What is Paxton Gate? When you give two quirky landscape designers a storefront to explore their interest in succulents, insects and taxidermy, you get the crazy weird store, Paxton Gate. Paxton Gate started as an eccentric garden store, and has transformed into a life-size terrarium filled with what they like to call “treasures and oddities:” odd books, furniture, vintage and antique tchotchkis, lab vials and real bones and insects (they have been collected from their natural habitat).
It may sound like a strange place, and that’s part of the appeal. Set on Valencia Street, Paxton Gate is unlike the typical boutiques and bookstore lining the street. When you walk in, you are greeted by a stuffed unicorn (yes, a unicorn). As you continue to browse, you’ll find tiny bulb terrariums hanging from fishing line. Those interested in entomology will find framed beetles and butterflies or butterflies with tarantulas locked inside. In a hallway, there are vintage human anatomy charts, rare book finds and a giant supply of glass toolware, from beakers to boiling flasks.