More from the Huntington Library

I just didn’t get to spend enough time at the Huntington Library. We were probably there for only three to four hours total. The place is HUGE.

One of the massive buildings on the grounds of the Huntington Library.
One of the massive buildings on the grounds of the Huntington Library.

Most of our time we spent at the Desert Garden. However, the grounds have 12 distinct gardens spread over 120 acres.

Versailles comes to Pasadena.
Versailles comes to Pasadena.

Not everything was fabulous. This scene with the grassy sward and the statues seems very out of place, like an imitation Versailles. Plus, how much water does it take to keep this lawn so green, and isn’t there a drought in California? I do like the distant view of the mountains, though.

Sasanqua Camellias
Sasanqua Camellias

There were a few nice Sasanqua Camellias in bloom. However, I had been hoping for masses of blooming Camellias. And aren’t some Camellias supposed to be fragrant? None of these were.

Rose Garden
Rose Garden

We spent some time in the Rose Garden, which I enjoyed.

Roses blooming in December
Roses blooming in December

It was a pleasure to see so many roses blooming in December.

Covered steps lead to the Japanese Garden.
Covered steps lead to the Japanese Garden.

We then headed to the Japanese Garden, though we just walked alongside without going in.

Chinese garden designers like faux barges like this one.
Chinese garden designers like faux barges like this one.

Finally we went to see the Chinese Garden, which was extremely crowded.

I like how the arches create circles when combined with their reflections in the water.
I like how the arches create circles when combined with their reflections in the water.

The Chinese Garden is all about rocks and water, paths and structures.

Willows and water
Willows and water

At this point certain members of our party started agitating for departure. I was disappointed not to see the Subtropical Garden, the Palm Garden, and the Jungle Garden. If we’d had a few more days in LA I would have argued for a second visit.

I realize that this is turning into a grumpy post. Possibly that is because I spent an hour yesterday morning trying to open my car doors that had become frozen shut. Or because the low temperature tomorrow is predicted to be -9F (-23C), with a wind chill of -30 (-34C). Schools will be closed because of the bitter cold. Take me back, California!

Next post: LA’s Original Downtown.


46 Comments on “More from the Huntington Library

  1. Yes, roses in December must be a lovely sight. Stay warm – that sounds like a nasty cold snap you are having.

  2. Dear me Jason, thats properly cold but you did make me laugh this morning with your certain members started agitating… I know that so well. Love what you have shared though, Huntingdon Library looks a wonderful place to visit.

    • Part of travelling with friends and family is dealing with different interests. I have my own moments as an agitator … usually in art museums.

  3. My Camellia japonicas are just starting to open. The temp predicted for tonight is 10 F and then under 25 for the next 3 nights. Not a pretty picture; feeling sad.

  4. Welcome back to the real world. Thanks for all this California Dreamin’. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We are all frozen up here in SW IN.

  5. The rose garden does look fantastic! My dad always says that about golf courses….it makes him so mad that so much water is used to keep the lawns green. And as far as the cold…. I have all beans home today….and yes our garage door was frozen shut! Stay warm!! And thanks for sharing this garden… It is massive!

  6. Glad you got to check out a few other sections of this place. I’m not even a big fan of roses but found their rose garden just lovely. Some camellias are nicely fragrant, only one of my three is though. Stay warm.

  7. There is something so special about Japanese gardens. I guess I picked that up from three years living there. Thanks for sharing the pix.

    • Must have been fascinating to spend that time in Japan. I have a nephew who has lived there for years and just married a Japanese girl.

  8. These are lovely photos. Thank you so much for sharing. Sorry your visit was cut short — maybe a good excuse to go again someday =) Your post made me think a bit about Japanese gardens as winter gardens. They can be a bit underwhelming in the summer compared to the flash of colour found in a cottage garden but a well designed one would sure be a welcome sight when other gardens are at rest.

    • That’s a good point. Usually I’m not a big enthusiast for Japanese gardens, but you’re right they would have a lot to offer during the winter. Assuming I don’t get frostbite walking around.

  9. I had to lobby pretty hard to get to the Huntington but, once there, my group was entranced. Sorry you had to deal with agitators. What about a day when everyone gets to do their own thing? I try not to complain when museum visits seem to drag on…and on…but then I kinda expect equal time.

    • They liked the Desert Garden, but started to get restless after that. I am also pretty terrible about sighing and rolling my eyes a lot when I am bored, so I can’t point fingers.

  10. we’re getting the coldest weather so far now too-really bitter. I wonder whose idea it was to breed the fragrance out of camellias? It’s the same with roses, too. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and when I buy plants I buy the ones that still have their fragrance.

  11. As I was looking through the images, I had the same thought. CA was in a drought, so why is everything so green. I do know they had rains late in the year, but you would think it would still be so parched? Funny on the frozen doors. I could not get into my Jeep today for the same reason. I really was miserable out in that 7° weather tugging on each door.

    • There had been some rain just before we arrived, but they must be doing some intensive irrigation of their lawns, which I thought was prohibited.

  12. Woah – no wonder you are grumpy! I hope you’re ok in that cold. The gardens in this post are such a contrast to the cacti and succulents. Do repeat-flowering roses get to flower all year round in California? Having asked that, I have just remembered that I have one in flower at the moment in England (famed for its Californian sun in January). Ahem. Stay warm and safe.

    • You would think that all flowering plants would need a period of rest, even in California. Perhaps some varieties just bloom in the cooler weather.

  13. What an interesting post!!! I can’t get my head around roses in december!!! How wonderful!
    By some strange co-incidence, I nominated you for the same award as John, above. Lol….no probs re not doing it, two is more than anyone could handle!!!!xxx

  14. I was grumpy when I returned from AZ in early Dec to snow and cold so I understand. What a gorgeous garden…you always seem to find these wonderful spots. 120 acres oh my. I need to visit this spot.

  15. I have found that sasanqua camellias can be fragrant en masse, but if you stick your nose in an individual blossom you will be disappointed. Stay warm!

  16. The garden is lovely for sure, but all that green grass does give me pause. But I wonder how many people feel restored by all that green lushness while everything else is dry and brown.

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