Location #25:

The Garden Path
( Scene #1 of the Summer Musical Montage  )


(A.)  59:52:  We see Mia & Sebastian walking along a rustic garden path, enjoying a bit of nature, here in the City of Angels.

This is Fern Dell, at Griffith Park (which is sometimes spelled as "Ferndell", even on one official sign). 

It's full, formal name is "The Fern Dell Nature Museum", which can be a bit misleading, since there's no museum here ( unless you count the ferns themselves as a living museum ).

Fern Dell is a unique walking path ( or trail ) which winds its way for a half-mile alongside a meandering, spring-fed brook, in a shady mini-valley of lush, green foliage, including numerous types of tropical  ferns, ivy, shady trees and other green plants, in addition to tranquil ponds and a small waterfall.

Coming here for the first time, especially when it's uncrowded, it seems as if you have stumbled across some secret fantasy garden, and in fact, it is a bit of a hidden gem.  I doubt that most Los Angelenos even know it exists, although it is beloved by those who have discovered it.

At times, such as on a cool, misty day, it takes on an almost a magical look to it, like something you might read about in some story book where fairies or elves are hiding nearby...

The title of the John Denver song "Cool an' Green an' Shady", just about describes Fern Dell to a T.


Here is a YouTube video of the Fern Dell trail:




The first ferns were planted here in 1912, and the "wood" (faux bois) handrails and rustic bridges were added in the 1920's.

Granted, the passage of time and periods of neglect have taken their toll.  Parts of the trail are now a little run-down, despite several renovation efforts.  So don't expect perfection. But for the most part, it's still wonderful.

I believe the "La La Land" producers did add the brightly-colored flowers that we see in the clip -- Fern Dell is more about lush ferns and other greenery (although there are a few small flowers there).

Griffith Park is an enormous place, and some of its attractions can be very hard to find or access.  But this isn't one of them.  In fact, it may be the easiest. 

It's right on the southern edge of the park, near the nice residential homes of the Los Feliz neighborhood.   The trail's walkway is even paved.

From the outside, it doesn't look like much.  Just a chain-link fence and a wooden sign.  You certainly wouldn't expect to find a charming garden inside.  But it's there.


Here is a Google StreetView of the entrance to the Fern Dell:




Here's how to reach it: from Los Feliz Blvd, turn north  ( into Griffith Park ) on Fern Dell Drive, and drive a short block, until you come to the first side street (on your left), which is Black Oak Drive.  That northwest corner ( of Fern Dell & Black Oak ) is the entrance to Fern Dell, and it is marked with a wooden sign.  The garden trail is just inside the fence.  ( Curbside parking is available on Fern Dell Drive. )


Here is that very short scene from the montage:



If you're counting, this is the third  location in Griffith ParkThe first was the dance scene to "A Lovely Night".  The second was the Observatory.  And this is the third.








    

Move on to the next movie location seen in "La La Land".

    

"La La Land" and its images are copyright Summit Entertainment
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