This week Nora has been reading a book that she got from the library about a family that takes a nature walk. She wanted to go on a nature walk too and the Huntington Gardens seemed like a fun substitue for an actual stroll in nature. We looked at many different plants, flowers, and trees. We inspected seed pods that had fallen onto the walkway and chatted about why they fall down and why they are filled with seeds. Our chat from last week about pumpkin seeds seemed to help her understand that seeds become plants. What she enjoyed most of all was running about with her map, pretending to read it, and pointing to the path that she thinks we need to follow in order to continue on our “adventure to the big mountain” as she put it. Nora loved the waterfall and the different fountains. Later, like a girl after my own heart she was just dying to get to the gift shop, where we picked up a calendar showcasing botanical etchings of seeds. When we go again next month, we will head out early, so that the girls have plenty of energy and patience. Of course, we were not allowed to take anything out of the gardens, but if we were walking in the actual woods or mountains it would be great to have a clean, empty egg carton to collect seed pods, rocks and other things to talk about.
This place is the hidden paradise of Los Angeles County. I love gardens of any kind, and seeing this astonishing variety of rare and exotic plants, flowers and trees all landscaped to mimic an authentic context was heavenly. I could have stayed there all day..and the next. In fact, you really need to come here several times to enjoy the gardens, the library and the art collection. They were begun by Henry E. Huntington in 1919, a lover of natural beauty, research and art.