If you love the outdoors and you love hiking this location provides you with both, but it also adds a touch of special beauty with its ornamental gardens and well-landscaped scenery. People go up there not only to hike, but also to relax and meditate.
I was told that Amir Dialameh, born in Tehran in 1932 and a hiker himself, started his garden in 1971. The area he frequented had just been ravaged by a brush fire and he wondered if it was possible to improve this barren land. He found it ugly and thought that somebody should turn it into a garden. He also wondered if he could be the one to make this change and decided to try it. He proceeded to get the necessary approval from city officials to create his garden on park property. At first they did not grant him any help as to tools or water, and it wasn’t until a few years later that the city decided to provide a pipeline to bring some irrigation water from the bottom of the hill to the garden.
For several years he worked alone, clearing the burned areas from debris and building a retaining wall from leftover materials he found. Over the next thirty years he transformed nearly five acres of Griffith Park into an astonishing public garden in his free time. At night he was a wine salesman - during the day he proved himself a nature lover and adept landscape architect and gardener.
His vision was to build a resting place for hikers that was beautiful and relaxing. Enjoying the outdoors himself, it was important to him to create a space all nature lovers would enjoy. Year after year Dialameh planted drought tolerant plants that provided shade, such as pine and jacaranda trees. He also planted bushes and shrubs that provided vibrant color such as roses, geraniums, and yucca. He added stairs to the picnic area, added wooden benches for the hikers to enjoy and rest, and painted it all in bright cheerful colors. The benches and tables, overlooking the valley, are great for your sacked lunch. On a clear day you can see from Glendale to Sun Valley and beyond.
By the late 70’s other hikers started to help him and today it’s a garden maintained by volunteers only and a popular rest stop for hikers in Griffith Park. The volunteers also keep it watered and maintained properly with the assistance from the City of Los Angeles Park Rangers and park maintenance workers.
Amir Dialameh passed away unexpectedly at the age of 71 in late 2003.