of the exquisite and bohemian, Shiva Rose – actress, activist, and blogger.
Shiva lives here with her two daughters where she maintains a lovely garden with just about anything you need from the herb and lettuce families. Visiting in October, I encountered Santa Barbara sage, lavender, tarragon, wild fennel and an unrecognizable tree which I learned to be pineapple guava. Tasting the fruit, Shiva inquired about the familiarity of taste. It was so recognizable but still left me flummoxed. “They taste like Valentine’s Sweethearts candy,” Shiva revealed. And she was spot on.
Growing up in the countryside of Iran, Shiva remembers her grandmother visiting from the States and picking cherries to bake pies. Here, near the coast, she has a small orchard in her own yard – mulberries, peaches, pomegranates, and a nectarine tree – under which she has her second daughter’s placenta buried as is custom in Native American tradition. Shiva tells me that she unearthed the placenta and had it moved from her old home when they moved three years ago.
When I returned this spring, Shiva was using roses from her garden in a new, eponymously named holistic face oil. The garden was now bountiful and resplendent with strawberries, fava beans, kale, carrots, and the tomatoes newly planted from last year’s seeds. “People think we don’t have seasons in California, and that’s just not true,” she gently disputes. Her home is invitingly curated and comfortable. I felt compelled to ask what was on her current garden playlist. She divulged to be a fan of Bon Iver and the latest from First Aid Kit and Ray Lamontagne but often opts for listening to mantras in the garden and when making her oil. Of course, this beauty wasn’t going to disappoint with her musical choices either.
To learn more about Shiva, visit her blog the Local Rose.