The Other New Entrance Garden At The Huntington

I've blogged about the new Entrance Garden (the area in the vertical white oval) at the Huntington many times, but not the other new entrance garden (the area in the horizontal oval).  That other entrance garden is called the "West Entrance".
  There's a large sculpture visitors are asked not to photograph.  I unintentionally included a bit of it in this photo, so I blanked it out:
 When the new education and visitors center was being built, a temporary entrance complex of trailer-type buildings occupied what is now the "West Entrance".  It was an empty expanse of bare soil for a time after the new center was completed, then was gradually planted, first with the trees:  immature specimens of native Oak, exotic Eucalyptus and Magnolia, next with shrubs (lots of Acacia), and then with bunch grasses, a few succulents, and other plants.  

Now the plants are establishing and the area merits a blog post.  It looked quite beautiful this morning.  There are two pathways through the area;  one is a wide concrete ess curve of a path, more curved than on the above map.  There is also a gravel/dg path of two half-circles off the ess, creating a sort of figure eight. 
We took the gravel path.  Bamboo, Dodonea, Acacias
Toyon, Acacia, Pine, Cistanthe
The outside of the figure eight is mostly edged with an Acacia (I'm guessing).  Many of the branches showed some fasciation.
Besides the native Toyon, Lepechinia fragrans (Thanks for the ID, Carol and Jane!).  It had a sharp, strong chaparral type of scent that I liked (to a point) and Beloved found unpleasant.  
Coming around the curve, the bunch grasses/carex, Acacia, and these lavender blue Iris made a beautiful scene. 




Looking back towards the Visitor's Center:
Layers of foliage
This old conifer, long predating the new "West Entrance", marks its end.
Lomandra 'Breeze'
Ceanothus, another California native with flowers nearly the same color as the Iris. 
This garden, with its naturalistic meadow clearing enclosed by billowing shrubbery, is linked stylistically to Piet Oudolf's "New Perennial" gardens, an example of which is the famous High Line in NYC.  However, rather than Oudolf's palette of herbaceous prairie plants, the West Entrance Garden makes use of climate-appropriate California native and Mediterranean plants. 

This expanse of minimal structure, contemporary styling, and soft textures makes an interesting companion to the Huntington's older, classic gardens, and is a good contrast to the other Entrance Garden, which contains so much hardscape and structure.  

Comments

  1. Really beautiful combinations. I love the iris surrounded by the grasses and the pine with the purple flowers. I am mighty curious - why don't they want you to photograph the sculpture?

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    1. Some sort of copyright issue, I think. It's just a sculpture, not something important like a tree or shrub, so not of much interest.

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  2. Lepechinia fragrans, pitcher sage

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  3. Well, rats - yet another opportunity for us not to meet, as I was one of the docents in the Rose Garden this morning! And I'm quite sure you visited the roses, which are glorious right now... ;)

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    1. Oh, it would have been so fun to meet you! The rose garden looked magnificent, and there will be photos next post. :)

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  4. Just before coming here I'd read a post by Dan Pearson at digdelve.com about planting a new border at his farm. Because it's similar in shape and layout to this West Entrance Garden, except on a slope, I kept visualizing the planting process in each area while following along on your visit. Both planting projects make my own waiting pots seem ultra manageable, so I'm heading out to get them in the ground before the sun gets too overbearing.

    I'm sure there's a reason for displaying a sculpture in a very public part of a public garden that can't be photographed, but I can't imagine what it would be. Some sort of disagreement about the placement or look of a commissioned piece? "Artistic differences" covers a lot of ground...

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    1. I assume it's a copyright issue, but the sculpture just didn't interest me as much as the plants did. I'm happy to oblige on the no-photo thing.

      I hope you had a beautiful day in your garden!

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  5. Hi,

    I believe the plant with the purple dangly flowers is Lephechinia fragrans.

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  6. Love it for how different it is from the formal entrance, not that I've seen either in person of course, just through your photos. I need to get back! Now that sculpture...why no photos? And how in the world do they think they're going to enforce that? Not everyone is as polite as you.

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    1. If I couldn't photograph the Aloes and Agaves, I would not be so polite! Ha, ha!

      It was so beautiful--the rain did its magic everywhere.

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  7. I love the expansive planting scheme and the limited color palette. Oh, to have acres and acres to garden in!

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    1. I think you could handle that--I'm not organized enough!

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  8. Yes, very deserving of a blog post now, and you do it full justice. That mystery plant has the flower shape and color of ceratotheca but the leaves aren't right. Hmmm, some kind of leucophyllum?

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    1. Jane Strong and Carol Whitney said Lephechinia fragrans. Have not seen it before, nice looking plant.

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  9. This is another beautiful addition to an already stellar series of gardens. I'm not usually a fan of iris, but the meadow with the grasses and iris made me see them in a whole new way. All of it, just lovely.

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    1. Iris have been poorly as the drought dragged on. This year is a good year for them. The group of them is like a blue eye.

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  10. Bearded irises in short bunch-forming grasses is genius; Kelly whatshisname out in Iowa has done it with great success, too.

    There's a central circle in the main part of the garden here that I'm letting grow up in "nimblewill", a locally native low muhly grass. For years I've resisted the urge to try some standard dwarf bearded iris, to foreshadow the TB iris. They bloom right about now, as the daffodils are playing out and only the earliest of peonies open. I want to let the grass be a restful swath for this season, but may not be able to resist this iris-in-a-meadow idea forever...

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    1. Why not try it? Iris are easy to move if you don't like it.

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