Villa dei Fiori is a romantic escape on 14 acres on the boundary of the Joshua Tree National Park. Pine log pergolas cover the surrounding five terraces with arbors of climbing roses and cascading purple and white wisteria.
The villa, built amid the surrounding quartz monzonite boulders, was created by Dale Allan Pelton, a Hollywood based film production designer and architect. On the west side of the villa, the terraces of 150 rose bushes with a border of purple French lavender form a dramatic contrast to the savage landscape of boulders beyond.
There is a grove of Italian Stone pines on the north. To the south, a terrace of raked sand with a Zen aesthetic, is in the midst of large boulders, perfect for al fresco dining. In the west one can see the snow-capped peak of San Gorgonio, the highest mountain in Southern California. Between the kitchen terrace and the southeast terrace stands a giant Joshua tree, several hundred years of age. The motorcourt is surrounded by mesquite trees and crimson oleanders which conceal the vehicles, allowing a feeling of complete solitude and pastoral peace.
Near the house, is a cave formed of giant boulders with a bed of soft sand and a fire pit where guests have dinner parties in the evening by the light of an open fire. Crevices in the boulders open to the sky so that one can glimpse the stars at night.
Features -: The villa has an European ambiance, with three bedrooms, one painted deep raspberry and another, magenta, the bath in tangerine, and the living and dining rooms treated with hand-rubbed colors of cognac and amber over an under layer of gold. The master bedroom has a romantic antique bed, its ornate design formed with the tendrils of metal leaves. The colors of the Moroccan pottery complement the vivid paintings of the Parisian artist, Michele Quence. There are 13 French doors, each room of the house with two glass doors opening upon a private terrace, bringing the outdoors inside.
Adjacent to the master bedroom, on a terrace in the boulders, is a Jacuzzi spa.
There is a magnificent library spread throughout several rooms - hundreds of books on subjects as varied as architecture, painting, sculpture, film, theatre, biography, literature, photography, fashion, automobiles, gardening, travel, exotic places, anthropology, history, almost any subject one could think o
The living room features a silk tapestry and original paintings and a rock sculpture from the film, Battlestar Galactica, illuminated by halogen lights with dimmers. There is an excellent stereo system with an interesting selection of CDs. There is no cable television so that one can enjoy the quiet natural sounds of the desert without the intervention of what one has come there to escape in the first place. However, there is a DVD and VCR receiver and film videos available. There is a high speed Internet connection.
The kitchen is well equipped for gourmet cooking, a spacious refrigerator, a gas oven, a microwave oven, complete cookware and plates, wine glasses and flatware service for ten. The engravings of a French chateau and an église are from the 19th century. Double French doors open upon a dining terrace overlooking a grove of mesquite trees and a Joshua tree amid the boulders. There is a barbecue and an exterior stone fireplace on the terrace by the boulders.
I attended Cherokee school in Oklahoma with Indians and poor whites. War games and fist fights were the events at lunch time. After feeding the chickens, pulling weeds, fighting prairie fires, I read books in the magical forest across the creek.
After wrestling for Oklahoma State and University of Nebraska, I studied philosophy at University of Tulsa, writing newspaper reviews of cinema, literature, essays on ethics and politics. During my college years, I hitchhiked across America, Key West, Florida, New Orleans, San Francisco, through slums of Mexico City, Guatemalan jungles and San Salvadorian barrios, journeys which have inspired the characters in Celine on Fire.
Working as a white journalist for Tulsa’s black newspaper, I returned from King’s march from Selma to Montgomery to deliver an address, Thunder in the Ghetto, in the rebuilt Church which had been burned to the ground in the 1921 Race Riot. I organized concerts for jazz musicians, Baby Face Willette and Odetta, opened The Bastille, a folk music, rock/dance club.
During two years at the UCLA graduate film school, I directed my thesis, Death of the Red Planet, in 35mm Cinemascope, quadraphonic sound, the first film created by lasers. http://cec.concordia.ca/econtact/11_4/pelton_red_planet.html. filmed in the laboratories of Cal-Tech and sound track created at Cal-Arts. Praised by American Cinematographer, and Hollywood Reporter, the film was invited to the Cannes Festival and played in 600 theaters across America. My first film work was for Battlestar Galactica. While working with Steven Spielberg (The Goonies), Terry Gilliam (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Paul Verhoeven (Hollowman), designing music videos for Olivia Newton, Travolta, Cindy Lauper, I wrote screenplays at night, East of the Moon, and a musical Celine on Fire. From my original screenplay evoking the spirit of Gene Kelly’s An American in Paris, the story evolved into a historical-philosophical novel set in 1950s Paris.
I discovered Joshua Tree in 1968 when visiting my family, original settlers who homesteaded the land in the early 1950s.
I began landscaping the garden 25 years ago. The Italian Stone pines are 22 years old, the rose garden 15 years ago. The terraces and surrounding berms of decomposed granite have been sculpted over the years. Big horn sheep sometimes come off the park into our valley of the moon where bobcats, kit foxes and roadrunners roam.
Villa dei Fiori is set on twenty acres of magnificent boulders immediately on the boundary of the Joshua Tree National Park. Immediately behind the house is our valley of the moon. When can walk directly from the villa into the canyons of the park where you will never see another hikers. Near the house is a large cave with a fire pit, perfect for campfire dinners in the evenings, with the moon and stars visible through crevices in the roof of the cave. The salt water pool is surrounded by giant boulders with a concealed terrace high above in the rocks overlooking the pool and a grove of Italian stone pines and a terraced garden of 100 roses.
Activities: By walking through the boulders behind the villa, you will discover the hidden valley on the estate. From there you may pass around the giant outcroppings & hike directly into the multi-hued canyons of Joshua Tree National Park. Hiking through the boulders you will spy cactus wrens & ravens, owls, hawks, roadrunners & quail. The pool situated back in the giant boulders is not heated between October 1st & April 1st due to cold nights. It has a salt electrolyte purification system & a beautiful gemstone pebble surface. If you are fortunate, you may encounter a bobcat who lives in my hidden valley, an increasingly rare Chuckawalla iguana or Mojave Desert tortoise. This is such an inaccessible region of the park you will not encounter any other hikers to disturb your splendid solitude. Horses may be rented near Black Rock campground in the National Park near Yucca Valley. Excellent restaurants are to be found in Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree & Yucca Valley.
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