A Man Walks Into A Bar(ber Shop)...

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Beloved, waiting in the barber shop, saw an ad for a concert of Mozart at Soka University in Aliso Viejo.  Off we went. 
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Soka is a small private liberal-arts college.  The curriculum is inter-disciplinary and secular, though it is run by a Buddhist organization.  
The visitor parking lot is ringed with pines.  The sun was glinting through their needles as we arrived...
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...and through the Festuca rubra grass that under planted them...
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...as we walked to the concert hall.  The path runs via a walkway with a large reflecting pool on either side.  
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The area had a vast sense of horizontal space, and the rippling blue of the reflecting pool was beautiful, but all the stone was somewhat harsh.  The row of trees that edges one side of the pool no doubt softens the effect somewhat when the trees are in leaf.  
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The buildings are a slightly curious mix of modern Japanese, classical Greek, and Orange County apartment block.
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The stone used was beautiful, however.  You go around a towering fountain of a style that doesn't quite match anything else...
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...and ascend stairs that cut through this large wall...
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...again, all made of that beautiful stone...
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to a terrace dominated by Agave attenuata and lavenders.
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Some Quercus agrifolia and Schinus molle...
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The Agaves looked a little toasted, as if they had not been watered at all after they were planted.  Agave attenuata looks best with a little irrigation here, even as close to the ocean as we were, about a mile as the crow flies.  
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Other than the Agaves, everything was immaculately maintained.  The pines appeared as if they had recently been cleaned of all their old needles, in the Japanese style.  Walking up to the concert hall, there was a lawn of absolute perfection.  Flawless.  It was a pleasure to look at it.  Lawn is difficult in Southern California, and probably doesn't belong here at all, but a place for students to relax on a sunny day seems a worthy thing.  The campus is mainly planted with a minimal amount of thirsty plants. 
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The concert itself was very enjoyable.  The hall had good acoustics, the orchestra was relaxed and cheerful.  After the show, we waited out the small crush of exiting traffic and walked around a bit more.  The reflecting pool area didn't seem so harsh in the later light of afternoon...
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...we enjoyed the Oaks...
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...and a few of the parklands and hiking trail beyond.  The chaparral was greened up by our so far modest winter rainfall.
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Comments

  1. Thanks for taking me with you on a virtual trip, I enjoyed that! That lawn looks too good to be real, if I had been there I think I would have had to bend down and give it a feel, just to check! And I could happily have tugged along for a Mozart concert, haven’t been on one for many years :-)

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    1. I did indeed bend down to feel that perfect grass--couldn't believe it was real. It was!

      We get to perhaps one concert a year, our special treat.

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  2. Love that description of the building "style". The restrained plant palette makes the damage on the agaves even more noticeable, unfortunately. But I'd be happy to see them at all, right now, right here.

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    1. the attenuatas are usually so flawless here, it was a surprise to see a mass planting of toasty ones. It was such a beautiful day here, you would have enjoyed it.

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  3. Thanks for sharing these pics with, the place looks amazing, planting, pools, and architecture!

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  4. Beautiful photos and descriptions of the buildings and plants, it looked like a beautiful day to be wandering around looking at the lawn and surrounds. Pleased you enjoyed the concert.
    xoxoxo ♡

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