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Gardens

Aerial view of the Central Garden, at the heart of the Getty Center.

The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The 134,000-square-foot design constantly changes as plants grow, are trimmed, and new plants are added.

View of the ravine and tree-lined walkway in the Central Garden.

A natural ravine and tree-lined walkway traverses a stream that winds through a variety of plants, leading the visitor through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents.

View of the bougainvillea arbors in the plaza of the Central Garden.

The walkway descends to a plaza where bougainvillea arbors provide scale and a sense of intimacy. Across the plaza, the stream cascades over a stone waterfall or "chadar," into a pool with a floating maze of azaleas.

Close-up of a native California poppy in bloom.

New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin's statement "Always changing, never twice the same" is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art.

Image of visitors rolling down the grassy hill in the Central Garden.

A common activity on the Central Garden lawn is to roll down the hill.

The Central Garden at the Getty Center is an evolving work of art, with tree-lined walkways that lead visitors through extraordinary sights, sounds, and scents.

More than 500 varieties of plant material are used in the landscaping of the Central Garden.
See a list of plants used in Central Garden at the Getty Center. (PDF, 1p., 36KB)

The Getty Center features several gardens and fountains, and landscaping for public enjoyment, including a cactus garden at the South Promontory, fountains in the Museum Courtyard and the Tram Arrival Plaza, shaded hideaways, and spectacular views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and Los Angeles.

In an effort to conserve water during California's drought, the Getty has turned off our water features.

The Central Garden

Read articles on the Getty's online magazine, The Iris, about the Central Garden.

The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center.
The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center.

The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents.

The walkway traverses a stream that winds through a variety of plants and gradually descends to a plaza where bougainvillea arbors provide scale and a sense of intimacy. Continuing through the plaza, the stream cascades over a stone waterfall or "chadar," into a pool with a floating maze of azaleas. Specialty gardens encircle the pool. All of the foliage and materials of the garden have been selected to accentuate the interplay of light, color, and reflection.

The natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor to a central clearing.
The natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor to a central clearing.

Irwin began planning the Central Garden in 1992, as a key part of the Getty Center project. Since the Center opened in 1997, the Central Garden has evolved as its plants have grown and been trimmed. New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin's statement "Always changing, never twice the same" is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art.

The plaza in the Central Garden features bougainvillea arbors.
The plaza in the Central Garden features bougainvillea arbors.
  • Daily Tours

    See a schedule of daily art, architecture, and garden tours.