California Scenario – A Garden by Isamu Noguchi

Part of the installation California Scenario by Noguchi

One of the reasons I homschool the kids is to give them experiences that they wouldn’t get if they were in a classroom five days a week. One of these experiences is the appreciation of art. I try to take them to a museum, an art show, or a studio about once a month. My hope is that these experiences will stay with them throughout their lives and influence the adults they become.

Energy Fountain

Today I decided, on a whim, to take them to a sculpture/garden right in our neck of the woods. I am embarrassed to say that I have never been there, but I had heard about it, and I thought why not check it out. I am so glad we did!

The Forest Walk

California Scenario is truly a hidden gem in Southern California. It is situated between office buildings and restaurants, with the 405 right behind it. We almost couldn’t find it, as there is only one sign designating the street it is on and nothing else. The street dead-ends into a parking garage, and so I decided to park there. We still had no idea where to go, but we found the nearest elevator and went down to the ground level figuring a garden must be down there.

The elevator let us out right onto the garden. I knew immediately that this was not a typical “garden” but more of an outdoor art installation. There are no signs designating the area, or giving any background. It is just there to be discovered and enjoyed.

Enjoying Water Use

When we got home I researched this hidden gem and found out it was created by artist Isamu Noguchi and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom. The garden ” suggests an outline of the vastness and diversity of California. With redwoods and cacti, among other indigenous plantings, the garden transports visitors to terrains ranging from the High Sierra to the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park. Noguchi gave the design elements in the garden evocative and allegorical titles such as Land Use, The Desert Land, The Forest Walk, Energy Fountain, Water Use, and Water Source. The masterwork of the garden, Spirit of the Lima Bean, is a seven-foot-high granite sculpture made from seven boulders that fit together as tightly as those of the stone walls at Sacsayhuamán, near the ancient city of Cuzco in Peru.”*

Decca in front of the Spirit of the Lima Bean.

If you are ever in Orange County take a moment and check out this hidden gem. You will be so glad you did.

The Desert Land

*Noguchi: California Legacy. Retrieved from

9 thoughts on “California Scenario – A Garden by Isamu Noguchi

  1. Hi there,

    I just found your blog through a series of links that started at “the secular” page. I was hoping you might answer a question or two that I have regarding home schooling if you don’t mind? I am considering home schooling my six and half year old son but I do not want to pursue a religious based curriculum should I decide to commit to this venture. Are there any secular curriculums you might suggest as good options? There are so many options out there that it’s overwhelming, although far fewer when I narrow it down to a secular curriculum, still it’s daunting though.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Oh, are you located in California by chance? Your photos look like California or perhaps Arizona. I’m a California native living in Illinois anxiously awaiting our move back to California in another two years. Your pictures remind me of home. 🙂

    • Yes we are in California, although I have family in Indiana, so we are in the midwest often too.

      As far as curriculum I would look into MBTP, Time4Learning, or anything from Peace Hill Press. It really depends on the kind of learner your child is and what you want for them. When my kids were 6 they did a math program (math-u-see), a phonics program (Explode the Code), and we read. And read. And then read some more. 🙂

  2. Okay, I just read your entire post and now feel rather foolish, so you do live in California, my neck of the woods too. I’m from Orange County as well. Great post, I will have to check out the garden upon my next visit back home.

  3. Wow, wish we lived close to a garden like this one. We are in CA too but 400+ miles away. Must remember to look up this location if we drive south again. Glad you guys had a good time!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Update | TAD Town

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