Los Angeles Gardens: The New Getty

getty museum gardens los angeles

1. Getty Garden, 2. Garden, Paul Getty Museum, LA, 3. Getty Garden, 4. Getty gardens

I am making plans for a trip to LA and trying to come up with our list of things that we will see.  My in-laws live in LA, so going there is not new, but I always try to check out something new.  Seeing as I have been there many times, something new is becoming increasingly hard to find.   So this year I am planning to revisit at least one old favorite – The New Getty.  The last time I was there, was about 6 years ago – so I am thinking it will be kinda new.   The art museum is lovely, exciting and interesting, but the gardens and view are reason enough to go.  If you are in LA, it is a must see for all garden enthusiasts.

view of downtown LA los angeles from Getty museum

image by PGraphx

If you haven’t been to the Getty, you should make a reservation and make a trip.  It sits high above LA and the views (on a clear smog free day) are amazing.  The museum itself is a work of art, filled with art and surrounded by stunning gardens.

succulents at the getty museum gardens

1. Garden @ The Getty, 2. Getty Center Zen garden

(Aeonium swartzkoph and Festuca glauca – above right – has to be one of the coolest plant combos I have seen lately)

The gardens have a little of everything you want in a great public garden — but with a twist….a maze — though this one is in the middle of a water feature — and largely inaccessible……

maze at the getty garden in los angeles.
1. Getty Gardens, 2. Getty Garden Maze, 3. Getty Garden Maze, 4. Getty Center Garden

…cool sculpture….
The gardens also have these beautiful and memorable tree shade sculptures that are frames for bougainvillea to grow.

image by by Rick O! BOUGanvilla treeS AT THE GETTY MUSEUM IN LOS ANGELES

image by Rick O!

…And lots of great details….

garden details from the getty museum in los angeles
1. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2. Getty Museum, 3. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 4. Concave Fountain, Getty Museum Gardens

I don’t actually remembering seeing this fabulous roof garden last time I was there, so I will be on the lookout for this view when we visit.

cactus garden roof at the getty museum in los angeles

by HopenSmiles

chicken and hen at getty garden in los angeles

by Mark and Annie

This water feature actually looks like a painting to me (there is admittedly some really cool photography going on) Would you agree? The design is really stunning. This is another feature that I don’t remember….so I will be trying to figure out what that is in the water….

water garden at getty museum in los angeles

by jody9

the getty garden

by flaghighdrive

robert irwins design getty museum garden los angeles

by jeeno_29
So this is first on my list of must see garden places for LA….but if you know of any more, I would love to hear about them.  I want to make the most of this trip (Seriously, disneyland is great, but we have like 12 days and how many days can you spend at an amusement park?)What are your favorite garden destinations in Southern California?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Kat White on November 8, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I always enjoy the Huntington Library and the Los Angeles Arboretum.

    • rochelle on November 9, 2009 at 6:27 am

      Ohh Huntington library is a favorite of mine too….the restaurant in the gardens also has (in my opinion) the best afternoon tea this side of the Ritz in London. I’ll have to check into the LA arboretum though, that is a new one….

  2. michelle d. on November 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

    The Norton Simon Museum gardens is one of my favorite gardens in LA.
    It was designed by Nancy Goslee Powers, who coincidentally just published a new book called the Power of Gardens.

    Another very cool garden is the Peace Awareness Labyrinth Gardens @ 3500 W. Adams Blvd
    I love the lower level Balinese meditation garden with all its different water features .

    You must check out Thomas Schoos Design Atelier in West Hollywood. Google his website and you’ll get the vibe.

    If you’re into mosaics on a grand acid trip kind of way, you have to check out the home and studio of Gonzalo Duran in Venice. Absolutely EVERYTHING is covered in mosaics, everything ! 1116 Palms Blvd.

    And last but not least if you are interested in some really fantastic garden accroutements, then there is no better place than Berbere Imports, a wholesale to the trade emporiums for the crazed garden decorating collector. 3049 S. La Cienega in Culver City. Bountiful Buddhas, huge clay pots, Egyptian and Middle Eastern Ceramic tiled fountains, and more more more !

    have a great time !

    • rochelle on November 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      michelle — thank you thank you thank you…I am so looking forward to checking out some of these great places!!

  3. Fern @ Life on the Balcony on November 9, 2009 at 3:46 am

    I’m not really a fan of the collections at The Getty, so other than visit Van Gogh’s Irises, I mostly visit to see the gardens, architecture, and views. They are, in my opinion, one of the best things created in LA in a long, long time. Not sure if I mean that as a compliment to The Getty or an insult to LA.

    Oh, and I second Michelle’s recommendation of the Norton Simon. I love both the collection and the gardens. If you like paintings from the post-impressionist period forward, you’ll love what the Norton Simon has to offer inside. And Michelle has already done a great job describing how nice the outside is. If you haven’t already spent a lot of time in Old Town Pasadena, the whole area around the NS is a great place to explore.

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