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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Aggressive Gardening

We visited the Getty Center on Sunday as we regularly do. One of the things that strikes me is the agressive nature of their gardening. While the beautiful gardens have naturalized somewhat, they are scrupulously maintained in the style of their design. This can sometime lead to odd effects for regular visitors.

I am searching my photo archive for some past pictures, but words will have to suffice for now. In one area, to the right of the main plaza, there is a fountain that bubbles into a channel and this channel flows into an open hole that is the top of another fountains 10-20 feet below in the garden. When first opened, this channel was shaded by a series of pepper trees. Over the years, these trees had become fairly large. Imagine my surprise when I found all of these trees gone and replaced with small, willow-like trees. The replacment had been done in such a fashion that it appeared that those trees had been there all along. There was no sign of turned earth or other disruptions, just new trees.

I have seen this same effect in the main garden itself. Entire beds are replanted. thinned or moved, returning the garden to almost its original state. While I can see a variety of reasons for the maintenance of the gardens, it does strike an odd tone for those of us who live nearby and visit frequently.


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