On November 30, 2011, Pasadena and the surrounding area endured one of the worst storms to hit the area in decades.  With hurricane force winds ripping through the San Gabriel Valley, trees toppled, houses were damaged and power was lost to thousands of homes. 

For me, it was my very first night living in my new rental home in Altadena.  My California sister likes to blame the storm on me, “It’s all nice and calm and then you move into the neighborhood and we have a storm like any other.  I have lived here for forty years and this never happened. You live here one day and look what happens.”

So here we are, a year later, and we are still talking about the storm.  The LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Arcadia decided to do more than just talk about the storm on the one year anniversary, they are having an Art Exhibit in its honor.

“Forces of Nature” is an exhibition of art created from the trees that fell during the 2011 windstorm.  With over one hundred artists participating, the Arboretum is using this exhibit to raise funds for their tree fund and the opportunity to replant what was lost in the storm.  There is a silent auction and hundreds of art pieces for sale.  The exhibit is being held today and tomorrow in the Hall.

Personally, I haven’t been here in months.  I used to come here every weekend with my GCC classes.  But after the storm, it was sad to see all the damage.  But today, I was amazed by all the improvements that they have been. 

When you first enter the gardens, just off to the right, they have a whole new area with garden ideas for your own backyard as well as their vegetable garden and different new gardening projects.  This was my first time seeing the completed area and it is beautiful.  I would usually just go off toward the lake, the rose gardens and the waterfall but I am very glad that I decided to explore new areas.  I can’t wait to see what else they have in store with the funds that they raise from the Forces of Nature exhibit.