Liu Fang Yuan, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, opened 3.5 acres of the Chinese garden in February. Artisans from China had been working on the garden for more than six months. It's the first classical Chinese garden in California, and when completed, at 12 acres, will be the largest in the country.
(Although, my Oregonian side feels compelled to point out that the Portland Classical Chinese Garden opened eight years ago. At the time, it was the largest in the country at 40,000 square feet. The Portland Chinese garden encompasses a whole city block with a more intimate feel as it's completely walled. Better tea house too.)
That morning, HH and I went to Tasty - San Gabriel for knife-shaved noodles. I mentioned the Chinese garden when he asked what there was to do nearby. Part of the reason why I enjoy hanging out with HH is that he likes the same things that I like. I don't know too many people who would be willing to spend the day wandering around gardens or museums, much less genuinely enjoy doing it. So that's what we did for several days after HH came back from the east coast, and before he had to fly out again.
The main entrance to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Enter and we're gonna head to the right.
I just liked the looks of this path.
"How pretty is this!" said HH when he saw the expanse of green lawn.
We're not even near the Chinese garden yet, I said. Trust me, it gets much better, I told him.
He said he already felt like he got his money's worth and was perfectly content to take pictures of big trees, green grass, and random statuary. If only all my houseguests were so easy to please.
Lots of other photographers out that day too.
A fairy ring.
Located near a bridge that I could totally imagine was occupied by fairies or pixies, or even a grumpy troll. The archway to the left goes to the Rose Garden, which I'll get to in another post. We're continuing on the right path for now.
Walked through the center of this building.
Stopped in for a quick visit to the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science.
I love the arching panes of glass.
But that made it way too humid inside to linger for long.
So we left and wandered down to the east entrance of the Chinese garden.
The mama lion with her cub on the left. HH taught me that.
And the daddy lion on the right with no cub.
Our first glimpse of the central part of the Chinese garden.
Tell me this picture doesn't look like a postcard? Don't you want to just sit on that bench and just gaze at the view? So that's what we did.
The undulating walls with "leak" windows, so-called because they "leak" through the outside.
Chinese pointy green roof tops. Remember what I said about the difference between Chinese and Vietnamese roofs?
If big trees and grass made HH picture happy, he was definitely going crazy over this. Only, we both forgot to charge up our camera batteries so we couldn't go nearly as picture happy as we wanted. I'll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves.
Another moon gate. There's a small cafe selling tea and drinks just to the left as you enter.
One last glimpse.
We wended our way to the Japanese Garden, followed by the Rose Garden.
Other garden pictures may be found in Gardening Updates and other things to do in Explore SoCal.
Who else visited The Huntington Chinese Garden?
Nikki Polani took much better photos with a much nicer camera so visit her to see the Chinese Garden on a bright sunny day in April.
The Huntington: Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd.
San Marino, CA 91108
Monday, and Wednesday to Friday noon to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Children under 5, free
Youths aged 5 to 11, $6
Students with ID, $10
Seniors, $12/weekday and $15 weekends
Adults, $15/weekdays and $20/weekends
First Thursday of each month. Reservations must be made one month in advance. Reserve online or call 1-800-838-3006 and choose an arrival time of 10:30 a.m. to noon or 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. No admission without a ticket. No regular admission tickets are sold on Free Day.
1 year ago today, Korean twice-fried chicken at Kyochon Chicken - Los Angeles (Koreatown).