The Huntington: Gardens

By Eilene Lyon

Sunday morning, I arrived at the Huntington to see the gardens and galleries. I thought I was there after opening, but it turned out I was fifteen minutes early, because I’d been looking at my computer clock (mountain time) instead of my phone.

Near the entrance to the botanical gardens

As I waited for the ticket office to open, I chatted with a woman who was also a first-time visitor, though she’s a local. Her husband is from the north part of England. An older gentlemen (I think I can safely use that term – he has three great-grandchildren) named Jim, asked us if we would like guest passes and he would give us an hour and a half tour of some of the gardens. Given that the entrance fee is $29, we took him up on the offer.

The Japanese garden

He said his guests hadn’t been able to make it, and he clearly enjoyed playing tour guide. He walked us through the rose garden, the Japanese and Chinese gardens, bonsai court, lily ponds, and desert garden. True to his word, it took and hour and a half. Jim’s primary interests seemed to be how they piped the water from three wells through the various gardens to create waterfalls and ponds, and the stones they imported from China.

The Chinese garden

I spent the rest of the day enjoying the galleries, alternating with strolls through the gardens. A perfect plan for a sunny, warm day. The Huntington has several dining options. I opted for the Patio Grill where I had a fresh, delicious arugula salad with apple, avocado, and marinated, grilled chicken, washed down with hibiscus iced tea.


Additional gardens include an Australian garden, herb garden, children’s garden, as well as a conservatory to learn about botanical subjects. There is also a palm garden with hundreds of varieties.

The herb garden
A most enormous fern!

There was plenty of lawn space for people to relax on, particularly in this statuary garden. The sculptures are genuine Italian pieces carved in limestone in the mid-18th century by at least two different artists.


Bacchus (my hero)
A mallard enjoys a “rain shower” in the fountain

I enjoyed picking out a few botanical details here and there, particularly in the desert garden.

A waxy-looking cycad “cone” about a foot tall
I’m used to seeing much larger blossoms on cacti similar to this one
One of the many varieties of agave
The blue flowers on this agave were stunning!

This odd structure is a temporary installation by NASA. Inside you can hear real-time signals from satellites and then a “composition” from several satellites recorded previously. It does sound musical. An interesting interlude near the end of the day – or at least a shady place to park yourself for a bit.






32 thoughts on “The Huntington: Gardens

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  1. Very nice post, Eileen and I like the photos. I enjoyed touring the gardens there even though the garden tour leader tried to tell me that their holly plants were “bisexual!” Hope you get a chance to visit the Getty Villa during your visit to the area.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely post! I’ve been to Huntington before as it’s not too far away from me, it is a pretty beautiful place. You also might like Descanso Gardens! I go there when I need a morning in the pretty flowers instead of buried in the war books 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey, I’m a Bacchus fan too! 🍷

    Looks like a wonderful place to be and worth the $29, but how marvelous you got in free with a tour guide to boot! I’d say you were in the right place at the right time. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eilene,

    What a wonderful gallery of photographs! I do love me the Bonsai trees. And that cycad cone is just wild. And the agave, wow. And the blossoms on the cacti and that ginormous fern!

    All that AND a tasty salad?

    It was a good day. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I recognised that name. A long time ago (1978) we stayed in Los Angeles with a friend and visited those gardens. I think they would have changed a lot but the basic structure would be the same. We were back in LA in 2016 and saw the Getty Museum but the Villa was closed.
    I love the detailed photographs you have on your post. I find as I get older I am far more interested in plants.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for this relaxing tour of the Huntington Gardens, Eilene. Interesting story about the free tour, too. I enjoyed the photos too; the NASA installation is fascinating, and your photo of it is wonderful, using the two women for perspective of this very large structure.

    Liked by 1 person

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