Saturday, May 23, 2015

A trip to the Orient

Last week after the Getty, well the next day actually, Jim and I visited the Huntington Library. We had seen the gardens a on a previous visit but lost track of time and didn't manage the art galleries on that occasion. This time we intended to see the art but with a forecast of rain, opted to do do gardens first. Last time the Chinese garden was hidden behind boarding and protected by 'Under Construction' signs. This time it was open! This is correctly called the 'Garden of Flowing Fragrance' and is the largest Chinese-style garden outside China, completed just this year. 'Architects and artisans from Suzhou, the renowned garden city of southern China, worked alongside California builders and gardeners. Chinese architecture and rocks from Lake Tai, placed around the water’s edge, balance native features such as the Californian oaks.'  To say 'completed' is not entirely correct as there are areas designated for future features.

Specially for Mark and Gaz!

I have no specific knowledge of Chinese gardens but observed that it seemed to be a series of beautifully contrived pictures, so was not surprised to read -  'A Chinese garden, it is said, is like a scroll painting, presenting a series of carefully composed scenes. New vistas are revealed as one strolls along the pathways, with a number of key elements combining to create a sense of harmony and of beauty.' For more detailed information, check out the information on the Huntington website .

We then explored the adjacent Japanese garden which was created over a hundred years ago and contains many beautiful mature specimen shrubs and trees. The center of the garden is  an authentic Japanese house shipped from Japan in 1904.

Then the rain came down and so we had to shelter indoors and explore the art, which by comparison to the gardens is a disappointment. We did however dash to the conservatory and enjoyed the orchids and other exotics in this beautifully maintained glasshouse. Whilst not a particular orchid lover, I couldn't help but be captivated by these beautiful specimens. I also changed from my regular Canon SLR to iPhone which seemed to be getting better images - no doubt my failure to use a proper camera properly! Anyway - enjoy!

The journey home was a tedious three hour crawl along the interstate in the rain! Anyway as we failed to explore all the gardens we have a good excuse top return tomorrow so hopefully more to tell you next time!

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