I took this photo at an office plaza I worked near yesterday. I’m amazed that the rosemary was given this much leeway by the maintenance crew, which has no doubt been instructed to subjugate and six-pack the rest of the plantings into the usual rank uniformity seen here locally in public spaces. Maybe this dripping rosemary encroaching on sitting areas is a small act of defiance by the maintenance crew, who are possibly just as dispirited about the state of public plantings as I am. Rosemary is by no means a rarity in local public plantings, but allowing it to express its full botanical character in this way certainly is.
In a mediterranean climate where so many coveted plants can thrive, and do so with minimal water, I might add, the lack of excellent public planting displays is really getting on my last nerve. I’m talking about encountering plants outside the many excellent botanical gardens in Los Angeles, which are usually at least a 30-minute car ride away from just about any point you start from. The winter-blooming aloes should be encountered on the way to the grocery store and not just sequestered at the Huntington Cactus Garden, and the aloes should be seen in concert with other plants to display their best features, in season and out of season. You know, garden design. And I’m starting a process to do something about it, tapping into the amazing local design talent (Dustin, can we talk?) and excellent regional plant nurseries. Stay tuned. And if anyone has any stories to tell of their public/private partnerships in furtherance of amping up the volume of local horticulture, I’m all ears.
And be sure to check out MB Maher’s updated website. There’s some familiar images from his work posted here on AGO but lots of new stuff too.