Sean and I spent our afternoon here today - it seemed the perfect place to celebrate the official start of spring.
The following is at the risk of sounding like a senior citizen who enjoys garden tours and is fussy about teatime. But, since turning 30 last summer, I've noticed that I care less about perception and have by now given up most hope of appearing at all cool. (Actually, I read in Wallpaper recently that using the word "cool" these days is a definite indicator that you're not. So you see, I'm a lost cause already and figure I might as well embrace it...)
It was thanks to a post on Drollgirl's genuinely funny and cool (nope, won't stop using the word) blog last week, that I found out about the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. Ever since leaving England, I have longed for access to a proper large park with grand lawns, flowerbeds, benches and perhaps the odd pond. The Huntington didn't disappoint; both buildings and grounds were truly spectacular, with different areas representing various cultures and continents. There are subtropical gardens and waterfalls, a mini rain-forest, Japanese gardens with a bonsai court, a dessert garden, rose gardens, classic European style gardens with fountains, sculptures and lily-ponds, camellia gardens and old-fashioned hot houses... All incredibly beautiful. You can even take your tea in a special tea room, which was quaint enough, but at $25 a pop (gasp), and the "high tea" served buffet style (double gasp), we opted to sit out in the courtyard cafe instead...(Even if that meant plastic cups and pre-packaged sandwiches.)
In fact, bearing a striking resemblance in look, size and atmosphere to Kew Gardens; for the remainder of my stay in L.A, The Huntington Gardens will serve as a pretty spectacular substitute to the London parks I miss so much. I loved it.