Monday, March 1, 2010

Field Trip: The Huntington, Part 3. The Garden's Promise of Spring

February, even in perpetually sunny Southern California, is not the best time to view a garden. And, truthfully, the gardens are not what drew me to visit on this day. My intent was to see the specific exhibit I showed you in my last post. To breeze in and out of The Huntington without focusing on the gardens or other galleries at all. But it had been too many years since my last visit and I was astounded all over again by the sheer size and contents of the place.

Here's the map again to reacquaint you with the scale of the grounds. 120 acres and twelve distinctive botanical gardens. See on the right side where it looks like it's cut off? It is. My scanner bed couldn't capture the whole thing. Within that corner you can't see, is more garden—specifically, the Chinese Garden and a huge Teaching Greenhouse. On this visit, we walked through every garden except the Chinese and the Desert and Lily Pond gardens which are in the opposite corner. In my defense, the place is huge! And as we paused to decide whether to go right through the desert or left toward the exit, it began to rain. So we left, with plans to visit again late in the spring. I can't wait to see how much it's changed by then.
Tea Room in the Rose Garden

Because this time of year is not the gardens' best, I didn't take many photos. Irises and other spring bulbs were just breaking through. Japanese maples and wisteria had only the tiniest hints of buds. Roses had been pruned back but their new red leaves were plentiful—a promise of the blooms to come. For true garden enthusiasts, it is interesting to see the full cycle of things. And I do wish I had snapped the rose garden arbors. Even covered in bare branches they're beautiful. But to give you the best "view" of the gardens today, I'll simply share with you, from The Huntington's website, a glimpse of each. Enjoy!

Eucalyptus grove in the Australian Garden

The Camellia Garden and statuary of the North Vista

Illustration of the Interactive Children's Garden

The Chinese Garden

The Conservatory

The Desert Garden

The Herb Garden

The Japanese Garden

The Jungle Garden

The Lily Ponds

The Palm Garden

The Rose Garden

The Subtropical Garden

That's it! . . . my day at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Thanks for reading along and I hope you enjoyed the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and plan to go back soon. Because the most important thing I learned on this day at The Huntington is this: what a luxury it is to have such a beautiful place so close to home. I realize that I take for granted all of the wonderful places I have nearby to see and experience and learn from. I take for granted that these places will still be there when I get around to going. Do you do the same thing? Put off for another day the beauty and history that's in your own backyard? Tell me about a great place near you that you've put off for later. And, tell me, when will "later" be? I hope for each of us, later comes very soon.

All photos via except: first photo, camellia garden and desert garden are mine, conservatory photo via


the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Tracy,

The place takes my breath away. I try to go at least once every year or two.

You are so right about how much is right in our backyard. I have gotten so afraid of flying these past couple of years. I wonder why? But after spending the weekend in PS we are dedicating ourselves to spend more time getting out and about right in So. Cal. The weather is beautiful and there is so much to see. You are right we take it for granted. Thanks for the post, it was beautiful.


Renae said...

Great your thought provoking questions at the end....of which I have no answer! Come to Georgia and we'll find something fun to do!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a gorgeous place. Those magnificent gardens make me hopeful for Spring, which is a welcome thing on this night when we are expecting another snow!!

Melanie said...

Could you send some of that sunshine and lush foliage my way? I am in need of some!

eddieross said...

Stunning pictures! I so want to be in that Japanese Garden right now! Can't wait to meet you at the Rose Bowl!


pk @ Room Remix said...

So many pretty images! It's beautiful here as far as sunshine and warmer temperatures (for us anyways), but we still have a lot of snow on the ground so this was a beautiful get away for me. Thank you!