Forestiere designed the passageways’ width and curvature specifically to modulate the air flowing through them, creating an intricate underground ventilation system. His home was complete with a kitchen, a library, two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, a fishpond, and an aquarium—and in all, the rooms in the gardens number almost 100. A variety of trees—from jujube, pomegranate, mulberry, date, and palm to all manner of citrus—abound, many the products of grafting done by Forestiere resulting in single trees that bear many types of fruit.
Hailed as a visionary engineer and architect as well as a skilled horticulturist, Forestiere built and cared for his underground home—where he resided fulltime—for forty years. He died in 1946, and the gardens were named a registered historic landmark in 1979. Today, the gardens are open to the public, maintained as a museum by Forestiere’s niece, nephew, and great-nephew, Lorraine, Ricardo, and Andre Forestiere.