• Jill

A Tour of the Japanese Garden at the Huntington


There is so much to see at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, that you really can’t do it proper justice in one visit. And that’s not counting the fabulous library and museum spaces that are closed now because of Covid. On a recent weekday, a friend and I ventured out from our quarantined lives for a brief vacay at the Huntington. Though the outdoor gardens are open, the Huntington is still very careful about safety. We had timed entries, they took our temperature when we arrived, and we wore masks as we enjoyed the gardens. It felt safe, and so we were able to better enjoy our brief excursion to one of my favorite places.

It’s late summer in the garden, and things are getting dry, blooming out, and hunkering down for fall, but even in this season, there is so much beauty at the Huntington. There was a garden of bright rubdeckia, a phalanx of late blooming deep purple agapanthus, sassy pink naked lady lilies, purple flowering Rose of Sharon, so many fun herbs, and the last blooms in the rose garden.

But on this day, my friend and I headed to the Japanese Garden, to enjoy the serene landscape, and sit in the shade of the wisteria.

The Japanese Garden is such a special place. You’ll see when you watch the video. It’s so beautifully manicured, and so architecturally landscaped. All nine acres feel like everything is in exactly the right place, the rolling hills, the softly flowing water, the moon bridge, the beautiful statuary, the gorgeous trees, and the authentic teahouse. So much to take in.

Henry Huntington completed the garden in 1912, when there was a fascination with all things Asian. The Japanese House which anchors the scene, is considered one of the best examples of early twentieth-century Japanese architecture in the United States. The garden was renovated in 2011, thanks to generous donors, though it has always been one of the most popular places at the Huntington. I feel grateful to those donors for caring about maintaining the beauty and authenticity of a place that brings joy and serenity to so many.

Writing about the beauty of the garden, makes me want to visit again tomorrow! There is such peace and calm in the garden, especially this one. We were so glad we ventured out!

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