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23rd Annual General Meeting
Pasadena, California
26 to 29 October 2017

General Assembly    Pre-AGM Tour     Post-AGM Tour     Registration    Books and Book Reviews

AGM Programme of Events

Thursday 26 October
19.00 to 22.30 - Registration and Welcome Reception

The main programme begins at the USC Pacific Asia Museum in the early evening with a brief stage-setting talk by a leading California expert, journalist, and teacher, Nan Sterman* and a welcome reception in the courtyard garden, with members of the Southern California Advisory Board, noted garden writers, designers and other garden aficionados. The museum galleries and shop will be open.

Friday 27 October
Visits to the Arlington Garden, LA Arboretum, the Norton Simon Museum and selected private gardens

The Arlington Garden is a waterwise garden that celebrates Southern California’s mediterranean climate. Inspired by Jan Smithen’s book Sun-Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style, this three-acre garden was first planted in the summer of 2005. Always open, it shows visitors and passers-by how beautiful, water-conserving, practical and satisfying a well-planned and maintained climate-appropriate garden can be.

The LA Arboretum’s 127-acre site includes outstanding and diverse plant collections from far and wide, natural water features, varied topography and views internal and external and a comprehensive library open to the public. It also incorporates echoes of Native American residents including Tongva tribal huts or wickiups, of Spanish colonists and at least one 19th century tycoon, as well as a Coach Barn, the Reid-Baldwin Adobe, a train depot and the Queen Anne Cottage. Lunch will be provided by the Peacock Café. 


Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Norton Simon Museum showcases - among other superlative works - portraits by Rembrandt, paintings by Raphael and Van Gogh, works by Degas, and an important collection of Indian and South-East Asian sculpture spanning over 2,500 years. Our first focus is the sculpture garden designed by Nancy Goslee Power* in the late 1990s. A naturally shaped pond is bordered by varieties of daylilies, bog plants and pond plants. We’ll see weeping Montezuma cypress near the pond’s edge, a grove of tulip poplars in the café area, eucalyptus and Moreton Bay fig near the rear of the pond, a grove of Mexican sycamores in the walkway to the main entrance and spectacular goldenrain trees near the main entrance. Plants and trees flower throughout the year. Museum sculptures have been sensitively placed about the grounds.


Private garden in Pasadena

Private gardens in and around Pasadena - we shall visit a variety of special private gardens. The owners are actively involved in their gardens and will talk about them and how they have responded to Southern California’s recent six-year drought and local water restrictions. We are delighted that they are generously sharing their gardens with us.

Friday evening will be free to explore the many restaurants in Old Pasadena. Distances from recommended hotels are short, and Uber is an easy way to get around. Restaurant suggestions will be provided.

Saturday 28 October
Morning, Natural History Museum, Light Breakfast

We begin at the Natural History Museum in downtown Los Angeles (about 10 miles south-west of Pasadena) in a beautifully renovated 100+-year-old building, housing the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States with nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts covering 4.5 billion years of history. Our focus here is the splendid 3.5-acre Nature Gardens, where we will have a light breakfast and well-guided tours of the gardens. Designed by Mia Lehrer and Associates in close collaboration with NHM staff and opened in 2013, the gardens are an ever-changing, year-round nature experience in the heart of Los Angeles, a place of discovery where visitors of all ages can engage in citizen science projects with NHM scientists and educators. Over 600 kinds of plants, both native to California as well as from other dry-climate regions of the world, were planted to create wildlife habitat and to demonstrate how Angelenos can garden more harmoniously with nature. The gardens are part of the museum’s transformation into an indoor/outdoor destination that advances NHM’s mission to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds.


Natural History Museum Garden

Afternoon, Getty Center - Lunch on your own at the Getty Center and Westside Private Gardens

Then, moving to the west side of Los Angeles (about 25 miles west of Pasadena), we shall see several outstanding private gardens and the Getty Center. Part of the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts, the Getty Center, atop a high hill in Brentwood with broad views over the Los Angeles landscape, is a building complex designed by Richard Meier, opened in 1997. Docents will show us the Central Garden, designed by noted light and air artist Robert Irwin, with free time to visit the Getty Museum galleries and other Getty Center gardens, and to partake of light refreshments (on our own) at the several museum cafes.

We shall return to Pasadena and the evening will be free.


Getty Center

Sunday 29 October
The General Assembly

The General Assembly will start at 10:00 at the Huntington Gardens. Afterwards, lunch will be provided for those registered for the AGM programme of events. We may visit the Huntington gardens and galleries freely and there will be guided tours of selected gardens. Founded in 1919 as the residence and working ranch of Henry Huntington, today The Huntington features an extraordinary library of rare books and manuscripts, extensive and varied art collections, including comprehensive collections of 18th and 19th century British and French art, 17th-21st-century American Art and 120 acres with over a dozen specialised gardens arranged within a park-like landscape, including the new California Garden, an extraordinary desert garden, and more.


Desert Garden at The Huntington

The core programme finishes with a festive dinner at Pasadena’s oldest restaurant, which is also California’s oldest Mexican Restaurant. Mijares restaurant is a lively Pasadena institution serving delicious Mexican cuisine and margaritas with the string of mariachis playing for the diners.

* Member of the MGS Southern California Advisory Board.

Cost - AGM Programme of Events

The cost not including accommodation is US $395.00 per person. The cost includes the welcome reception; coach travel to garden visits on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; garden admissions; one light breakfast, two lunches and the gala farewell dinner. Selected restaurants will be suggested for no-hosts dinners.

In addition there is a US $40 per person registration fee, non-refundable in case of cancellation.

Register now

Hotel Information and Prices
Please make you own hotel bookings and mention the Mediterranean Garden Society or MGS for a better rate. 

The Westin Pasadena
191 N Los Robles Ave. Pasadena, CA  91101
+1-626-792-2727
Main hotel for this year’s AGM. Central meeting point for bus departures. Venue for Administrative Committee and AC/Branch Head Meetings. The Westin hosted the 2002 AGM in Pasadena.
US $179 (plus approximately 15% tax) per room per night for one or two persons, without breakfast.
For reservations at Westin Pasadena, reference Mediterranean Garden Society when making your reservation. AGM attendees book directly with Westin Pasadena clicking this link.
If you are planning to stay extra nights, The Westin will try to arrange a good rate for you, however it will be depend on availability. Email Shantelle Gomez 0r call +1-626-304-1403.

Hilton Pasadena
168 South Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
+1-626-577-1000 (fax +1-626-584-3132)
US $209 (plus approximately 15% tax) per room per night for one or two persons, without breakfast.
For reservations at Hilton Pasadena Hotel, reference Mediterranean Garden Society when making your reservation. AGM attendees book directly with Hilton Pasadena by clicking this link.

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