Monday, March 15, 2010

Wonderland: The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Path through the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library
A week or so ago, I mentioned that I had traveled down to Pasadena to attend my high school reunion. I had brought my oldest daughter and my mother. They were not too interested in my reunion, but were very happy when I arranged for us to go to the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens with a reservation at the Rose Garden Tea Room.
It was a perfect day, but we were a bit late for our very important date. As I rushed ahead, leaving my daughter to walk a bit more slowly with Mom, I began to feel a little like this girl (especially after seeing her so recently!):
I rushed past our host's mansion, which was beautifully grand and is home to one of the finest European art collections in the nation, including the famous Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough and Pinkie by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
The Huntington Art Gallery, originally the home of Henry and Arabella Huntington

I trotted past the Exhibition Hall which houses an extraordinary collection of rare books and manuscripts including early editions of the works of Shakespeare and the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Huntington Library Exhibition Hall
I was uncertain which way to go, and the sun was getting lower

Rose Garden Trellis
This way or that?!

Wisteria Trellis
I asked along the way....but Neptune was not much help.

And Shakespeare seemed to be in his own world.

And this fine lady seemed too busy chasing her wayward child to be of much help.

I was almost led astray down a path almost too tempting to resist. But I knew we would not make it if I strayed.

Sculpture on the North Vista Lawn
But soon, I knew where I was. I was certain I had been here before...long ago.

Entrance to the Rose Garden Tea Room
Relieved to be here, I rushed in. They treated me as if they were expecting me. But of course they were!

My mother and daughter were not far behind. We sat and enjoyed our special tea while gazing out at the formal kitchen garden.

A day in Wonderland. It was over like a beautiful dream...too soon.

Later this week, a glimpse into the brand new Chinese Garden within the Huntington Garden Botanical Gardens. In a word, "magic".


Yellow n Pink Creations said...

putting it on my must see list of places to go.

thanks for sharing

Lavender and Lilies said...

What gorgeous images!

Alexandra Rae said...

Just three weeks ago my mother-in-law came out from Wisconsin and my darling husband took it upon himself to arrange tea there for all of us. She would have loved it. But the kids all whined about the drive, plus the rain was really coming we missed it. However, my mother comes next week and I know exactly where we're going for her birthday lunch. Thanks for the post!

katiedid said...

Hello Yellow!
I hope you get to visit. This is just a fraction of what these gardens have to offer.

Thanks Lavender! is the PERFECT place!You can make reservations online. Plan to spend the whole day...there is so much to see.

Nancy@marcusdesign said...

Wow, those are beautiful photos! I love a beautiful atmosphere and a tasty cup of tea, great post!

mary said...

Katie--What a fun post!!! My daughter and I visited a couple of years ago; think that we'll do it again and include the Tea. Great post.

Karena said...

I am excited to visit and also to see the movie now!!
Art by Karena

Amanda said...

One of my favorite places on earth! You have captured it beautifully.

xx Amanda

Jessica said...

The Huntington is a very special place for me. My mom and her dearest friend take me there whenever I vist them in LA. So nice to find your post about it, brings back wonderful memories.