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HOME EXPERT HOME EXPERT ERT

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Garden PARTY RYAN DIAMOND’S BACKYARD IS GROWING HARD TO FIND FOLIAGE AND GOOD FRIENDS WRITTEN BY: LEE YATES | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MATT DOHENY

THE EXPERT RYAN DIAMOND OWNER, The Backyard

Most Exotic Plant: Abelias

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tepping into your backyard could be akin to entering one’s own kingdom; an extension of one’s personal space beyond the normal, indoor dimensions. It encapsulates our integrated relationship with the land around us. For a special few, this vision also doubles as a business. And for Ryan Diamond, starting this kind of business from the ground up came with some fertile soil to begin with. Up until October of 2012, the vacant space at 1724 Tustin Avenue in Costa Mesa had been cohabited by Aaron Knight, Kraig Harrison and their neighborhood nursery, Plant World. Diamond has been long entwined in a special community of fellow floral advocates and growers, which includes his good friends, Aaron and Kraig. When opportunity called elsewhere for the Plant World team, their seedling successor did not fall far from their tree. Diamond’s newly denominated dominion was dubbed as the Backyard, a naturally simple name for its simply natural purpose. And while Diamond’s backyard background may consist of the fresh produce he previously prepared, this caterer-turnedcaretaker lives out the legacy of his planting predecessor, while also leaving methodically-placed space for new ideas to grow and thoughts to tangle. His trusted territory actually hosts a family of towering trees, all of which blanket the square footage with a cascading canopy of breaching, bright light and secluding shadows. With land hand-sculpted by Diamond himself, the Backyard features a vast cast of over hundreds of unique cliques and species of plants within its gardened grounds. Diamond’s public lawn acts as a metaphorical middle-zone where star-crossed concepts and ideas clash, combine and coalesce. As each of your first, brave yet carefully-placed steps crunch onto its gravely path, the entrance extends and bends behind one of the many humble homes along the congenial, familial street. Herein lies the heart of Ryan Diamond’s backyard bodega of fine vines, leaves and pedals. In addition to housing a plot of potted plants, the Backyard also serves as a melting pot for communal conversations to cultivate from simple suggestions into full-blown applications. One of the fruits of this locally-grown labor has taken the form of the Backyard’s secondary function, an emerging event space for weddings, receptions, showers and occasions of all shapes and sizes. Like much of his business moves have proved, Diamond’s backyard and its overall purpose grow as organically as its delicately“Plants have their stemmed tenants do. At the root of it all, the Backyard own, specific set of shows that our concept of a home does not end at colors and textures, its walls. Destiny has manifested a new territory of and learning to plant personal space, one that is only halted by our own, them well together willing imagination. can help solidify But at the end of the day, Diamond’s life and business goals are simple and pure. With an earnest and honest face he says, “I try to take every day and have a thankful heart.” He takes both his steps forward and back with modestly moderate pride and high hopes that his watered world will find a niche in SoCal’s own backyard.

and foster an overall connection with the land where you can draw and bring everything together.” -Ryan Diamond, Owner, Backyard | APRIL 2014 | 181

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