My Day Trip to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens!
If I had to choose my top three favorite places in Southern California to visit, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens would certainly be on that list. Located in beautiful San Marino (near Pasadena), The Huntington was established in 1919 by the railroad tycoon, Henry E. Huntington. It consists of more than 120 acres of botanical gardens and is considered one of the wealthiest cultural institutions in the United States. The gallery houses an extensive art collection with a main focus on 18th and 19th century European Art, as well as 17th to mid 20th century American art. There are numerous areas covering the botanical gardens but the most popular attractions are The Japanese Garden, The Desert Garden, The Rose Garden, and The Chinese Garden. When I was at school at USC, my husband (my boyfriend back then) used to take me to the gardens every spring to see the roses in bloom. It became a highlight of my year and I vowed to pay a visit every year. This past week, we took our annual voyage (a little late for blooming season) but nevertheless, to the Huntington to catch some inspiration from one of the most beautiful places on the planet. To our surprise, the roses were still in full bloom but it was rather hot!
One of the world's oldest and largest collection of succulents, cacti, and other desert plants collected throughout the world. It contains plants from many different environments and were acquired when Henry Huntington would travel to North, South, and Central America. Plants that reside in the Desert Garden include Agave, Aloe, cacti, yucca, succulents, and caudiforms. Such a wonderful place to learn and see some extremely incredible plants!
*WONDERFACT: You can get free admission to the Huntington Gardens every first Thursday of the month and you have to order online and print out. There are 2 times you can choose your arrival, (10am) and (1pm).
The magnificent rose garden was created in 1908 for Henry's wife, Arabella. Spanning across 3 acres, it contains more than 3,000 individual plants and 1,200 different varities. It was once recorded that in one year alone, more than 30,000 flowers were used in bouquets, 9700 of which were roses. Honestly, it's my favorite garden on the property because it's beyond beautiful and feels like a dream.
The Japanese Garden at the Huntington is probably the most popular spot at the Huntington. It features Koi filled ponds, a beautiful moon bridge, and a Bonsai Collection. Since it's inception in 1928, it has attracted visitors from all over because of it's beauty and magic. Inside the garden there is a Ceremonial Teahouse, a Zen Court, and a Japanese house. At the southern end of the garden, there is a bamboo forest where visitors can walk through it via a walkway.