But luckily, some other people (Henry Edwards Huntington and his wife Arabella) did, and they, in the nineteen teens, decided to do what I had dreamed of with their copious railroad money. On Easter M and I went to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and it struck me how much this beauteous place matched my childlike vision. Except for a distinct lack of peacocks and horses- but older me thinks that that's probably okay.
|A view of the North Vista Lawn, the lawn is surrounded by an alley of camellias. Secret passageways guarded by classical statuary are the best.|
We came because we'd heard that the gardens were spectacular; and that they were. The estate is 207 acres total and the gardens range over 120 acres of that. That's a lot of gardens! So much so, that even though we roamed the gardens for three and a half hours, we only managed to see half of the gardens, and never-mind the library and art galleries.
|Please notice how someone placed a camellia on this gentleman's toes. So "Moses supposes his toeses are roses", huh? Maybe for good reason?|
|Don't you wonder what these two are conversing about?|
|Gainsborough's The Blue Boy. Photo credit: huntington.org|
|This is just about an eighth of the extensive rose garden, which we came at just about the perfect time to see. Amazing!|
|And unlike grocery store flowers, each one of these flowers has a distinct scent.|
|Who doesn't love plants (Angel's Trumpet) with flowers as big as my head?|
|The Australia Garden. M exclusively likes plants that look like aliens.|
|This is an azalea bonsai. Amazing, right?|
|I'm pretty sure that this is a piece of driftwood, with one tiny tree trained up the side. Isn't it poetic?|
|Fun fact: usually when you buy a cactus in a plant store or grocery store with a crackly flower on it, it's been hot-glued on. This flower was not hot-glued.|
|This is probably the tallest yucca in the world. Or so their signs said. I'd believe them, wouldn't you?|
|Seeing plants like this, and being aware that Dr. Seuss lived part of his life in California, makes you a little less impressed with his illustrations' creativity, no?|
So thanks, Henry and Arabella, for using your wealth to make a little piece of heaven on Earth. I'm grateful.