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.
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.
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.