|Planting detail at the Getty|
Anonymous goes on to compare with the garden at Norton Simon and the Huntington both of which I agree are superb but very different gardens. He comments on sustainability which of course is a current buzz theme. Putting an appropriate landscape in the correct environment is entirely right and I myself find the rather pathetic spots of highly irrigated seasonal bedding here in Palm Springs totally wrong. Sustainable plantings of desert plants are so much more suitable. Having said that, environmentally correct planting schemes often only use a narrow palette of entirely 'appropriate' plants, ignoring a huge range of wonderful opportunities. Irwin and his team did not limit themselves when designing and developing this garden but used every 'paint in the paintbox'! Yes this is expensive and ephemeral horticulture but it is superbly executed. I recently had the opportunity to see a festival of chalk art; extensive and creative pictures, executed on the blacktop surface of a car park - here today and gone tomorrow but still fun and art. There is nothing wrong with ephemeral in the right context.
|A corner of planting at Great Dixter|
Back in the UK we have gardens like 'Sissinghurst Castle' created by Vita Sackville West and Great Dixter, home of the late Christopher Lloyd. These are very similar to the Getty, full of a huge range of wonderful plants, arranged with great artistry. These are appreciated by thousands of visitors each year who admire the artistry and horticultural skills demonstrated in these plantings.
I guess I'm also waving the flag for horticulturalists and artists, rather than landscape architects of whom I have a poor opinion. I recall once hearing that as part of their training, landscape architects are taught a palette of thirty plants. I guess if that is still so, then they would be unable to appreciate the Garden at the Getty. And I welcome being proved wrong!