Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New at the Huntington Library -

It has been at least 40 years since we have visited The Huntington in San Marino, CA   It is just a hop, skip, and a jump from South Pasadena and the inn we are currently interim innkeepers at the Artists' Inn.   We had a quiet day and so set out to explore the impressive Library, Art Collections, and Gardens.   As the resident innkeepers, we pride ourselves on being able to give our guests extra tips to help make their visit to area attractions special.  

One thing I will now remember to tell guests is to wear comfortable shoes.  The buildings are grouped fairly close together, but the gardens definitely take you farther afield.   The other tip is that it is less expensive to visit The Huntington during the week than on weekends.  Or, if you can plan your visit to the first Thursday of each month, your visit is free (tickets are required and can be reserved online). 

We had previously been in the European building where the famous paintings of Pinkie & Blue Boy are housed.   This time, we viewed the new Scott Galleries of American Art.   Not only do they have some wonderful pictures, but also silver, glass, and wood pieces by famous American artisans.  Howard would have loved to take home the modern Frank Lloyd Wright dining room table.  The one thing most guests don't realize is that when you view the galleries there are free audio tapes available at the buildings main entrance to enhance the viewers gallery experience.   It is much nicer to listen about the various paintings etc. and be provided with more information than you can possibly read under the various captions. 

If you love the outdoors and gardens, then the grounds of the Huntington are special. The Botanical Gardens are an ever-changing exhibition of color and are a constant delight.  More than a dozen gardens cover 120 acres.   There is a fairly new Chinese Garden which was completed about 2 years ago.   This garden is inspired by the centuries-old Chinese tradition of private gardens designed for scholarly pursuits.  It is serene, and peaceful with water ponds and streams, rocks, plants, bridges, and small structures.  Docents are available to give you history and background of why and how the gardens were created.   

Two of my favorite flowers in the gardens are the Camellia bushes and the Rose bushes.  The Camellias are just starting to bloom and will be in their full glory in February - May.  The roses will be cut back in January but should be starting to bloom once again by March.  On the second Thursday of each month, garden enthusiasts can enjoy a free garden talk and plant sale.

I'll save further discussion about The Huntington for another time.  Hope you get to visit this wonderful area attraction if you are in the Los Angeles area.    

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring

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