Sunday, January 29, 2017

Garden Visit - the Getty Center (1/27/2017)

No pictures from my garden this weekend, because seriously, how many weeks in a row can I take pictures of the same mess? Instead, I visited the Getty Center on Friday, and took way too many pictures. The Getty is great for inspiration on how to put gardens together as art, because that's the approach they take in the Central Garden, and also shows how you can take a more constrained approach, since that's how much of the plants on the actual museum grounds are arranged. There are a lot of sources that explain why that is better than i ever could - needless to say it creates an environment that has a ton of inspiration!

It also helps that the weather on Friday was gorgeous - this is so cal winter at it finest, and why i probably can't live anywhere else any more:
That's the pacific ocean. It was actually a bit chilly, if something like that could be said about 60 degree weather in January.

I love the way these containers with succulents pop against the all-white of the buildings and courtyard:

 These are always a must-visit for me. Some of the plants are updated each time, and some are left to growth. This little aloe is putting out a bloom stalk:

There's always an agave...

Remembering correctly from a tour i once took, all the plants are technical in containers at the museum - even the large trees like these:

That's one of the reasons they prune many of them the way they do. Another large 'container' is the cactus garden, which you can't walk into:
This year, the plantings seem heavy on the cacti, lighter on the agaves. The view extends to include the vistas of the greater LA area in the background. I love all the large barrels in the cactus garden.
 Also, this might be exciting only to me, but look at that snow pack! The view is nice too...

While i really like the plantings in the museum, i always struggle on how to apply it to my own garden, not having any large white travertine walls. The closest i can get is the container plantings at the top of the wall... I want to re-try some of those for this year, although that probably means fixing the irrigation first.

But now on to more inspiration, rather than practical thoughts about sprinklers and summer heat waves. The Central Garden is the opposite of the previous pictures. None of the plants are labeled, but there are some many beautiful combinations...

Starting with this gorgeous red/black plant - a leucadendron 'ebony'. where can i get one?

the main beds of the central garden are a riot of color while still somehow conveying "winter".

I want this plant too. I also like the colored twigs in the background. The Getty moves and removes plants throughout the seasons to get the right "feeling", although red and yellow are the main accent colors all year. Such a great example of how to stick with a color theme while the garden and plants change...

Another view of that same side...I like how the beds are still green while the trees aren't.

sigh...brugmansia... one of two in the garden. I have tried so many times with this plant and they hate the desert. Not enough water. This one was blooming in January.

The view up the "river" shows what "winter" looks like here - leafless trees with pops of yellow and red in green. So pretty.

This view has always been one of my favorites. I love the textures and colors here. I really want one of those phoriums - i planted two in the garden last year. One is still alive (sort of).

More leucadendron - i think this is 'Safari Sunset', popping against the blue sky.

A great combination of plants & color here - i really want to try "cousin Itt", but i'm afraid it will get burnt to a crisp. I guess there's one way to find out...

How to do succulents as a ground cover, by the Getty. I want to try this in my garden this year, although most of these wouldn't be hardy in zone 11. If i remember, i'll have to go back before they replace these plants to see how they grow in.
 A bit of a blurry picture, but it makes me wonder whether oxalis would like any part of my garden?

it was a great day of looking at plants (and art - eventually, i went inside) and getting ideas for this year. It will be a few more months before i can reasonably start planting anything, but these pictures get me motivated to keep at doing the clean up and fixing that my garden needs!

(Progress this week - no new gophers in the traps (yay!) and no new mounds either. The roses are cut back, and starting to make progress on cleaning up the hill side beds. next up - rescuing some of the yuccas...)


  1. Congrats on the gopher-free week! I've never visited The Getty in the winter - the light looks different, possibly due to the relatively clean air and the extra light at ground level due to the leafless trees. The Armstrong Garden Center chain carried Leucadendron 'Ebony' last summer and might be able to order one for you. 'Ebony' is a sport of 'Safari Sunset' and I was lucky enough to get one mis-labeled as the parent, which made it significantly cheaper. The other Leucadendron you showed looks like 'Jester' to me but then I think that's also a offspring of 'Safari Sunset'.

    1. I may try to find one from Armstrong - i think there is one of those near LAX. The Getty is great in the winter, and i love the Huntington in the winter too, since it's so much easier to take nice pictures of the plants. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Ask Kris said, Armstrong's has 'Ebony' off and on. That's where I got mine. They need regular water, probably very regular out in the desert. 'Cousin Itt' needs a good amount of water and afternoon shade in coastal CA. Though it is an Acacia, it's not a desert Acacia.

    Enjoyed your beautiful photos. Have not been to the Getty for a while because of the long ongoing construction mess on the 405, which I think is now finally completed? I really enjoy the Getty garden--it is always changing. Its fun to see what they come up with and try out.

    1. The construction on the 405 is mostly done, now they just like to close lanes randomly at 2am when i'm trying to get home from LAX. If 'Ebony' needs lots of water, I should probably try to avoid "zone denial"... but there might be a spot that 'Cousin Itt' could work. Thanks for stopping by!


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