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SoCal’s public gardens

The Children’s Garden at Our Lady of the Angels includes animal sculptures created by a children’s book artist and shaded by biblically significant olive trees. (Spencer Weiner/ Los Angeles Times)
A view of the cathedral’s Japanese maple in the meditation garden. (Spencer Weiner/ Los Angeles Times)
At the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, artisans from Suzhou, China, helped to create an authentic Chinese scholar garden. Here the Jade Ribbon Bridge and Pavilion of Three Friends stand in the foreground. (Annie Wells/ Los Angeles Times)
Chinese gardens are known for their artfully framed views. Here the “moon gates” of the Jade Mirror terrace were carefully placed to enclose the scene beyond. (Annie Wells/ Los Angeles Times)
The Garden of Flowing Fragrance is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Pictured, an afternoon view of the Jade Ribbon Bridge, made of granite. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Kirby Galli (right), Dave Cline and his son Vincent regularly visit Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge to take a breather from their yard-less North Hollywood condo. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Sunflowers at Descanso Gardens. Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’. Yellow tends to be the dominant color in these plants, largely because bees and butterflies -- natural pollinators -- are drawn to the brilliant hue. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
A small garden of ranunculus flowers and tulips greet visitors near the entrance of Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. (Robbin Goddard / Los Angeles Times)
An authentic “snow-viewing lantern” at the Japanese Garden at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
The man-made Meyberg Waterfall at the L.A. County Arboretum. Though visitors can view the waterfall from several points by utilizing a walkway that zigzags up the hill, the most dramatic viewpoint lies at the bottom, where the water cascades over rocks and into a pond. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The Oleander Walk at Ranchos Los Alamitos in 1928. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1927 as a strong lineal walk paralleling the Geranium Walk, the Oleander Walk contains a few simple common plant materials. (Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation)
The Oleander Walk at Ranchos Los Alamitos present day. Since 1986, the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation has been painstakingly restoring these gardens according to historic photos. (Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation)
The meditative gardens of Pacific Palisade’s Lake Shrine. A visitor exults in front of a portion of Gandhi’s ashes, resting in a 1,000-year-old Chinese sarcophagus. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)