Friday, July 6, 2012

Huntington Garden Fridays...


I find when I’m set free in a huge botanical garden I go quite camera crazy *click*click*click* what starts out as abundant joy ends as a chore, as I attempt to weed through the hundreds of photos I've taken.

Yes I could deal with this by taking fewer pictures, and I’m going to try to do that in the future, however in the mean time I have our recent visit to the Huntington Gardens to work through. Instead of trying to edit down my 360 photos to a cohesive and manageable post I’ve decided to have “Huntington Gardens Friday” for the entire month of July.

This was my second visit to the Huntington (read all about this magical place here), this time after we entered instead of immediately visiting the Desert Garden we headed to the Children’s Garden (you can imagine how hard this was for me!). Since we’d stopped at Potted the rest of the family was already there…we needed to touch base with them before I could explore the desert, fortunately anywhere you walk at the Huntington you’re going to see amazing things…

Look at those tall tree ferns!

And these Giant Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai). Aren’t they beautiful?

To enter the Children’s Garden we went through the Conservatory for Botanical Science.

I took a few pictures, but most of the plants weren’t labeled, or the foliage had grown so lush that the labels were hidden.

I do know however that this one is a Cecropia obtusifolia.

And this is an epiphytic blueberry relative, Ceratostema rauhii, from Peru.

So cool!

The new leaves on this fern were so finely cut…

Another epiphyte, Tillandsia usneoides, or Spanish Moss.

Finally we met up with the rest of the gang and I was surprised to see how many really cool plants were growing in a garden designed for kids. There were plenty of activities for them to run around and jump on, plus several where they learned a bit while working off some energy. But also lots for the plant loving grown-ups to enjoy.

There were lots of lizards zipping around too! Who doesn’t love lizards (as long as they’re not in my house)…

I did love this combination. Even the lavender daisy-like flowers looked good!

Blooming Phormium!

Leucadendron argenteum (Silver Tree), a little girl watched me petting the soft petals of this plant (really I couldn’t stop myself) and so she started doing it too.

I wandered a bit off limits and investigated the teaching greenhouse, there were several cool plants and lots of chairs for a future class, but no teaching going on.

Next week we’ll visit the Succulent Greenhouse (closed on my previous Huntington visit) and start our walk through the Desert Garden…

35 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Makes me want to garden in California!

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  2. I'm going to enjoy seeing one of my favorite places through your camera! My pictures never do it justice but yours certainly are excellent. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you R, that day the lighting was such that many of my pictures from the Desert Garden look like a painted photo, sort of surreal. I can't wait to share them!

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  3. amazing!!! Another place I have always wanted to go! the palms there are epic! and I love the callistemon little john once again. Cali seems to do it right! And that Ceratostema rauhii .... dang!!! That is one amazing plant!

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    1. You might need to plan on two days for your visit Louis, I still haven't seen it all!

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  4. Awesome. Loved the pics of the agave/flower combo. I picked up a Strelitzia nicolai last weekend. It's in a container, so it's pretty modest in comparison, but it's amazing to see the pics you took of its flowers.

    You've probably answered this question a million times already, but what camera do you use?

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    1. I don't remember ever seeing the striking black and white flowers...they were everywhere around Pasadena that day!

      My camera...(you're gonna laugh) is a Sony Cybershot (DSC-H70), fancy! I decided it was more important to have a small camera that I would always have with me than to have a big honking expensive one that I would hate to carry around. Alan over at the blog 'It's Not Work It's Gardening' turned me on to the excellent (FREE) photo editing software from Picasa, so that helps me correct some issues before I post.

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    2. Thanks, and honestly, I know that it's more than just the equipment one uses. You have a great eye.

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  5. Great post! I found myself going through your photos, exclaiming, almost as if I were there, "Oh, look at that!" I didn't know that Phormiums flowered so beautifully.

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    1. They do! (Phormiums) I had one bloom in 2008, it was gorgeous...and then winter killed it.

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  6. Great photos, anther reason to look forward to fridays!

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  7. Great photos of those amazing plants and combinations. The gardens are so beautiful and I would love to see them again. I was not much of a gardener when we lived in the area so I spent more time seeing the art. As much as I enjoyed the art, I would reverse that time allocation and focus on the gardens.

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    1. Did you ever see the light bulb exhibit? I love that one...

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  8. Yes! Yes! We want to see them all, even if it takes a year of Fridays. TGIF just took on new meaning.

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    1. A year of Fridays...you know I could do that! They would be really short posts though.

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  9. Now I've got something to look forward to every Friday. The Huntington is at the very top of my dream destination list.

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    1. When's your birthday? Maybe you should make that your birthday gift to yourself this/next year!?

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  10. Ah, those pictures make a great start to the weekend, thanks for sharing Loree.

    I love the last one, it looks like a green wig!

    I used to grow Phormium in my garden, before the big freezes came. I only had one flower once and that was a variegated tenax that grew really well in my back garden. It sent up 15 massive flower spikes that must have been 9 or 10 feet tall, they were cool and the bees and wasps loved them and were buzzing around them all summer!

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    1. Yes it does! (wig)

      15 flower spikes? Wow...that was a happy plant. Mine only had a couple.

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  11. A feast! I am dying to go but your wonderful posts will tide me over for now. Do you know what that green wig plant is in the last photo so I can add it to my wishlist?

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    1. Unfortunately I do not (other than it's an Aloe), I searched for a label but couldn't find one.

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  12. Our white bird of paradise is still soooooo tiny. I'm upgrading it's pot this weekend (it arrived in a 2" pot a few weeks ago). These pictured are dreamy!

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    1. A 2" pot? Wow...that kind of boggles the mind since these plants are HUGE...

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    2. It was adorable and toppled over when I pulled it out of the box but it was really healthy. I replanted it again today. It has a ways to go! ;)

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  13. Love the pictures. Great collection of some nice plants and a few ideas to boot. Thanks. LT

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  14. I have loved the Huntington since I first set eyes on it many years ago. The Mulch Man had the amazing luck to grow up in Pasadena near it and it has a beloved place in his heart, too (I think the grounds may actually have been free to visit when he was younger.) Seeing it through your eyes is just a treat. I don't remember ever seeing Strelitzia nicolai before, and the children's garden is new to me.

    The Huntington could be the biggest reason I'd love to live in SoCal sometime. For now,I'll content myself with your excellent Huntington Fridays series!

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    1. I can't imagine having the Huntington to visit whenever I wanted to, and if indeed it was free (which it certainly is not anymore!) I would almost live there!

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  15. Glad to have discovered your blog. Such an overwhelming array of plants and images. Are those really ferns. Of all the pix I most enjoyed is the first one with the carpet of black succulents, the name escapes me. Beautiful.

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    1. Hi Patrick, and now I know of your blog, thank you!

      Yep they really are ferns, cool huh? Imagine walking though a forest of them...

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  16. Looking forward to everyone one of you Fri Huntington posts Loree. My days in LA are long gone, but it's still my hometown and I have great memories of all the gardens there--even though at the time I didn't really know what I was looking at !

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  17. What is the ID of the plant in the last picture? I mistakenly thought the Huntington Botanical Gardens were in the Bay Area and was hoping to visit on my previous trip. This give me a good excuse to visit California again, yes?

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  18. Painfully cool plants!!

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