The Huntington Library February 2014

Visiting The Huntington Library Is Always a Treat

Off For A Day Of Fun At The Huntington 2/23/2014

Page 1 - Arrival & Quick Walk/Tea | Page 2 - Tour | Page 3 - Desert Visit

This is an outing for Irene and a celebration for Greg (he is now officially older than dirt!). Carri could not to go today so it's the fearsome foursome!

A Quick Overview

Enjoying the gardens with friends


Today we are going to head directly for a spot of tea in the Rose Team Room. Fresh scones, special teas, and mountains of goodies to eat... Oh My!  Start your engines...

Here We Go!

Sign her up!  

Almost everything was in bloom

Everywhere you look there was amazing color

Greg posed as a Greek God... We had to paint him white

The lattice work restoration is looking good!

Did You Know? - A pergola, arbor or arbour is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building, or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions.

The origin of the word is the Late Latin pergula, referring to a projecting eave. The English term was borrowed from Italian. It was mentioned in an Italian context in 1645, by John Evelyn at the cloister of Trinit? dei Monti in Rome and used by him in an English context in 1654, when, in the company of the fifth Earl of Pembroke, Evelyn watched the coursing of hares from a "pergola" built on the downs near Salisbury for that purpose.

Pergolas may link pavilions or extend from a building's door to an open garden feature such as an isolated terrace or pool. Freestanding pergolas, those not attached to a home or other structure, provide a sitting area that allows for breeze and light sun, but offers protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Pergolas also give climbing plants a structure on which to grow.

Two spots? Maybe three?

Visiting the Hungtington Gardens for a birthday celebration 2/23/2014

Greg has a birthday... He is now officially older than dirt!!

Law required only one candle....

Otherwise they had to notify the fire department


Enjoying life with great friends

We are full! Scones & tea & desserts oh my! Time to walk it off

Did You Know? - The Japanese Garden is among the oldest and most elaborate of its kind in America. Begun in 1911, it was inspired by widespread Western fascination with Asian culture. As was fashionable at the time, many wealthy Americans and Europeans added exotic gardens to their estates.

The Japanese gardens exhibited at world's fairs and expositions in St. Louis, Chicago, and San Francisco helped to fuel the trend. Henry E. Huntington shared this interest, and at the urging of his superintendent, William Hertrich, he decided to build his own Japanese garden on his San Marino estate.

Many of the garden's plants and ornamental fixtures came from a property in nearby Pasadena that had failed as a commercial venture. Purchased in its entirety by Huntington, the materials also included the Japanese House, an example of a type of upper-class Japanese dwelling typical of the 19th century. The moon bridge, commissioned by Huntington, was built by Japanese craftsman Toichiro Kawai.

Flowers everywhere

To the Japanese Gardens first

Did You Know? - Japanese gardens (???? nihon teien?) are traditional gardens that create miniature idealized landscapes, often in a highly abstract and stylized way. The gardens of the Emperors and nobles were designed for recreation and aesthetic pleasure, while the gardens of Buddhist temples were designed for contemplation and meditation.

Japanese garden styles include karesansui, Japanese rock gardens or zen gardens, which are meditation gardens where white sand replaces water; roji, simple, rustic gardens with teahouses where the Japanese tea ceremony is conducted; kaiy?-shiki-teien, promenade or stroll gardens, where the visitor follows a path around the garden to see carefully composed landscapes; and tsubo-niwa, small courtyard gardens.

Japanese gardens were developed under the influences of the Chinese gardens, but gradually Japanese garden designers began to develop their own aesthetics, based on Japanese materials and Japanese culture. By the Edo period, the Japanese garden had its own distinct appearance. Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese gardens have also been adapted to Western settings.

"I think I can... I think I can... I think I can"

The Koi were quite active in the 75 degree warmth of a February day in California

So very relaxing....

The wisteria were not yet in full bloom

Did You Know? - Wisteria (also spelled Wistaria or Wysteria) is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing bines native to the Eastern United States and to China, Korea, and Japan. Some species are popular ornamental plants, especially in China and Japan.

Another 30 days and they will be magnificent

The Japanese Doll Festival decorations

Did You Know? - The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Hinamatsuri traces its origins to an ancient Japanese custom called hina-nagashi (????, lit. "doll floating"), in which straw hina dolls are set afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles or bad spirits with them.

