A Painting Comes to Life

Inspired by Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s world-class collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, the nine-acre desert art gardens at Sunnylands contain 1.5 miles of walking trails and more than 70 species of native and arid-adapted plants from North and South America, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

The Office of James Burnett,  an award-winning landscape architecture firm, designed the gardens with horticultural consultant Mary Irish. The gardens opened to the public in March 2012.

Burnett’s signature designs are habitable and sensitive, with shade, quiet, and natural elements that appeal to the senses.  At Sunnylands, palo verde trees and the yellow blooms of damianita ring a grassy oval; and twin reflecting pools filled with river stones flank the rear windows of the Center and its patios. To the west, a labyrinth winds through wedelia (Sphagneticola trilobata) to create a contemplative and quiet space, while a wildflower field in the northeast section of the gardens showcases desert flora in a more natural setting.

This site offers users the opportunity to learn more about the plants they see in the gardens, such as their common and scientific names, and other botanical information.

Questions and comments may be sent to education@sunnylands.org.