Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Secret Gardens in Los Angeles that most out of town visitors skip?
It has to be the Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library in San Marino. Typically visitors to LA would go to the Getty Museums, Hollywood, Disneyland, and Universal Studios. They may even go to the muscle/ Venice beach or Santa Monica Piers. But most don't venture inland to Pasadena area. But if they do, they would discover one of the best gardens in Southern California.
Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library is more than just whole bunch gardens and a library, it also has a very nice fine and decorative art collection. The main mansion that Henry Huntington used to live now displayed his collection of English and French art. Probably one of the prolifically copied painting in the world is Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie. Pretty much every antique store I ever been to probably has a copy of either and or both (which drives me crazy but that's another story)!
The gardens (207 acres) here are to die for. Some of my favorite is the rose garden (when it's summer time and all the roses are open, the fragrance of the roses are just intoxicating) and the Japanese Garden. In the Japanese Garden section, they have a large collection of bonsai. These bonsais are kept meticulously. Every year Golden State Bonsai Federation holds annual fundraiser for the GSBF Collection. I've been to the gathering once and the bonsais displayed at the event were just marvelous!
I have yet to explore all the gardens at the Huntington Gardens. My next goal is to see the Chinese garden. It was built in 2000 and from the pictures I've seen, it looked amazing. I'm sure it is gorgeous in person. Can't wait to see it on my next trip to Los Angeles!