Great Gardens: Sunnylands

The desert has a way
of drawing people back to it Sunnylands is the home
of Walter and Leonore Annenberg It was their winter home The Center & Gardens was added in 2008 The garden was designed to be what I like to call “a gift to the public” It was a way for the public to have access to part of the Annenberg estate Since Eisenhower,
every president except for two has come and visited Sunnylands There have been some significant events that have occurred there,
decisions made and the Trust was tasked
with continuing this legacy So the Center was designed
by Frederick Fisher & Partners and the landscape was designed
by James Burnett It had to be an aesthetic garden,
an art garden so it’s every different
than what people expect in a Botanical Garden Instead, this is a space
that is supposed to be peaceful that is supposed to be welcoming It is lush, which is not always a word that you use with desert gardens It reflects the Annenberg’s collection of Impressionist
and Post-Impressionist art but in this case it’s actual living plants that are representing the paint strokes The Impressionists, they were painting
a brief moment in time They were capturing something
that was going to change an hour or two later,
as the sun moved In our garden, the plants grow, they bloom Plants were selected
based on their color and structure You have the aloes and the agaves,
that are very upward and you have the barrel cactus,
that are round and when you use them in large numbers they do create
this architectural structure that actually fits very well
with a contemporary building but at the same time
playing on that original view of an Impressionist artwork I think James Burnett
really spent a lot of time in thinking about how people
would move through the space There needed to be moments
where they could see the Center and see people and there needed to be moments where they feel like they were
the only ones standing in that garden

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