In July, South Coast Botanic Garden partnered with Constellation Immersive to open The DiscOasis on the garden's grounds. Frankly, rollerskating to disco music during a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant didn't much appeal to me but, after reading a recent article about it in the Los Angeles Times, I decided to pop by to take a look at the set-up. If you're interested, I'm sorry to report that this is the event's last week and, according to the official website, it's sold out through the weekend.
For some reason, I'd assumed the skating rink would be set up near the front entrance.
|Unlike much of the garden, this area is flat but I suppose it's a little small for a rollerskating track|
It wasn't anywhere to be seen in the front garden so I started walking. I'd checked off most of the sculptures on display as part of the garden's Hide & Seek - Art Meets Nature exhibit by the time I ran into the entrance to The DiscOasis. I was almost surprised I found it at all. SCBG is 87 acres in size and the event was set up in the "back 40."
|I saw what looked from a distance like a smaller version of the garden's Living Wall and headed in that direction to find this. (Unlike the Living Wall, the greenery here wasn't real.)|
|The neon signs near the entrance weren't lit. Everything was blocked off by safety cones as the event doesn't open until 5pm each day. I'm unsure what the wheelbarrow filled with sand, skates and disco ball was all about.|
|This disclosure stood at the entrance to the path leading to the event's midway|
|As this entry tunnel was blocked, I walked to the right (where I found the last sculpture on the Hide & Seek circuit)|
As the entrance to the tunnel was blocked I wasn't sure I was going to see anything more but then I ran into what were clearly set-ups for taking pictures, part of the "immersive experience" if you check out videos of the event online. (Here's one.)
After the last of these I reached the entrance to the midway.
|This sign indicated that the main even was ahead|
|I couldn't get very close and hadn't brought my camera with the telephoto lens|
|Plans to restore the area, including the creation of a new lake that could accommodate natural rainstorm water flow, have been under discussion for years|
Unable to get any closer, I decided to make my way back to the front of the garden.
|I walked through a long tunnel of trees and tall shrubs|
|I saw few people. This squirrel wasn't happy to see me and moved higher and higher into the stone pine tree, carrying his precious pine cone.|
|I followed the creek bed, as dry as I've ever seen it, in the general direction of the tram road that leads back to the garden's front entrance|
|I veered back up toward the other side of the lake site when I saw a large, shiny metal object ahead|
|This area also offered a glimpse of the main stage and rollerskating space|
From there I had a good walk back to the garden's front entrance and headed home. The tropical butterfly exhibit (SOAR) closed last month and, with the closure of The DiscOasis this week, the garden's next event will celebrate monarch butterflies, which is more up my alley. That event opens in October. Given that SCBG felt comfortable enough to open to the public on this scale for The DiscOasis, I'm hoping this will make them more amenable to supporting plant sales and other events appealing to gardeners and naturalists in the near future.
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party