The West Coast Journey – Huntington Library and Gardens

Eventually, maybe sooner rather than later, I’m going to split off a different blog  for strictly personal stuff. My days have been so loaded with friendship, communion among old friends and family and the more serious issues of life, they have nearly overwhelmed my more technical pleasures in presenting landscape-specific posts, information and results. As it is, I guess I’ll just punctuate things with a few examples of some of the ridiculously arresting places I managed to see and capture on digital film. In fact, today will be rather easy.

This comes later……..after the Desert.

Below, we’re munching on breakfast at a place famous for its French Toast on a bread they manufacture – more like a roll. Good Lord, there’s a reason for the fame. Here we eat beside the barking seals up the beach in La Jolla in the San Diego area. I regret I’ve forgotten the name of the gorgeous seaside restaurant, but they do a bang up business anyway….plus, its setting is totally unique. I bet Alice Joyce knows this one.

(enlarge pictures by clicking)

Today it’s the Huntington Garden and Library, in beautiful downtown Pasadena, California. I had long heard about it, specifically from James at Lost In The Landscape. I had made up my mind that if I ever got there, I’d check this garden out.


The literal forests of Cactus were extremely gorgeous, busy and arresting.

It was a total thrill, seeing these as we approached, but my delight was just beginning. Famous for its rare and exotic species, collected for nearly 100 years and tended to by true experts, the Huntington’s Desert Garden display is absurdly rich in impractical colors, made even more rare and other-worldly by the electrifying vividness of the blooms.

The Cactus above features a bloom so bright Yellow, it’s as if it creates its own Sun – from inside!

Below, these apparently “Interstellar/Transgalactic” Yucca’s provide us with colors we cannot find in ordinary gardens, certainly not in such combinations.

Looking magnificent comes easy to these guys – the entire lot of them.

Once again, the “artful arrangements”.

There is some amazing material to work with, no less…..

There are also some beautiful accidents    😉

This gorgeous area below looks like something of a transition between the Desert Garden theme and the Japanese Garden. I really dig the blue color – it’s like this air conditioner for the eyes. Plus, the layout is minimalist and tight for that.


Some very unusual individual cactii…….

Silver Jade Plant below.


Beautiful stuff all over



6 thoughts on “The West Coast Journey – Huntington Library and Gardens

  1. Love the cactus stuff. I was watching “THE WEST” episode of Stephen Frye’s series about traveling to every state in the US and there were some awesome shots of beautiful western flowers and cacti.

  2. Amazing plants, Freddy. I really don’t know much about them myself. But it was wild finding out all this.

  3. Steve, I’ve been so slow about posting a reply to your visit–sorry! It looks you had a spectacular time and I’m glad you did! The Huntington is so amazingly wonderful. The size of the collection is terrific, but the place goes back decades, so that you get to see some terrific specimens of some of the species.

  4. Hey James……nice to see you. Well, my trip was made better for the day my kid and I got to spend together. We’re farther apart now, which sucks. But I was blown away by the consistent excellence of the Huntington. Not a bad exhibit there – all totally well-tended and still natural, with exotics galore. Just an amazing experience for us both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.