These notes were intended to be completed early November — that was optimistic, my feet have barely hit the ground since I stepped off the plane!
Early in the last week of my October LA sojourn we had to cool our heels somewhat with the temperature climbing to 39 degrees during the day, and remaining at 36 for an evening amble around the neighbourhood. There were plans for more cultural engagement but the thought of heading outside in that heat was too much. Weird autumn weather, it was shocking to drive past a chap sleeping on the pavement in full sun under a doona with our car thermometer registering 39.
In keeping with that weather, and in total contrast to the deluge that Tasmania is currently experiencing, here are a couple of photos of the plants that relish these conditions from the African and dessert gardens at the LA Arboretum. They don’t really do the plantings justice, the plants looked stunning against that brilliant cobalt sky.
Fabulous groves of Bismarck palms with their dramatic catherine wheels of silver spokes.
Finding a shady spot in that heat was important. The Arboretum is by its nature about trees but this one includes a range of different gardens to wander through so a thoroughly enjoyable few hours were spent there
Peacocks were introduced when the property was first developed and now the 200 odd birds that wander around have become an icon. Here this showy bird posed appropriately atop the Café sign, one did a double take checking that he was real
In contrast this handsome egret pottered around keeping as low a profile as possible
As Halloween drew closer the front garden decorations ramped up, extremely large spiders were seen hanging from chimneys, together with masses of environmentally doubtful spider webs and spooks rising from the grass, but I thought the articulated skeletons resident in these two gardens quite endearing
Succulents are understandably popular and I admired the little collection at the base of this palm each time I passed , and I love those deep blue pots — its twin stood on the other side of the doorway
Another fresh border featuring a plant I generally dislike, Sansevieria trifasciata or Mother-in-law’s tongue, but somehow it looked good in this simple combination with the green wall behind and pale grey stones.
This was a bit out of left field, but an interesting idea for a hedge/fence, pleaching top and bottom, but constant trimming is needed to keep it looking good this is getting a little raggetty
This simple planting combination of elegant flowering pennistemon (I think) with tea-tree against a cream rendered wall pleased me each time I passed
LA houses a few art museums, one of the best known being the Getty.
Sadly the Getty will have to wait for another trip but I did enjoy two visits to the Los Angeles County Art Museum, and could have easily spent many more happy hours there. It comprises several buildings, including a Japanese art pavilion where the main display is hung on a wall that spirals gently down a ramp inside the building. The collection, fair number of which are gifts from generous benefactors, ranges across early arts of the Americas, centuries of European masters, modern American artists with a smattering of classical Greek and Roman sculpture, something for everyone.
The ‘Urban Lights’ installation of old lamp posts that are lit up at night sits next to a grove of palms that house a collection of Rodin sculptures, lovely juxtapositioning. The sawtooth skyline of the building beyond echoes the verticals
LACMA sits next to the fabulous Tar Pits Museum and park so we enjoyed wandering through the park on each visit checking out the ‘Sticky’ and ‘Gooey’ cones that warn of small springs oozing liquid asphalt to the surface. These days the springs tend to trap birds and squirrels rather than mammoths and giant sloths, but parents should be careful to keep their toddlers under control. Of curse the larger ‘tar pits’ are fenced off!
Constant change seems to be the name of the game, there was a lot of renovation happening and this is how the two pastel pink houses mentioned in the last post changed over three weeks, I am a little curious to know how the house on the left will look when it’s been completed.
Sadly of course there is another lifestyle that is not so fortunate, when home is a porch with 3 supermarket trolleys
And a warning of clear and present danger in suburban LA for dogs of any size, especially vsds!
I returned to a garden burgeoning with spring growth, rather too burgeoning and necessitating some firm cutting back and tugging out, enough for a posse of green bins
The tribe of foxgloves have ventured past my boundary this year, stepping stately down the rivulet bank. In order to ensure they don’t leap across and charge negligently up into the bush I’ve been enjoying cutting the stems for vases, rather a luxury.
Now the vacant block next door has become a building site and isn’t being given a weekly haircut I can see plants from my garden are infiltrating, left much longer and it would become a meadow of lychnis coronaria, aquilegia and anthriscus. Right now its a quagmire.
and, another word from the vsd who has an absolute passion for used socks
And the faithful Spotted dog, looking embarrassed after hoovering up a bundle of Ratsack pellets, and the subsequent very expensive visit to the vet