The Huntington Library & Gardens is such a magical place for those of us at The Bella Cottage. Around this time of year, when we start to see our own roses come into full bloom, we know that the Huntington Gardens are a wondrous sight to see.
For those of you who are native to Southern California or are fortunate to visit soon, I highly suggest making this place one of your stops. Not only does it feature 120 acres of landscaped gardens for you to visit, it also houses a lovely permanent collection of art and even has a Tea Room! It really does not get more elegant than that!
It comes to no surprise that our favorite themed garden is the Rose Garden. The Huntington Library has this of its variety:
The entrance pathway leads to an 18th-century French stone tempietto and statue, “Love, the Captive of Youth,” encircled by “French Lace” roses. The beds north of the arbor next to the Shakespeare Garden have a paved walk, and feature Tea and China roses and their descendants, first introduced into Europe from China around 1900.
On the south side of the rose arbor are nineteenth-century shrub roses, descended from old European varieties. Climbing and rambling roses—from all periods and groups—grow on the arbors, arches, and pergolas.
The central part of the garden contains Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Polyanthas, and miniatures, with separate beds for classic pre-1920 hybrid teas and for roses from the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Other beds feature roses introduced since the 1950s and introductions from abroad, including recent plantings of roses from India.
David Austin’s roses (in beds near the tempietto) combine “Old Garden Rose” attributes with the repeat-blooming characteristics of modern hybrids. ‘Huntington’s Hero’ was propagated from a sport discovered on one of sixty bushes of ‘Hero’ among the David Austin plantings. It was named in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the institution’s founding in 1919.
The Huntington Library has an impressive collection of rose varieties and the other themed gardens are also highly worth visiting.
If you’ve had enough sunshine during your visit, I suggest heading indoors to see the beautiful art collection. The Huntington Art Gallery has a distinguished collection of 18th- and 19th-century British paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts outside London, including Thomas Gainsborough’s painting, “Blue Boy” and Thomas Lawrence’s “Pinkie.” (These paintings are quite popular as they often appears side by side as prints in Victorian style wall plaques and frames.)
Finally, if you’re feeling a bit hungry, we do highly suggest the charming Tea Room. Reservations are required beforehand, but the grounds provide a vast and elegant, Victorian feel that is truly unique to this location. In celebration of Mother’s Day this year, they are having a brunch the day of with a special menu and a harpist. So sweet! Do note that reservations are required for the Tea Room, but are not needed for the Café.
I’m glad to have shared this special get-away idea for our local and not-so-local fans. And if you do happen to have a chance to visit the grounds, please share with us your photos!
Visit the Huntington Library:
|Monday||12 noon to 4:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||12 noon to 4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||12 noon to 4:30 p.m.|
|Friday||12 noon to 4:30 p.m.|
|Saturday||10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.|
|10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.