Last year, right around this time, I posted about trees with yellow flowers in bloom all around Los Angeles. Well they are at it again. And I’ve discovered that one of the best places to see them is in the lovely garden at the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena. This garden, designed by Nancy Goslee Powers several years ago, is one of the most tranquil and serene places to visit on a hot summer day. You can escape from the baking sidewalks, dust, exhaust and commotion of the street into this cool, leafy refuge and you can even have a sandwich at the little cafe while you are there.
Here you can see Cassia leptophylla and Tipuana tipu trees side by side (or rather, you can see the Tipuana tipus towering over the Cassias), both covered in yellow blossoms that also litter the ground like confetti. A handful of sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore and Maillot sit placidly in strategic spots, seeming to gaze back at you as you wander among them. I can’t imagine a better way to spend an hour if you’re passing through Pasadena.
Although I think the garden is one of the best reasons to visit Norton Simon, they do have a beautiful art collection as well — inside. Norton Simon also happens to be the location of one of my greatest celebrity sightings of all time: Stephen Hawking (many years ago)!
There are many other, wonderful plants here besides the two trees mentioned. I’ll save those details for another time.