Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo Essay: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA

The botanical garden on the UCLA campus is probably not quite so hidden, per se, but it's not such a big tourist destination, either.



Unlike the more popular, expansive, and serene gardens of Descanso and Huntington, or even the Los Angeles Arboretum, the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is a decidedly urban oasis...



...replete with vandalized bamboo stalks and napping homeless by the water features.



In fact, despite the desert species and California native plants...



...following its paved walkways on an overcast day made me feel like I was in New York more than I ever have in the over two years since moving to LA.



Despite the poppies.



It feels a bit like Central Park's Ramble...



...but it's quiet...



...without the sound of traffic, somehow sheltered from nearby Wilshire Boulevard.



The only trumpets here are pink flowers...



...not buskers.



There are pink powderpuffs, too...



...perennial purple Iochroma grandiflora...



...blue bugloss...



...and scarlet bottlebrush.



Usually when ambling around a botanic garden, I stick with the flowers and the succulents...



...skipping the trees...



...but here, I was drawn to the varieties of eucalyptus...



...including the cracked, spotted gum...



...whose surface peels like old, dry paint.



It's like you've been transported to Australia, right there with the Queensland Bottle Tree...



...and the Prickly Paperbark...



...whose layered bark peels paper thin...



...showing its age right there on the surface...



...for fingers through which to leaf and count.

To Like Avoiding Regret on Facebook, click here.