Thursday, February 2, 2017

A glorious visit to the Huntington Botanical Gardens...

The thing I remember the most about my first visit to the Huntington Botanical Gardens about seven years ago was the cacti to be found in the Desert Garden area, on my return on Monday I still found this the most captivating garden to walk through.

Cacti Huntington Botanical Gardens
With my parents visiting from Wales for the third time since we've been here, and having enjoyed L.A.'s attractions like the Griffith Observatory, The Getty Center and Getty Villa, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade and more in the past, we thought we'd enjoy the great weather and take a trip to Pasadena.
Huntington Desert Garden
Coming from rainy Britain it would be almost impossible to grow a garden full of cacti and succulents in the same way as you can in Southern California, so I think that's why I like the spikey plants and trees to most.
Huntington Desert Garden cacti
Even though it was a Monday the gardens were still busy, although we did manage to avoid the hordes of noisy school children for most of our visit.
Huntington Desert Garden
And after the recent deluge of rain in L.A. the foliage seems even more vibrant and lush, although all the grass and plants in the gardens made me wonder how they coped with the recent Californian drought conditions.
Huntington Garden Lily Pond Pasadena
The last time I'd been at the Huntington Botanical Gardens it had been April 2010 and there were far more flowers in bloom, although the weather was far more gloomy.
Huntington Chinese Garden Pasadena
With my allergies I probably dodged a bullet by going at this time of year than in the spring, although in California things seem to flower all year around.
Huntington Gardens Conservatory Pasadena
A few things had changed in the intervening years, like the addition of the Orbit Pavilion installation which allows you to hear the sounds of NASA satellites orbiting in space, plus the Chinese Gardens area seems to be expanding in size considerably.
Orbit Pavilion Huntington Botanical Gardens
A week before when my parents had arrived the temperature in L.A. was quite chilly, whilst the sun was fierce for our visit as the skies slowly clouded over.

As the sun shone it was also cool to see the snow-covered mountains in the distance, which was an amazing contrast to the lush green vegetation surrounding us.

All in all it wasn't a bad way to spend one of the last days in January...

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