But that doesn't bother
Johnson said he anticipated an insect incursion when creating his sculpture, "Five Elements," which he designed for a competition in
"There is a bee door for a beehive," said Johnson of the work, which blends the geolithic stackings of Stonehenge with the architectural form of a Japanese lantern.
Johnson's sculptures, which are subtly Asian in feeling and form, provide an elegant foil for the Quarryhill garden, which features 20,000 rare, endangered and wild-origin plants grown from seed gathered all over
"Many of these plants are on the verge of extinction, and people look at this garden as a Noah's Ark of species," said
In staging the exhibit, Johnson enlisted the help of Bionic, a
While the Quarryhill property totals 62 acres -- including 16 acres of organic cabernet sauvignon vineyards -- the wild garden rambles over 25 acres, roughly in the shape of a rectangle. The six sculptures are clustered together along a route that takes about 15 minutes to walk.
"The landscape architect asked, 'How do you organize a show in the garden?'?" Johnson said. "We looked for unique sites with different characteristics, geometry or gestures."
Although the garden is at its peak bloom in the spring, it offers enough variety to provide interesting color all year round, and there are lots of hidden nooks and pathways, picnic areas and water elements to discover.
"Because of the diversity of the terrain, which goes up and down, there's a lot of micro-habitats," McNamara said. "You get surprises around every corner, and new vistas."
Water features include an upper lake and lower lake -- where the former quarry was located -- as well as a waterfall, a lotus pond and a stream that is recirculated so it gurgles all year long.
Now a nonprofit, the garden was launched by the late
In 1987, she decided to start a garden focused on plant conservation, funding the first of 15 seed-collecting expeditions to
Johnson, whose sculptures can be found all over the world, has had several exhibits over the past 15 years at the
Other works can be found at
Working from his home and studio on a remote ridge above
"I live in the redwood quarries, so I work with redwood," he said. "I find a piece and I figure out what has integrity and a presence."
At the Quarryhill installation, a plinth-like sculpture known as "Offering" greets visitors at the entrance to the garden.
"It's a marker and a portal," he said. "You can enter it, and it leads the eye up into the garden."
"Uprising," a dramatic work symbolizing the connection between earth and sky, overcomes gravity by levitating a big copper boulder over a log from which another copper boulder hangs.
"It's empirical engineering," he said of the work's intricate balancing act. "A bolt goes through the entire piece."
"Monkey Mind," a piece that resembles a jungle gym for toddlers, features the abstract head form of a monkey.
"Void," a sculpture that evolved over the past 30 years, is roughly in the shape of a globe, with an empty space in the middle pierced by a pole. It is reminiscent of works by
"It began as a solid convex form, but in 2013, it evolved into a vortex of empty space," Johnson said. "I abandoned it, but resurrected it last year."
Finally, there is "Five Elements," the Stone-Age lantern that pays tribute to wood, known in
The bees have not set up housekeeping yet, but at night, a glass door in the sculpture beckons them inside with a honey-gold light.
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