Friday, April 29, 2022

Visiting LA's Natural History Museum; inside the wall

On Wednesday we started a tour of the garden at LA's Natural History Museum, arbitrarily drawing a line at what was on view publicly—that is without paying admission—vs. what you see once you've bought a ticket and walked in the gate.

These Opuntia ficus-indica were growing in the edible garden, part of the gardens inside the gate. There was filming going on nearby during my visit, so I tried to stay out of camera range while still admiring those big pads and...

...the papaya growing above.

Also of interest in the edible garden, the large rusty-metal forms on which various plants were (or could be) growing.

Our visit was on November 15th, this structure may have been covered with annual vines in season?

These were my favorite, they were vaguely reminiscent of the Robert Irwin arbors seen at the Getty Museum.

But this style offered all sorts of opportunities for hanging plants...

Walking on I several signs about their hummingbird garden...

... and right on queque I was divebombed by several of these adorable little terrors.

Senna artemisioides, a plant I tried to grow, but failed at. Isn't it dreamy?

There was a nice little pond.

And a simple arty "fence" surrounding it.

There was a lot to love over in the "get dirty" zone.

Including structures meant to engage nature.

And ones meant for kid-play.

I'm got to try your patience by ending this post with even more living wall photos, because it turns out it's a two-sided wall!
And it's just so good that it deserves as many photos as possible!
It would have been fun to be able to walk on the top of the wall, a pathway snaking along the center of the plantings. It's probably a bit of an insurance nightmare though.

Dudleya seemed to love the wall, after all it mimics their rock growing nature.

I first thought this was a senecio, but it's actually another dudleya.

This cool-business! Eriogonum fasciculatum, aka California buckwheat.

That's what the sign said, and when I asked online (sure that the sign was wrong) that's what I was told by those who would know.

I'm still scratching my head over that one.

If you're curious to learn more about the interesting series of gardens at the Natural Hisory Museum, there is a fantastic chapter on them in the book Under Western Skies, written by Jennifer Jewell and photographed by Caitlin Atkinson. 

Of course you should also consider visiting when you're in the area.

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Visiting LA's Natural History Museum; outside the wall

Last November Andrew and I spent a week in the Los Angeles area and one of our stops was the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Andrew had been before, but this was a first for me. I was spurred to visit by folks telling me they had a great garden and photos I'd seen online and in print.

Today's post looks at the wonderful gardens available to everyone who passes by, outside the wall—no ticket required—like this purple vining flower. I have no clue what it is, but the ants loved it.

These big guys were dueling out at the main corner, near the entrance. 

Drama queens trying to take the focus off the agaves!

It didn't work though, at least not for my eyes.

Doesn't the museum complex look a little like a prison building? Agaves would be the perfect perimeter planting there too.

They're so big, and so beautiful!

This guy was labeled Evan's Philodendron, Phildendron x evensii. Did my friend Evan leave his philodendron in LA?

This was the main attraction for me, the living wall. 

I've seen many photos, and it was even better in person.

Well, I should say the wall and the plants in, on, above, and around—the whole thing was just so very well done.

Agave shawii

Agave sisalana (bottom)

And so many Agave victoriae-reginae!

A pair of Dasylirion wheeleri make a nice screen for the agave behind.

Agave 'Sharkskin'

Walking along the side of the museum complex now, and admiring the fruit of the Ceiba speciosa tree.

Tropical hibiscus.

Looking east across the Exhibition Park Rose Garden towards the Alexander Science Center School. Naturally the plants escaping the roofline were of much interest, although we didn't make it over to see what it was all about.

Agave 'Blue Flame', I believe.

And Agave 'Blue Glow'...

Beauty in numbers.

Living under the shadow of a couple tall fir trees and a pine tree next door I appreciated this mess. 

On Friday I'll share photos of the garden you see once you pay your entry fee and pass through the gate, but these final few photos were again taken on the public side of the wall, after a full day of exploring. I was waiting to meet Andrew back by the car (he has more museum energy than I do).

I was just hanging out soaking up the sun and again appreciating the wall...

When I spotted a few small lizards moving about.

I love the lizards.

They love the warm stone.

Such cuties!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.