Monday, May 5, 2014

Los Angeles ~ The Huntington Library ~ Gardens

The Huntington Library has 14 Garden areas. We are covering less than half of those in the blog simply because you can't tour everything in just one day. On weekdays, when we were there, they are only open from 12-4:30 and on weekends they are only open 10:30-4:30. Such a limited amount of time to tour 120 acres of gardens, much less the art galleries as well! We have already vowed that, when we visit LA again, we will devote two days to the Huntington so we actually see all of these beautiful gardens. (Remember to click on the small photos to see the larger versions!)
 In the previous blogs we covered the conservatory and Chinese Gardens so today I'm going to feature the beautiful Japanese Gardens and the Rose Gardens. We visited in Winter so the gorgeous blooms you would expect in the Japanese Gardens were missing but it's still a very beautiful place to walk.
 Coming in from the Chinese garden you follow the path around through to a wooden walkway which leads past the first waterfall. 
 This leads you up to the upper area and where they display the Bonsai plants. The Ginko trees were yellowing out and made this gate just gorgeous.
 As you take the path around you come to the bottom of the waterfall which is a very popular place to take your family photo. So if you have the chance it makes a gorgeous backdrop.
 There were some flowers here or there in these gardens. It was great to see that the lilypads were in bloom.
 I can just imagine this arbor in Spring filled with blooms. The walkway to the left and right takes you to different parts of the Japanese gardens but this arbor also has benches so you can stop, rest, and enjoy the view.
 If you were to tour the Rose Gardens first and then make your way to the Japanese Gardens this is the first gate you would come to on your walk. Of course I was thrilled to find more stone lions...they look so happy!
 Now turn completely around from the Japanese Gardens gate and you will find the Rose Garden! Fall is a beautiful time to catch the roses blooming and this was the one garden where we were very happy to enjoy all of the flowers. This is also the pathway up to the main house and art gallery.
 Box hedges break up the pathway but also allow guests a way to enter the side rose gardens areas. Each is labeled with the rose common as well as scientific name. There are over 3,000 rose plants in the garden, over 1,200 varieties to discover.
 How lovely it would be to live close enough to pack a picnic and just hang out here for the afternoon. This bench faces the rose garden so you would have a beautiful view for your day.
 And the gardens are a mass of color. I was afraid, being there in early Winter, that we would miss most of the rose blooms but I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm sure there were even more in bloom in October (the height of Fall blooms) but we definitely were treated by thousands of roses still in bloom.
 You may have noticed that, in most of the photos, there are pathways. Lots and lots of pathways. Most of them are very accessible but to tour the gardens you are required to do a lot of walking. Fortunately there are several benches along the way so if you or someone in your party needs to rest you will find lots of places to sit down and enjoy the lovely view.
 The Herb Garden is right off of the Rose Gardens and the smell is simply amazing. The garden is arranged by the use of the herbs planted there. Used in teas, medicines, wines and liquors as well as in cooking and salads, there are many wonderful smelling herbs such as rosemary, sweet bay and lemon verbena that make you want to just hang out and take deep breathes to enjoy this garden even more! Fortunately the Rose Garden Tea Room is right next door to this garden so you can always go have a taste of some of the wonderful food that is made from this garden! 
 I can only imagine getting married here. Wedding photos on this bench surrounded by the roses would be stunning. Even if you get married somewhere else you can still have your wedding photos taken here. However, getting married here is not an inexpensive part of your day. The price tag is 100K for both ceremony and reception and that's site fee only. It doesn't include your catering or photography or music, etc. So, for us mere mortals, maybe just wedding photos in the gardens.

There is nothing in this world that is "perfect" but I swear some of the roses in the Rose Gardens surely come very close to perfection.
"Love, the Captive of Youth" statue depicts cupid and his captor, a fair maiden. It is encircled by a bed of "Passionate Kisses" roses. And with the rose garden as it's backdrop it is the first statuary you see when entering the Rose Gardens from the main house.
This lion is one of two that guard the patio walkway up to the main house. Next week we'll explore the galleries and the last garden on our tour of The Huntington Library.


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