Immersive Experience

An ‘(Un)natural Garden' to Soon Bloom in SoCal

Nine of artist Adam Schwerner's playfully surreal pieces will grace Descanso Gardens later this spring.

© Art Mafia

What to Know

  • "Your (Un)natural Garden" flowers from April 16, 2022 through Jan. 8, 2023; experiencing the show is included with garden admission
  • Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge
  • Nine large-scale artworks will be placed around the destination's outdoor and indoor spaces

A landscape lush with speckly leaves, tiny shoots, pointy buds, colorful flowers, water elements, and all sorts of buzzing, chirping beings is a location built on a million daily delights.

You may be astonished to see how straight a tulip can stand, or how tall a coastal oak can grow, or how intricate an orb weaver's web can be, and seeing a shrub look a bit different, depending on when you visit, is a reminder that the subtleties of the seasons are always at play.

In fact, you could call a garden a place of play, of surprise, and the wondrous revelations that sometimes border on the weird.

To embrace this more surreal side of its spacious and verdant spread, Descanso Gardens will present artist Adam Schwerner's "Your (Un)natural Garden," an immersive installation blooming at the La Cañada Flintridge destination this spring.

"Play," in fact, is a theme cited by the artist when pondering how guests should interact with the sizable artworks.

"My work deals with many different concepts," said Schwerner. "Societal, psychological, environmental, biographical, philosophical. The current exhibition aims to channel these diverse ideas into a fun and accessible collaboration with visitors."

"You won't see any 'do not touch' signs here. There’s no dress code. And there's an invitation to relax and enjoy. Come play."

"Your (Un)natural Garden" will stay abloom for several months. The nine-artwork event, which opens on April 16, 2022, will remain on view through Jan. 8, 2023. Seeing it? It's included with your garden admission.

Visitors can expect all sorts of strange and splendid sights, from a room festooned with feathery boas, to the "Manor Library," where every book is mysteriously shrink-wrapped.

There are several outdoor pieces, too, including "The Snakeaways," which are "five independent treelike sculptures which act as demarcations for your travel and arch over the path to let you know that you're on the right track."

The indoor/outdoor presentation will unfurl in the Stuart Haaga Gallery, The Boddy House, and around the alfresco pathways.

"We're so excited to be partnering with Adam Schwerner to present 'Your (Un)Natural Garden,'" said Juliann Rooke, Executive Director, Descanso Gardens.

"We love his aesthetic which combines art and landscape to create multi-layered experiences that spark discussion and challenge your perceptions. It’s fascinating to see how the Gardens inform and inspire his work."

For more information on "The (Un)natural Garden," visit the Descanso Gardens site now. By the by, the opening of this installation will follow the destination's marvelous March, where a bloom of over 30,000 tulips is anticipated.

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