Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Secret Garden

Apologies, as I'm still behind on my entries from LA. However, I thought I would provide a glimpse into the Huntington Library in San Marino. Although it is called a library, the actual library comprises only a fraction of all the art and culture in this non-profit institution. Mr. Henry E. Huntington was a man with a love for art, books and gardens. Inside his estate, you'll find vintage books and manuscripts, an extensive art collection with paintings from the 17th to 20th century, botanical gardens and plant life. The most eye-catching gardens are the Rose Garden, the Japanese Zen garden, the Desert Garden and the newly constructed Chinese garden.

Above: Following my aunt through a mysterious tunnel to the Asian gardens. It looks almost enchanted, no?

More tunnels, and I feel like this is an edition of 'Where's Waldo?' (I'm not stalking my aunt, really -- she's the one in the red coat). I wish I knew what kind of trees these were, but the overhanging branches made to resemble tunnels are a remarkable architectural specimen, similar to ones I've seen in The Getty. It's like bringing a little bit of the indoors (flattened trees resembling ceilings) to the outdoors, with natural sunlight flickering in through window-like lattices.

Above: Japanese Zen garden. Props to the guy rockin' the turquoise turban.

Red berries, in the dead of winter. The color reminds me of smashed tomatoes. Not that I smash tomatoes.

The Chinese garden had a koi pond with pretty mallard ducks. That green head caught my attention as a ten-year-old. I remember buying a mallard beanie (back when beanie babies were all the rage) at the Audobon Center in Sharon, Conn.

Pink flowers in bloom.

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