The Getty Center is only 35 freeway miles from our home but Los Angeles deserves its #1 ranking as the city with the worst traffic in the US so it took us over an hour to get there, even traveling after the peak rush hour was over. We arrived in late morning and, as the day was sunny and bright, my photos, with a few exceptions, are sun-drenched so I offer my apologies in advance. (Warning: this is a photo-heavy post.)
|View of the entrance to the Central Garden from the level above|
Visitors enter the Central Garden through the stream garden, where a winding path directs their attention to the surrounding plants.
|This may be my favorite photo from our visit so I'm offering it as my Wednesday Vignette this week. I loved how the sun shone through the Phormium, highlighted the Nandina and added a sparkle to the Cordyline. For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.|
|Another nice grouping, this one featuring Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', Carex testacea, Cordyline 'Renegade', and Heuchera (perhaps 'Purple Petticoats')|
|The lower area of the stream was heavily planted with Russelia equisetiformis (Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' is shown in the foreground on the right)|
I feel at home with the plants in the Getty's garden, many of which can be found in my own garden, albeit not in the same numbers or sizes!
|Other plants in the stream garden included, clockwise from the upper left: Adenanthos drummondii, Astelia nivicola, Athanasia acerosa, and Pieris sp.|
The stream garden opens up to a large, plaza-like area, highlighting two of the most well-known features of the Central Garden.
|The rebar-supported Bougainvillea "trees"|
|and the Azalea Pool, which gave refuge to one lone duck on the morning of our visit|
My favorite area is the one called the bowl garden. It's not as densely planted in early spring as I recall it being on visits later in the year but there's still a lot to see. We walked around the garden counter-clockwise. Here are the photos from the 11 o'clock to the 5 o'clock position.
The other side of the bowl was harder to photograph because of the sun's position and visitor traffic but I got a couple of shots.
I also took some long-range shots from the bowl's 12 o'clock position.
|The west side|
|The east side|
Amazingly, I was able to identify many of the plants I saw in the bowl area, consulting Jim Duggan's book entitled Plants in the Getty's Central Garden in only a couple of cases for verification.
|Alliums weren't listed as part of the original garden in Duggan's guide but my guess is that these are A. 'Globemaster', A. 'White Giant', and A. schubertii|
With the exception of the Azalea Pool, the Getty has made an effort to manage its water use in response to California's drought. Water features outside the Central Garden have been turned off.
By and large, plant selections, including most of those shown above, were also made with attention to drought tolerance. The cactus garden is another case in point.
|Views of the cactus garden, left to right: from the upper level, midway along the stairs, and the lower level (not open to visitors)|
I'd hope to get photos of the views of the area surrounding the Getty on our trips up and down the tram between the main grounds and the parking structure but we got stuck standing up in both directions. The only distance views I got were these from the top level of the property.
|Left: east-facing view of UCLA, Century City and, in the far distance on the left, downtown LA; right: west-facing view of the ocean|
The Getty's garden isn't the Huntington but it's worth a visit if you find yourself in West LA. I'll end this post with a photo of the statue that greets visitors upon arrival.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party