Summer Nights in the Garden at L.A.’s Natural History Museum

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Wisps of Dalea greggii with opuntia and ‘Sharkskin’ agave atop the Living Wall.

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Sunset and St. Catherine’s Lace, Eriogonum giganteum

Finally, an opportunity to grab some “magic hour” photos of Mia Lehrer’s entrance garden (former parking lot) at the Natural History Museum. Theoretically anyway. Their Summer Nights in the Garden extends hours from 5-9 p.m. on a few select Friday nights in July and August. Except leaving Long Beach last Friday around 5:30 p.m. landed us in a tar pit of nasty commuter traffic, and in exasperation we ultimately elected to jump off the gridlocked freeway, head for the nearest Metro station, park, grab a train, change trains to the Expo line at Pico, all of which had us arriving too late for photos.

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But you should really go. And start off with the train. The Expo line drops you right at the gate. And light or no light, it was pure summer magic.

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Awaken your senses at the Summer Nights in the Garden at the new NHM with great music, garden-inspired cocktails, hands-on garden and science projects, food trucks and more.”

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The vibrant colors in the habitat-rich “Living Wall” of Pritchard flagstone were muted, but the palo verde trees glowed in the last sliver of light of the day.

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And it’s completely free.

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When we arrived after 7 p.m., the DJ’d party was in full swing.

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The next Summer Night in the Garden will be July 28, and then finally August 11 and 25. Take the Metro to arrive in time for photos of that gorgeous Montana flagstone. And if you don’t have kids, borrow some, because there’s lots for them to do. Or just come and have a drink, grab something from the food trucks or your own picnic basket, chill, listen to the music under the stars. Summer in the city doesn’t get any finer.

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9 Responses to Summer Nights in the Garden at L.A.’s Natural History Museum

  1. And so if you were too late to take these dreamy photos then who did???

  2. Renee P says:

    That combination of Dalea greggii with opuntia and ‘Sharkskin’ agave is gorgeous! As are the rest of the pictures…Loree asks a good question! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Denise says:

    @Loree, thanks for saying so, but they’re kind of dark and I wanted to cover a lot more of the garden, but then the sun was down, bam
    @Renee, there’s an example of a photo I wish I could take, that dalea dripping down the walls.

  4. Kris P says:

    I think you did very well with your photos, even if you arrived later than you’d planned. I laughed aloud at the suggestion to borrow some kids if you don’t have any on hand. Watch out – you may get a lot of calls with baby-sitting requests prior to July 28th.

  5. ks says:

    a million percent better than contrasty mid-day photos Denise. And the low light set the scene -clearly an evening event. I liked your traffic story. Back in the old days I would have just taken Vermont all the way. We liked our ‘surface streets ‘ .

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, ha! The kids were having a great time, which is nice to see.
    @Kathy, we thought about taking the Alameda corridor but figured nothing beats the train if you’re running late…

  7. hb says:

    The Expo goes right there? Hmmm…have to plan a trip!

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Sweet pictures of the golden hour (or few minutes) of a warm SoCal evening in a beautiful garden. Heaven!

  9. The light looks magical, even though the traffic was not so good. And an almost-So Cal crevice garden?!? Very cool rock and plant use.

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