They Spent Millions (And It Shows)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! What is this place?!??!!! Are we down the rabbit-hole?
Ohmygawwdohmygawwwdohmygawwd! Where did that white rabbit lead us?
Why, to the new $135 million dollar Newport Beach Civic Center.
They spent millions, and it shows. This is the Desert Garden section of a sixteen acre complex. The landscape designer is PWP Landscape Architecture , which has also worked on such projects as the National 9/11 Memorial. Newport Beach has serious money to spend, so much so there was even a sign showing the layout of the desert plants:
An Aloe section contained a whole row of thraskii, a couple of specimen barbarae, some beautiful plicatilis...
Marlothiis and reitziis and striatas, oh my!
Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast-
And half believe it true.
The roof of the city hall building is supposed to resemble ocean waves. The "North Africa" section is wonderfully simple: Euphorbia resinifera and Dracaena draco. The Huntington Desert Garden with all its many species is a Dickensian novel. This place is a poem.
The Euphorbias will aspire to fill that entire area. I like it with space between the clumps.
Beautiful gravel mulch, thickly applied. They had budget. No thin spots in their mulch. No drip lines showing. No landscape fabric. What a delight. Thanks, all you rich people.
The American Desert section featured a collection of Agaves. Franzonii:
'Blue Glow', parryi truncata, shawii, victoriae-reginae:
Attenuata, or 'Nova', perhaps:
A cacti section had Mexican Fence Post and whatever that cactus is. The feathery background is Euphorbia xanti. There were a group of Beaucarnea and what is that midground--Yucca rostrata?
Golden barrels, of course.
Opuntias and Puyas
There's the roof of waves again.
An city office worker obviously brought his/her worn out pot of plants outside and left it.
The Newport Beach logo has a sail in it. I think that white structure is intended to evoke the sail.
The background of Euphorbia xanti made a wonderous background pattern, but it is a plant you don't want in your yard as it spreads everywhere and reseeds like crazy. Will six inches of gravel mulch control it?
Puyas led to other Bromileads.
That's a non-lethal Dyckia there in the foreground.
I give this garden high marks.
And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by
"The rest next time-" "It is next time!"
The happy voices cry.
Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out-
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.
Alice! A childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band,
Like pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers
Pluck'd in a far-off land.