Fountains, arbors, reflecting ponds—the Villa's four tranquil gardens feature designs inspired by ancient Roman models and planted with species known from the ancient Mediterranean.
In an effort to conserve water during California's drought, the Getty has turned off our water features.
About 300 varieties of plant material are used in the landscaping of the Getty Villa. See a list of plants used in the Villa's landscaping. (PDF, 1p., 36KB)
Gardens are integral to the setting of the Getty Villa, as they were in the ancient Roman home. Open spaces around the site feature bronze sculptures, fountains, and lush plantings of trees, herbs, and flowers used by the Romans.
The Inner Peristyle provides an intimate resting spot at the center of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Around a narrow reflecting pool sit replicas of finds from the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, including square marble basins and bronze statues depicting women who have come to draw water from a stream.
Outside the Museum entrance lies the Herb Garden, a mosaic of fruit trees and fragrant and colorful annuals and perennials used by the ancient Romans in cooking, ceremony, and medicine.
A small pool of water lilies forms the centerpiece of this quiet spot for strolling and birdwatching.
The Museum's south doors open onto the Outer Peristyle, the largest garden at the Getty Villa. It is adorned with hedge-lined pathways and circular stone benches. Plants favored by the ancient Romans, such as bay laurel, boxwood, myrtle, ivy, and oleander, are planted around a spectacular 220-foot-long reflecting pool. Bronze sculptures, replicas of statues found at the Villa dei Papiri, are placed in their ancient findspots. A peristyle, or covered walkway, surrounds the formal garden and leads visitors past illusionistic wall paintings to spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Beyond the East stair in the Museum lies the East Garden, one of the most tranquil spaces at the Villa. This walled sanctuary is shaded by sycamore and laurel trees and animated by splashing water from two sculptural fountains. Theatrical masks adorn the mosaic-and-shell fountain on the east wall, while sculpted bronze civet heads spout playful streams from the fountain at the center of the space.
See a schedule of daily art, architecture, and garden tours.