Thursday, February 9, 2017

Walking the Pitzer College Campus, part one...

This place, Pitzer College, is why I happened to end up in SoCal the week of January 16th. Andrew had business planned in nearby Covina, when he mentioned the trip my brain thought..."Why not tag along? When else are you ever gonna have the chance to visit an obscure college campus some 20+ miles east of the Los Angeles County Arboretum" (which I'd visited in 2014)...and so it happened.

How did I know about Pitzer? I'd read a story in Pacific Horticulture, back in 2010, and then Gerhard visited on New Years Day in 2016. Of course as usual Denise had been there too, cause she's is in the know about all the cool places and things in SoCal.

After stashing the car I made my way around the parking lot.

Thinking the whole time "I'm drooling over plants in a parking lot!"...

But it was so good!

In case you aren't familiar with Pitzer: Founded in 1963, Pitzer College is a top-ranked liberal arts and sciences college. The College emphasizes environmental and interdisciplinary studies, the arts, humanities and social, behavioral and natural sciences. With approximately 1,000 students, Pitzer College is part of The Claremont Colleges – a unique consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. (taken from their website)

And the reason the grounds look like they were lifted right from the Huntington Botanical Garden? A man named Joe Clements. He managed the Desert Garden at the Huntington for 25 years, before becoming the Arboretum and Grounds Manager at Pitzer.

Nan Sterman, the author of the Pacific Horticulture article, toured around campus with Joe himself, it's a good read if you want to learn more about how the beautiful campus came to be. Since I took hundreds of photos, and I want to share as many as possible with you, I'm going to try to keep my commentary to a minimum. This is a long post, and there's another one on the way tomorrow!

The outward tilt at the top of these Agave parryi leaves was interesting, uncommon to my eyes.

Remember we're still just walking the big parking lot as you enter campus. I haven't even gotten into the "meat" of the campus yet!

Hmmm...

The challenges of gardening with spikes under long needled conifers.

Stressed a little? But beautiful!

With this image I'm actually entering the campus proper, and things are going to get even more interesting!

This Cyphostemma juttae is one of the few plants identified by name on campus, the red print reads "Grapes are not to be eaten"...cause they're poisonous.

Remember this picture, we'll refer back to it in a bit.

Those snowy mountains in the distance reminded me of what I'd left behind in Portland just 24-hrs earlier.

Glow-sticks!

It's all so impeccably maintained — I saw four carts full of workers zooming around and spiffing things up as I strolled the grounds.

It's obvious the students are encouraged to put their mark on the surrounding buildings. Looking at Denise's 2015 post and Gerhard's from 2016 it appears some of the paintings / murals / graffiti stays the same and others continually evolve.

This black board is maybe 250ft from that sign saying the Cyphostemma juttae grapes are not to be eaten. Makes you wonder...

PITZER MULTI-SPECIES NEGOTIATION CENTER
FOR THE ACTIVATION OF DIRECT CROSS SPECIES COLLECTIVE COLLABORATIONS
Leave the Nature/Culture mideset -- All life senses, communicates & co-shapes this world
Give a voice to those who assemble beyond the human
Dismantle enclosures -- Entangle into community

Moving right along...

BTW, I'm intentionally not throwing out names, even though I know a few and could make educated guesses on others. Gerhard did a great job of naming names in his posts (here and here).

Okay, did you get an eyeful? Come back tomorrow for more!

Weather Diary, February 8: Hi 37, Low 35/ Precip 1.01"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

29 comments:

  1. What a cool campus! Love the closeup shot of the Sticks on Fire. And the Pachypodiums! I seem to have developed a real love for them. I like the simple text signs too.

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    1. This collection of Pachypodium kind of blew my mind. They were so sculptural! I want a couple of 3 ft tall ones now.

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  2. Wow. I ooohed and ahhhed over every picture. You must have been in heaven, Loree. From the signs, they put the liberal in liberal arts. I'm all for that.

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  3. By the way, I'm working on my Danger Garden post now.

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    1. Ha! I read this thinking "Her danger garden post? What the heck?"...ah! from the 2014 Fling! Thanks Helen, it was a really great read. You make it sound like I know what I'm doing!

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  4. :: Dismantle enclosures ::

    Excellent slogan!

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  5. Oh Loree, your photos are so beautiful, now I want to go back! I hope Pitzer students truly appreciate how special their campus is.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, me too...on both accounts!

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  6. It is stunning. Had to even think of it as a campus. Right there in the parking lot I was ready to enroll just based on that one spot. Any place that puts that kind of thought, effort and money into landscaping must have some terrific classes, no matter the subject. And I am going to try to remember to use "entangle into community" as my new life plan.

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    1. I was thinking the same, about the classes. I considered walking through a couple of the buildings to eavesdrop, but I couldn't tear myself away from the garden.

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  7. Wow! So many cool plants! I'm afraid that if we dismantle our enclosures, the rain will get our furniture all wet:)

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  8. The colors used on the buildings create a perfect backdrop. Oh, the Sticks On Fire'! No matter how much PNW sunshine mine gets, it never bursts into flame like that. But then, none of these plants would look like THIS up here (a good reason for leaving off names and just letting us soak up the beauty without indulging in acquisitiveness).

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    1. So true Ricki! They'd all be ugly mush here. In my experience part of getting the sticks to burn is to keep them dry, it's a stress response.

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  9. LOL, I can picture you drooling in the parking lot ... and all the way through the campus. What a wonderful collection of plants they have, and arranged so expertly! This reminds me of my trip to San Diego last year, and how I need to revisit the photos for a new post (and a dose of warm sunshine). Thanks for this cheery glimpse of it!

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    1. Isn't it nice to have warm sunny photos to "take us back" just when we need it most?

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  10. This may be the best - and most appropriately - landscaped campus I've ever seen. I have to get out that way someday.

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    1. You do! The Rancho Santa Anna Botanic Garden is just up the road a bit. Plan time to see them both, with a shopping stop at the Armstrong's in between!

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  11. Fabulous. I need to get there. Claremont gets very hot in summer. It is usually around 20 degrees hotter there than at my house.

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    1. 20 degrees? That's a little extreme. I wonder if they have summer classes?

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  12. That is just fantastic. Really looking forward to more photos. I think that I've seen one or perhaps all three of the sources that were your visit inspiration. Wow. I am just reeling at the healthy, beautiful, amazing plants/gardens.

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    1. It's even better in person, if you ever find yourself near...

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  13. so excited to see your post. I went to Pomona College (last century) and yet I always found myself wandering up to Pitzer to get lost in the landscape of that campus. I used to make it a date destination - a good way to weed out anybody who didn't see the beauty and get at least a little geeky. It really looks better than ever. THANKS for posting.

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    1. Ha! I love this, so much. "Sutter I thought you were dating Julie?"..."Ya, but then I took her to Pitzer and...." So of course my question is, has Anna been to Pitzer?

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  14. "Thinking the whole time 'I'm drooling over plants in a parking lot!'..."

    I chuckled at that. You're forgiven. That's no ordinary parking lot! To say nothing of the rest of the campus.

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  15. Great post! Kudos to Pitzer College!

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