|Cantilevered patio in the old Sunset Demonstration Garden (photo by William Chrisman Aplin).|
Back in 1959 the L. A. Arboretum opened a landscape demonstration garden in conjunction with Sunset magazine. Located just behind the administration building, it contained small, packaged idea gardens that helped inspire do-it-yourself homeowners. Here are some color photos of the garden taken in the 60's and 70's by William Chrisman Aplin, a photographer who worked for Sunset Magazine. It was designed with the help of some fairly well known landscape designers, including Edward Huntsman-Trout.
|The Courtyard Garden in the demonstration garden, designed by Nick Williams.|
In 1998 Sunset Magazine funded a re-do of the Demonstration Garden. It was not so much an idea garden for do-it-yourselfers as it was a collection of well designed garden vignettes. It featured designs by several well known landscape designers. Although Sunset Magazine no longer sponsors the garden (it has been renamed the 'Celebration Garden' and is used for parties and weddings, including the wedding of yours truly), it is still a beautiful destination and inspiration for both do-it-yourself gardeners and landscape designers. One of the more compelling areas in the garden is the Meditation Garden designed by the late well known local garden designer Lew Watanabe. It features a weeping wall, a granite fountain that is comprised of rough granite blocks with a thin film of running water gently cascading down them.
|Lew Watanabe's weeping wall fountain.|