Another Look at the Huntington

I promise this will be the last post on my recent visit here.
Unless I get around to writing about John Frame’s exhibit, which I urge any steam punk aficionados in the LA area to get to post haste before it closes on June 27.
And there just may be one of these left in the exhibit’s gift shop. There were only three, and MB Maher and I each bought one.
An egg-shaped wire cage. Simply irresistible.

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The “Huntington” to me has always meant the botanical gardens. Properly, it’s The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens. There’s never enough time in one visit to see it all. For example, when time constraints force a choice between the Desert Garden and the Japanese Garden, I skip the latter, which is for many visitors the raison d’etre of the entire trip. And, honestly, sometimes the interest just hasn’t been there for some of the loot Mr. Huntington scoured the world for. I think I’ve checked out the Gainsboroughs maybe a couple times. But an odd result I’ve noticed of getting older is, instead of my interest becoming more focused, it’s become omnivorous, voracious, wanting to devour everything in its path.

I usually skip the furniture galleries — I get my fill on the Antiques Roadshow — but wandered in this last visit on May 28 and spent so much time in front of this chair the security guard was getting nervous. A bentwood chair from 1808, this shimmered a timeless modernism amidst the heavy, ornate tallboys and chest of drawers.
But a closer look revealed odd idiosyncrasies, like goat hooves for chair feet and a peacock motif along the top rail. The security guard rightfully sensed that I seriously coveted this chair. I wanted to feel its weight in my hand. I’ll bet it’s amazingly light.

The Elastic Chair.

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Back to plant photos after the jump.

MB Maher’s photo of Lychnis coronaria, bronze fennel, and a dark euphorbia, possibly ‘Blackbird.’ There was also a dark berberis with this group.
(If you strip the lower leaves off fennel, you can obtain a bamboo-ey effect, or something similar to the stems of a poor man’s disporum.)
Purple tradescantia leaning in on the lower right. This kind of color-thematic, herbaceous perennial planting isn’t seen much in Los Angeles.

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This salvia is probably ‘Indigo Spires,’ a hybrid discovered at the Huntington.
Melianthus in the background.

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Near the Children’s Garden, the Giant Burmese Honeysuckle, Lonicera hildebrandiana

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Pomegranate tree, Punica granatum, underplanted with probably Salvia pratensis. Relaxed, unforced, gorgeous planting.

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Cedrus atlantica

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Cardoon in full specimen mode.

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Rose ‘Sally Holmes’ as you enter the enormous rose garden. I used to spend a lot of time here studying the old roses.

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Each visit may find interests waning in some areas, picking up in others, which is perfectly fine because the breadth and scope of the Huntington is inexhaustible.

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2 Responses to Another Look at the Huntington

  1. ks says:

    Put up as many posts as you like from Huntington Denise. It’s sad to think how many years it’s been since I’ve visited there. Gotta do it next year. That wire cage is just spiffy ..I’m behind that purchase all the way.I used to own a Giant Burmese Honeysuckle–up here believe it or not; purchased from a wholesale nursery in Monterey County. I think I kept it alive for 3 years.

  2. Denise says:

    Kathy, I’d never come across this giant honeysuckle before. I hope it bloomed in those three years!

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