A late winter trip to the west coast of America was a chance to explore the incredible plants to be found from Los Angeles to Oregon. In the first of a short series of plant diaries, we share the outdoor beauties of the Getty Museum in L.A.

Art imitating nature

In winter, these trees are reminiscent of the mammoth tree sculptures at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. While in summer, the Bougainvillea they host tumble down in waves of pink and orange which obscure the steel bars.

Remarkable evergreen shrub foliageThroughout the garden there were riots of colour, despite it being the end of winter. The star here is the Coprosma repens ‘Pink Splendour’, setting off the greens of Nasturtiumpurple Phormium and orange Cornus.

garden map. getty

This site map shows the design by the artist Robert Irwin. His motto for the space is “Always changing, never twice the same”, and the rich seasonal variations can be seen on the Getty’s garden blog.

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Although the space is full of colour, its geometry and setting is vital to its success. These Eucalyptus trees and evergreen grasses, framed by the strong lines of steel, create a strong frame for the dazzling seasonal displays. And all of that is surrounded by incredible views of the Pacific, Hollywood Hills and downtown L.A.


Simple, effective and relatively low maintenance, this shot combines the delicate, creeping, aromatic foliage of chamomile with the striking purple foliage and pink flowers of Oxalis, set against the flames of Cornus stems.


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