Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

You Asked, We Answered: The Mystery Plant Is…

Spanish flag in the Central Garden at the Getty Center - close-up of foliage

“What’s that?” is a common question in the Central Garden, a place full of exotic and curious plants. “James Cameron must have come here when he was dreaming up Avatar,” I recently overheard a visitor say while pointing to some… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa

Exploring the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

Fruit in the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

A beautiful day and the blooming of spring brought me out of my stuffy cubicle and into the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa. As the sun streamed onto my shoulders, I inhaled the fresh sent of mixed herbs and… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with Us


Friday is National Public Gardens Day, a great excuse to get out there and enjoy our local green spaces. In Los Angeles we have a wealth of fantastic public gardens that appeal to plant geeks and relaxation seekers alike—including Robert… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Ladybugs in the Central Garden

Releasing ladybugs on the azaleas at the Getty Center

Each year we release ladybugs on the jacaranda trees and azaleas to eat aphids during the spring months. We buy them from insectaries that sell them by the thousands. We put water on the foliage before releasing them. When they… More»

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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