The Getty Center: The Zig Zag Path

The concept is that water leads you down the path and through the woods, like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs.  A narrow rill on the upper terrace trickles down into an amphora-shaped alcove.   Sunlight streaming through the circular hole the water runs through creates a sundial of sorts on the amphora wall below.

Amphora wall
Amphora sundial
Sun on the wall

The alcove is the base of a stream that tumbles over rocks down the slope.  A tree-shaded path zig zags down as well, crossing and recrossing the stream.  The path ends in a flat area overlooking the circular pool that acts as the focal point;  lush plantings ring the pool in concentric circles.   The area along the zig zag path is in dappled shade and is thickly planted with a great richness of plants.  Beyond is sun and heat.  In Summer the shady path is a relief and refuge.  There seem to be more succulents than my last visit--they appear to have replaced plants that were struggling to survive the hot sun on the edge where shade meets blaring sun. 

Pathway garden
Pathway plantings
Pathway plantings
Pathway plantings

A couple of interesting plants I don't grow myself, Melianthus major, and Ernygium varifolium:
Honey Bush
Ernygium variifolium

As the slope flattens out, you reach a flat plane with the big bougies in their rebar sheaves.  You can look upwards and see where you started.
Looking back upward

Now you have reached the heart of the main garden, the inner circle, the central pool and the concentric rings of plantings surrounding it.  I'll get to that in my next post, since this one has gone on long enough. 

Central pool with spiral maze

Inner Circle

The effect is that you have taken a journey down into the heart of something, recalling literary journeys, perhaps--Dante's journey through the circles of hell?   Kurtz into the Heart Of Darkness?  But this was a different experience:  a simple happy journey, on a glorious day. 


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