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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Henry's Back Yard: Part Three

Continued from Tuesday and Wednesday...

Karin the Altadena Hiker is a docent at the Huntington Library and Gardens, which privileges her to explore parts of the grounds that aren't open to the public. Inside Karin beats the heart of an explorer; give her a piece of ground and she will seek out its every corner.

Karin's favorite part of the Huntington Gardens is the Desert Garden, and this part of the Desert Garden is closed to the public. The stairs above and this walkway, both made with river rocks, are in the oldest part of the garden and were probably installed before 1910. Many specimens in the Desert Garden are over 100 years old.

I'm grateful to Henry and Arabella Huntington for having the foresight and generosity to leave their home and collections as a legacy to us. I'm grateful to those who work and volunteer at the Huntington for making it such a magnificent place to visit. I'm grateful to those who contribute financially--donations large and small--so this unique institution can thrive. And I'm especially grateful to Karin, the decent docent, for the unique tour she gave me of the quiet, private places in the gardens.

There's more to see, so much more. I've got to think of a way to return the favor to Karin so I won't feel guilty begging her for a chance to see it again.

17 comments:

Pascal Jim said...

Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks!!

The Arroyo Delight. I once found a round rock so perfect, trillions of years old washed down from the mountain.
Rock walls in our area, a joy to behold.

The curator of the cactus gardens, has TWO Mont Blanc Pens on his person. With so many quills under his control you'd think.....

Eleonora said...

Beautiful photography, and a wonderful account of a great place.

Those rocky steps are so inviting...

Ciao
Ele xx

Virginia said...

The Decent Docent is going to get a workout soon! The rocky stairway is just gorgeous. What a very special tour you had. Beautifully photographed as well!
V

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I most especially love the second photo -- the way you caught that gorgeous, dying tree.

(Hmmm, what can you give me... Maybe a photography lesson.)

Katie said...

Gorgeous desert garden. Those rocks really rock! And the last photo is stunning. How very lucky you are to have had this private tour. Thank you so much for sharing little corners of it with us.

TheChieftess said...

Beautiful photos Petrea!!! All three days of shots!!! As magnificent as the public gardens are at the Huntington, there's something about these gardens in a bit of wild repose that is especially beautiful...

Bellis said...

I keep wondering why so much of the desert garden is out of bounds - did you find out? Perhaps they want the cacti to have a bit of peace and quiet? I love the steps - such an attractive idea to use arroyo stones as risers. And the pods in the final photo are beautiful!

Petrea said...

I've been out since early this morning. Thanks for your comments--nice to come home to.

As to your questions, Bellis, I don't have the answer but maybe Karin does.

Me, give a photography lesson? If you've got fifteen minutes I'll tell you all I know.

HearkenCreative said...

Hmmm...my Huntington membership renewal just came in the mail today. After seeing this week's posts, it's a no-brainer to renew.

Thanks for reminding me of why I got my membership in the first place, Petrea.

altadenahiker said...

Wow, doesn't Hearken warm the heart? I don't think there's any public garden that values its members more or treats them better than the Huntington.

Bellis, I'm trying to remember -- perhaps it was to keep this area pristine, exactly as it looked in the day. Or it could be something less romantic; maybe the ground is too uneven and paths too narrow to meet some legal code. In any case, the most spectacular plantings are accessible via the public walkways.

Bellis said...

Well, looking again at those steps, they could be unsafe - visitors might stumble or slip on that second row of rocks below the risers. No point risking a lawsuit.

Petrea said...

Hearken/Loren warms the heart in person, too. One of those people. I tell ya, Loren, every time I visit the Huntington I'm reminded of why I joined and why I renew.

Kat said...

I'm so jealous that you got a behind the scenes tour. The desert garden is my favorite spot at the Huntington, and whenever I go there it's my first spot-- and the inspiration for my own garden. So glad you could share these pictures!

Gina said...

Love, love, love those steps.

And I love that your photo doesn't reveal what is at the end of them. I can look at it and imagine...

Anonymous said...

You’re lucky to have your access there.

“The only time anyone has ever gotten into serious trouble was when he decided he could do nothing about something”. —L. Ron Hubbard

This may fit (hit) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9hduY3_mUs

Wv: Jesus!

Petrea said...

Thanks for your comments. I do know how lucky I was to go there and to take pictures. A treasure.

Anonymous: amazing WV! I don't think that happens every day. Well--considering how many blogs there are, maybe it does.

valeria said...

What a lovely, lovely place. I love those rocky steps...