How had I lived in Los Angeles for so long and not heard of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens?!!!
A LIBRARY AND ITS GARDENS:
Located in Pasadena, just a short ride from downtown LA, Huntington is a large complex of varying gardens and architectural marvels. Situation 35 miles northeast of the Pacific, the Huntington complex includes nearly 120 acres of unique botanical gardens, most notably the "Japanese Garden," the "Chinese Garden," and the "Desert Garden." Aside from its sprawling landscapes, Huntington is also home to hundreds of world-renown works of art. Crazy right?!!
Passing the entrance into Huntington, I was immediately met with a deep understanding of the vastness of this facility. As the grounds began to open up in front of me, suddenly I was taken aback by endless trees and various species of botanicals. At first sight, I was completely overwhelmed. Where does one even begin to process walking through what feels like painting after painting of perfectly curated landscapes?
As I started my journey through the endless acres of foliage, I made my way through the rose gardens and Tea Room. This section of the complex is filled with not only stunning flowers but also beautiful Mediterranean and Italian buildings and sculptures built in the 1920s. For a moment, I forgot I was standing in California, and I was completely transported back to spending time in the gardens and buildings of Europe.
Continuing along the path, I made my way first to the Chinese Gardens. I was surprised to find a stunning lake with a Chinese Restaurant and beautiful pavilions. I had to blink twice seeing this landscape with brown California mountains in the background. It was mind blowing. Again, I was reminded of my time spent in China. Every detail of the designs from the stone pathways to the Chinese architecture were spot in replicas of the best parts of Chinese culture.
Walking through a beautiful archway, I was again transported. This time to Japan. From zen rock gardens, to bamboo forests, to bonsai trees this was my favorite experience of the day. I am a bit obsessed with Japanese culture and design. Japan is still one of my favorite trips I have ever taken. This was a great way to reminisce from my time spent in such an amazing country. Visiting the gardens is also a great way for people to see a glimpse of the beauty of Japan.
Lastly, I nearly fell over with excitement when I stumbled upon the Desert Gardens. I have been quite vocal about my deep love of succulents, and these plants were on steroids. It was a cactus wonderland. Every possible succulent you can imagine was found along this path and at times they were larger than life. It was like walking through all of my backyard pins on pinterest. I have never been to Australia, but this definitely added fuel to the fire of wanting to get on the next flight to the Down Under.
What a truly stunning garden! Well done, Huntington. The entire complex is nothing short of spectacular.