A Day In The Gardens With Charlotte & Greg (Page One)
It was a delightful Monday and we were off to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens with Charlotte and Greg! Laughing and giggling all day... What a relaxating change from "the daily grind".
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The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (or The Huntington) is a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington (1850?1927) and located in Los Angeles County at San Marino, California, on the western coast of the United States, and about 35 miles northeast of the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus in 18th and 19th-century European art and 17th to mid-20th-century American art. The property also includes approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens, most notably the "Japanese Garden", the "Desert Garden", and the "Chinese Garden" (Liu Fang Yuan).
The Huntington's moved to this area in 1913 when he began the building project. It is therefore over 100 years old!
We Arrive At The New Entrance
Did You Know? - The front, northernmost section of the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center will open to the public on Jan. 14, 2015, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today. The opening makes available to visitors a new, beautiful, and substantially larger Huntington Store, a new specialty coffee shop, and a new full-service admissions and membership area?all surrounding a shady entry grove.
The rest of the visitor center will open in April and will feature a 400-seat auditorium, a large caf? with indoor/outdoor seating with garden views, four multi-use classrooms, meeting and event spaces, and an orientation gallery, all arranged amid six and a half acres of new gardens.
Officially named in June by The Huntington's board of trustees in honor of Huntington President Steven S. Koblik, the $68 million project broke ground in April 2013 and has remained on, or ahead of, schedule, allowing for the early opening of the front portion of the facility. An additional $10 million has been raised to endow visitor center operations.
Designed by Architectural Resources Group, the center consists of 52,000 square feet of educational facilities and visitor amenities. The design of the complex of buildings and gardens harmonizes with the original early 20th-century Beaux-Arts architecture on the property (once the estate of Gilded Age railroad magnate, real estate developer, and collector Henry E. Huntington). The landscape, designed in concert with the architecture by the Office of Cheryl Barton, reflects the local Mediterranean climate as well as both the agricultural and elegant estate history of the 207-acre Huntington grounds. Much of the new construction replaces existing facilities built in 1980 that no longer accommodate the needs of Huntington visitors, scholars, or staff.
The project also includes the addition of 42,000 square feet of underground spaces to house The Huntington's growing collections of original historical research materials as well as provide institutional storage.
Beautiful grounds dramatically changes the entrance area...
The Central Garden takes us to the new entrance into the gardens
Charlotte enjoys the new "Garden Court"... She was last here ten years ago....
When she was fifteen!
The Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court in the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
In the distance is where we use to enter the grounds
What a difference!
Water tolerant planting makes sense
Greg provides information to passers-by!
The water runs down the center of the garden
Greg captured the moment (Courtesy of Greg)
The water lilies were in full bloom all over the gardens
Did You Know? - Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains eight large-flowered genera with about 70 species.
The genus Nymphaea contains about 35 species in the Northern Hemisphere.
The genus Victoria contains two species of giant water lilies endemic to South America.
Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria.
The water sounds were very relaxing
It was nap time even before lunch!
Walking To The Tea Room
The view from the Huntington residence front windows
Did You Know? - In 1910, Henry E. Huntington began acquiring a large collection of outdoor sculptures, personally deciding on the exact location for each piece of garden statuary. Some of the statues were moved as many as three times until Huntington was satisfied.
Love is a common theme among the garden sculpture, most of which dates from the late 17th and early 18th centuries, although some are the works of 20th-century American artists such as Anna Hyatt Huntington, the wife of Archer Huntington, Arabella's only child by her first marriage.
Visitors today can see an array of statuary in different media and from various cultural traditions across Europe and beyond.
Greg did stop and talk to the statue for a while Greg captured the moment
(Courtesy of Greg)
Did You Know? - In As You Like It, William Shakespeare describes the Forest of Arden as having "tongues in trees, books in running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in every thing" (2.1.16-17). That's also an apt description of The Huntington, where literary treasures (including a world-class collection of the Bard's own works) flourish in the midst of nature.
Located between the Huntington Art Gallery and the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery and connecting to the Rose Garden, the Shakespeare Garden features a broad variety of plants; some cultivated in England during Shakespeare's time, some mentioned in his plays and sonnets, plus many whose ancestors trace back to plants of his Renaissance writings.
From Hamlet, there are pansies, fennel, a willow tree, and rosemary; from Romeo and Juliet, a pomegranate tree; from A Midsummer Night's Dream, violets and thyme; from A Winter's Tale, daffodils and maidenheads; and, of course, daisies from Love's Labour's Lost.
The grape arbors were loaded with small green grapes
The local docents greet Greg and Charlotte!
Greg captured the moment with the mighty iPhone (Courtesy of Greg)
Did You Know? - Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks below professor (i.e. professor ordinarius).
In Denmark and Norway, docent is traditionally a title ranking between Associate Professor and Professor, similar to a readership in the United Kingdom, although today, the title is used somewhat differently
The pomegranates were about six weeks from being ready to pick
The daisys were brilliant in the summer sun!
Reds and yellow stood right out!
Keeping up... Looking everywhere
To The Rose Garden
Did You Know? - The Rose Garden was originally created in 1908 for the private enjoyment of Henry and Arabella Huntington. Roses were a particular favorite flower of Arabella's.
The garden was designed primarily for display, providing copious quantities of cut blooms for the large elaborate floral arrangements favored in their home. Household records indicate that in one year alone more than 30,000 flowers were used in these massive bouquets, 9,700 of which were roses.
