Bel Air’s Japanese Garden (it’s amazing)
After three and a half years of litigation with Hannah Carter’s children, UCLA and the UC Regents have settled the lawsuit about the preservation of the Japanese Garden, which is just off Belagio Rd in Bel Air, Los Angeles. They agreed to sell the adjacent home and the garden as a package and to require the buyer (and subsequent owners) to maintain it for at least 30 years.
A place of natural beauty and quiet retreat in the Los Angeles community of Bel-Air, the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is modeled on the gardens of Kyoto. The beautiful hillside garden was designed by noted Japanese garden designer Nagao Sakurai in 1959 and constructed between 1959 and 1961. It is recognized as one of the finest examples of Japanese gardens in Americas and was donated to the University of California in 1964.
Inside the garden is the most beautiful display of winding paths and waterfalls perched throughout magnificent stone displays. Many of the gardens houses and bridges where built in Japan and reassembled in California. Plants inside the garden include varieties that only grow in Japan, such as certain apricot, magnolia, maple and plum trees.
As part of the new settlement however, there are no requirements that the new owners reopen the garden to the general public. Let’s remain hopeful that there might be a chance this retreat will be available to the general public, because it is a site that is worth seeing in one’s lifetime.