Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Huntington Gardens

Chad's mom gave us a membership to Huntington Gardens, which is right down the street from us, so we activated it Sunday and went for a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens. The property covers 207 acres, of which approximately 120 are landscaped and open to visitors. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in more than a dozen principal garden areas. Among the most remarkable are the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. There is so much to see, a library, art collection, gardens. We will be returning many times to take it all in.

We stared out in the Palm Garden. More than 200 species of the most decorative and botanically interesting palms that will survive Southern California’s cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers grace the hillside just south of the entrance and wrap around two sides of the jungle garden.

The Palm Garden leads into the Jungle Garden, which features a high forest canopy, an understory of trees and shrubs, climbing vines, and leaves of giant proportions. Plants commonly associated with the tropics grow here, including orchids, bromeliads, gingers, ferns, palms, bamboos, and many members of the calla lily family, such as philodendrons.

The Huntington grows more than seventy-five kinds of bamboo. Six species form dense groves and passages around the lily ponds.
The four acres that make up the lily ponds have two large and three small ponds. Then we went through the subtropical gardens and onto the Australian gardens to see lots of beautiful Eucalyptus trees. It was cool and shady.

Occupying nine acres on the slopes of a canyon, this is one of America’s oldest, most elaborate, and gracefully matured Japanese gardens.

There is a bonsai court with an amazing selection of bonsais. They look like miniature versions of old, weathered trees found in nature.

As fascinating and beautiful as the other gardens are, the jewel of the Huntington's gardens is Liu Fang Yuan, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. Opened last year, it covers 3.5 acres of its planned 12-acre footprint. Sheltering woods were left undisturbed to create a natural backdrop and a man-made lake shimmers in the same deep spot where water naturally collected on the Huntington property after heavy rains. Chinese architecture and rocks from China's Lake Tai, placed around the water's edge, are balanced with native features such as California oaks.

The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science featured an orchid show. Gorgeous!

We then stopped in one of the art galleries, the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. There was a beautiful collection of silver. I love old silverware.

My legs were so tired by this time so we decided to come back soon and see some more. What an amazing place!


Desert Rose said...

What a great gift! And you get to keep going back to visit anytime!!!

fernvalley01 said...

That was beautiful! thanks for the tour

storybeader said...

what a great gift. And the gardens are a "rotating" exhibit!

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