Passion, enthusiasm, and an amazing sense of creativity drove Carol Garsten, the Nature Gallery’s owner, from Los Angeles to Los Altos. Southern California La La Land’s loss is our treasured gain in the heart of Silicon Valley. Curator and collector of rocks, minerals, crystals, fossils, semi-precious jewelry, furniture stone mosaics and more, Garsten combined her hobby and her love of natures sparkling and spellbinding gifts with the quest for setting up Nature Gallery in downtown Los Altos.
Inspired by her late and beloved mother, Norma Tager, Carol continues their well-established tradition of searching for and finding the most exquisite treasures from around the world and bringing them to her gallery. Carol often says, ‘’Nature Gallery is like visiting a museum where you can buy things.’’
On my regular visits to Nature Gallery, I feel as though geology comes alive as I meander among natures spectacular exhibits and unique items. The 200 million year old Arizona petrified wood table, amethyst, pietersite, lapis lazuli perfume bottles, amethyst and calicite on custom-made black metal stands, gorgeous fossil tables, Baltic amber leather, and sterling silver earrings handcrafted in Poland, are just a few of the remarkable items which adorn the beautiful etageres and antique display cases at Garsten’s awe-inspiring establishment. All reflect this business woman’s respect for nature, while showcasing it with her panache and artistic talent. Garsten’s 87Rocks Spring collection includes her own design of one of a kind nickel purses with opals, fossil sand dollars, or fossils.
It is not all about chips and technology as we are used to hearing in Silicon Valley. There are a few venues, I am glad to admit, which reflect the charm of the Valley of Delights, and Nature Gallery is certainly one of them. But there comes a time for this writer to use less verbiage and more visual stunners, and this time has come. Enjoy your photo exploration through some of the amazing collections at the Nature Gallery.
Nature Gallery, 296 State Street (at Second St.) Los Altos CA. Tel: 650–327–8700. www.nature-gallery.com
Lina Broydo immigrated from Russia, then the Soviet Union, to Israel where she was educated and got married. After working at the University in Birmingham, England she and her husband immigrated to the United States. She lives in Los Altos Hills, CA and writes about travel, art, style, entertainment, and sports. She hardly cooks or bakes, with no borsch or piroshky on her home cooking menu. Therefore, she makes reservations and enjoys dining out, mostly sushi.
By Lina Broydo