The three-acre garden has gone through many transformations since the Huntingtons' time. It now contains more than 3,000 individual plants and more than 1,200 different cultivated varieties (cultivars). Beyond being a beautiful place to linger, the garden represents an extensive collection enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The spring bloom begins in late March and extends beyond Thanksgiving, thanks to Southern California's mild climate.
View from the Shakespeare Garden into the Rose Garden
The wooden supports (lattice) were all redone recently
The roses were out in full force!
Mother Nature's color pallet is beyond belief!
Did You Know? - There are representative varieties from all aspects of the rich history of the rose in the Huntington collection. Beyond a few species, the introduction dates span from 1540 up to the present day, including some roses that have yet to be introduced. The preponderance of the collection spans the 19th through 21st centuries, a time when the rose reached a pinnacle of popularity.
Into The Tea Room We Go!
"This is a camera off zone... OR so she thought!"
Pinky up! It's how to properly drink tea! Not!
How to Properly Drink your Tea
First and foremost never hold your cup with your pinkie finger extended. This is improper and in most social settings is considered rude. Place your index finger into the handle of the cup up to the knuckle while placing your thumb on the top of the handle to secure the cup. The bottom of the handle should then rest on your third finger. The fourth and fifth fingers should curve back towards your wrist.
At one time it was traditional to pour the milk into the cup before the tea. This was done to prevent the glaze on delicate tea cups from cracking. We do not have that problem today, so add the milk after the tea so that you can judge how much to use based on the color change.
When stirring your tea, be careful not to clink your spoon against the cup. Gently swish the spoon back and forth without touching the sides of the cup. When through stirring, remove the spoon and place it on the saucer behind the tea cup and to the right of the handle. Of course, never take a drink of your tea without removing the spoon first, and please never, ever sip from the spoon.
If seated at a table, do not lift the saucer (this is only proper if standing; then lift the saucer with the cup.) When you taking a sip of tea do not look around at the other guests, but lower your eyes so you can see what your doing and not spill your tea down the front of your blouse or dress.
When your cup is low try to avoid the temptation of swirling the tea in the cup. How embarrassing if some should happen to slosh onto the tablecloth and we all know how easily tea can stain.
The pinkie is NOT extended... upwards, anyway!
Greg shows the proper way to hold a giggle!
Here's to you!
Our table was busy! Champagne and tea and all sorts of goodies
One two three... SMILE!
Excellent... Full of smiles!
Tummies are full... Time for a walk!
To The Kitchen Garden
Did You Know? - The traditional kitchen garden, also known as a potager (in French, jardin potager) or in Scotland a kailyaird, is a space separate from the rest of the residential garden ? the ornamental plants and lawn areas. Most vegetable gardens are still miniature versions of old family farm plots, but the kitchen garden is different not only in its history, but also its design.
The kitchen garden may serve as the central feature of an ornamental, all-season landscape, or it may be little more than a humble vegetable plot. It is a source of herbs, vegetables and fruits, but it is often also a structured garden space with a design based on repetitive geometric patterns.
The kitchen garden has year-round visual appeal and can incorporate permanent perennials or woody shrub plantings around (or among) the annuals.
Do you see the bee? He likes the lace flower
Did You Know? - Ammi majus ? commonly called bishop's flower, bishop's weed, false bishop's weed, bullwort, greater ammi, lady's lace, False Queen Anne's lace or laceflower ? is a plant originating in the Nile River Valley which has white lace-like flower clusters. It is a member of the carrot (Apiaceae) family.
Now we know what "Busy as a bee" means!
The flowers were reaching for the sun!
Charlotte was reaching for the flowers
Charlotte sees a nice hat someone left behind
"We are reaching for the sky!"
The sunflowers were reaching for the sun
"I am watching you!"
"I am a pretty flower!"
"Yes... I am a Sugarcane Jujube"
Did You Know? - It is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 16?39 ft, usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 0.79?2.76 in wide and 0.39?1.18 in broad, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin.
The flowers are small, 5 millimetres (0.20 in) wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals.
The fruit is an edible oval drupe 1.5?3 centimetres (0.59?1.18 in) deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.
The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruit are often eaten as a snack, or with coffee. They are available in either red or black (called h?ng z?o or h?i z?o, respectively, in Chinese), the latter being smoked to enhance their flavor
Jujube is a small fruit flavored candy, with a hard gelatinous texture. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, they often contained cough medication. They originally contained juice from the Chinese Date
The ferns were doing nicely in the heat of the day!
What medicine you ask do impatiens make?
Did You Know? - Impatiens contain 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone,
an anti-inflammatory and fungicide naphthoquinone that is an active ingredient in some formulations of Preparation H.
You will now look at your impatiens differently
Did You Know? - Medicinal plants have been identified and used throughout human history. Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals.
At least 12,000 such compounds have been isolated so far; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total.
They would have been great artichokes but alas, they went to bloom
Did You Know? - The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence) together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form.
Ready to eat before going to flower
The garden was in pretty good shape
Through The Roses And Up The Path To The Chinese Gardens
A beautiful flower in the rose garden...
Careful, there is a weed in the background!
"Hey... Wait for me!
Did You Know? - There are many gardens on the property...
? Australian Garden
? Camellia Garden
? Children's Garden
? Herb Garden
? Jungle Garden
? Lily Ponds
? palm Garden
? Ranch Garden
? Rose Garden
? Shakespeare Garden
? Subtropical Garden