The Shimogamo Shrine (part of the Kamo Shrine complex in Kyoto) celebrates the Nagashibina by floating these dolls between the Takano and Kamo Rivers to pray for the safety of children. People have stopped doing this now because of fishermen catching the dolls in their nets. They now send them out to sea, and when the spectators are gone they[who?] take the boats out of the water and bring them back to the temple and burn them.

The customary drink for the festival is shirozake, a sake made from fermented rice. A colored hina-arare, bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar or soy sauce depending on the region, and hishimochi, a diamond-shaped colored rice cake, are served.

Chirashizushi (sushi rice flavored with sugar, vinegar, topped with raw fish and a variety of ingredients) is often eaten. A salt-based soup called ushiojiru containing clams still in the shell is also served. Clam shells in food are deemed the symbol of a united and peaceful couple, because a pair of clam shells fits perfectly, and no pair but the original pair can do so.

Families generally start to display the dolls in February and take them down immediately after the festival. Superstition says that leaving the dolls past March 4 will result in a late marriage for the daughter.

Camellias were in full swing

Did You Know? - Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100?250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number.

The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia. This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as ch?hu? (??) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (?) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (???) in Korean and as hoa tr? or hoa ch? in Vietnamese.

Chugging through the bamboo forest on the way to the new tea house

Pinks and reds oh my

The tea house was simply beautiful this fine afternoon

Did You Know? - The teahouse, called Seifu-an (the Arbor of Pure Breeze), was donated to The Huntington by the Pasadena Buddhist Temple. Built in Kyoto in the 1960s, it made a return trip to Japan for restoration in 2010. Kyoto-based architect and craftsman Yoshiaki Nakamura (whose father built the original structure) oversaw the restoration.

The restored teahouse was then shipped back to San Marino and painstakingly reassembled here under the tutelage of Nakamura and other expert craftsmen who had traveled from Kyoto for the project.

Its location on a picturesque ridge provides visitors with a stunning new vantage point from which to admire the vista below. The teahouse will be used, on occasion, for demonstrations of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. (Unlike the tea shop in the Chinese Garden or the Rose Garden Tea Room, it will not serve refreshments.)


The sun was very bright this afternoon so we went in our Hollywood glasses

"Reach for the sky" came to mind


Did You Know? - Azaleas /??ze?li?/ are flowering shrubs comprising two of the eight subgenera of the genus Rhododendron: the Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous). Azaleas bloom in summer, their flowers often lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living near or under trees.

Red and pinks against the green grass made for quite a contrast

The Tea House was closed today

We have 18 minutes before we get to the beginning of our special tour

Almost like they were on fire

"Come on guys..."

Did You Know? - Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, is the largest Chinese garden outside China. Designed to create, preserve, and promote the rich and complex traditions of Chinese culture, this authentic garden is a special place for visitors to feel inspired by the elegant harmony
of nature and poetry.

Thanks to visionary landscape architects and artisans from China and the United States, inspired historians, expert gardeners, and generous benefactors, Liu Fang Yuan reflects today an exceptional combination of learning and beauty.

The white and pink stood right out

Pinks and purples

Mother nature is simply amazing

We needed a delivery baby with us....


Studying the Chinese Garden rock floor... Loads of work but easy on the feets

The enlargement is coming along quite well

Did You Know? - Rocks, symbolizing the eternal, and water, symbolizing the ever-changing, create harmony in the garden, balancing nature's yin and yang (or opposite but interconnected energies). Weathered limestone rocks from China's Lake Tai line the water's edge, evoking the craggy mountains of a Chinese landscape painting, while water adds a dynamic visual dimension to the garden by reflecting the changing moods of the light, clouds, and sky.

Plants and flowers, too, serve a symbolic purpose in a Chinese garden, as well as a decorative one.

Certain plants may represent the seasons (for instance, peach blossoms for spring or pine for winter), while others stand for attributes such as purity (the lotus) or uprightness (bamboo).

While form and color appeal to the eye, other senses might be engaged by a fragrance wafting in the air, by the sound of water falling over stones, or by raindrops striking broad leaves.

Another two weeks and we get to visit the new buildings

The lily pads are starting to come back

Azaleas were everywhere

Just amazing colors

Cherry blossoms are a few weeks away

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