Friday, February 17, 2012

A living umbrella

We've all seen the bougainvillea trees (or are they sculptures, or trellises, or maybe shade structures....?) at the Getty Center, or if you haven't, you should go soon. The gardens and grounds are wonderful! I'm sure the art is great, too, but in my three visits there, I've always spent too much time wandering the grounds and haven't made it inside yet.

I love the idea of a trellis that takes the place of a tree in the landscape, and I don't think it has to go as far into the realm of sculpture to still be captivating. Take the lower photo of an umbrella that has a Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus, I think) as an example (sorry but I don't have a credit for this design. If someone knows where it comes from, please tell me in the comments). Seen from the second story looking down, this must be magical, or if the vine was a few inches longer, it would hang down and show off it's flowers to the people sitting under it. I think the Coral Vine is a smart choice because it can handle the full sun above the umbrella and the shade beneath it.

© Kate Wiseman 2010. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit for more info.