Thursday, January 19, 2017

LA Arboretum revisited.

Last Tuesday I set out with friend Jim for a trip to the Huntington Gardens  - not been for a while and there's something interesting at all seasons. We were relying on the 'trusty' google maps in the iPhone to get us there by the quickest, least busy route. After an hour of what should have been less than a two hour drive, we realised we were on the wrong route. Somehow google had picked up 'Huntington apartments' and we were on our way to San Diego! So we reprogrammed and headed to the real Huntington. Arriving at our destination 30 minutes later than expected, we found the beautiful iron gates closed. At the second entrance a kindly but very firm security guard told us the gardens were always closed on Tuesdays - whoops - so much for my forward planning. 


We dithered between the nearby alternatives of LA Arboretum and the Norton Simon Gallery until we realized the latter was closed Tuesdays too! So we headed to the LA Arboretum to find the car park crowded. After two circuits and some nifty driving by Jim,  we parked. Phew - coffee needed! We walked to the  entrance and found to our delight that it was Free Tuesday - at last a bonus. Elation was short lived when we saw the line in the cafe! As we crawled towards the cash desk our plans for a quick coffee changed to the need for lunch and 40 minutes after entering the cafe we devoured an amazingly tasty burger, accompanied by a greedy looking peacock.


We last visited these 127 acre gardens in November 2015 and you can read my original account by following the above link. Looking at the pictures I took then I realise how much drier the garden was then with parched brown lawns and the Baldwin Lake shrunken to a muddy patch. This time parts of the garden looked quite lush and the lake was full once again. Whilst I will always take picture of interesting plants and gardens, I increasingly find myself looking for good subject matter to paint - a different angle, curious leaves or dramatic shadows.  In particular, the aloes were looking superb! We finally had a great day - hope you enjoy my pictures!


 
Aloe marlothii


Aloe ferox




Melianthus major
 
Bismarckia nobilis



Cycad with Ginkgo leaves