Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

So, on the last day of the drive down south in late January….we were half way between relatives in Thousand Oaks and our destination of Palm Springs driving the highway through San Marino when we see an insignificant sign on the side of the road saying “Huntington Library”.  The car did an abrupt exit manoeuvre and within minutes we were walking down the paths at the Huntington. We decided it was much too late in the day to do the garden justice, so swore to come back in a week or two. Which we did, youngest offspring obligingly in tow. We spent most of our time, appropriately enough, in the Desert Garden. A quick breeze through the Chinese and Japanese Gardens late in the day left us wanting more. The only tiny disappointment was the Australian section – I was expecting much, much more…especially after immersing myself in the Australian plant section of the UCSC Arboretum last fall. But…as Roberto Burke Max, Brazilian landscape architect, has said, the Huntington is “the most extraordinary garden in the world”.  Here’s a gallery (many plants sadly unnamed):

It was late in the afternoon with harsh sunlight so I was delighted to see that I got some lovely shots. I wish I had noted what this plant was in the Japanese garden.


More Palm, close up

Oh my….tropical!

Cyathea cooperi ((Australian Tree Fern). That bark!!!


Eucalyptus macrocarpa “Bluebush”


Honestly…when I’m surrounded by cactus and succulents my heart just soars!

Amazingly…for such an ocean lover…the desert really speaks to me!

So much colour, variation…

Just a few more!


Omg….so beautiful!!! I swoon!

The cacti were amazing

Boophone disticha ingens

Pachypodium lamerei (Madagascar Palm)


Euphorbia milii lophogona

Amazing bloom, colour….

Dense plantings, and blue, blue skies

Those blue senecio (?) are so dazzling.

Acacia bailyana purpurea – I think I can grow this at home!! Sooo gorgeous!


Author: joannewesterby

Although I lived in Ontario for 25 years, Vancouver Island has always been home to me. 15 years ago we bought a "little house on the prairie" in Brant County, just outside Hamilton, Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario. Over the years, with a lot of sweat, determination, luck, skill, frustration, elation and endurance we turned that 2 acre clay field into an amazing chronicled in Through Leaves. When we recently retired we immediately came back 'home' to the Coast. We have settled in beautiful central Vancouver Island at the edge of Nanaimo on 1/2 acre with a mature shrub garden adjacent to a ravine that winds its way up to Westwood Lake and eventually Mount Benson. Although the garden is mature and is very overgrown, too homogenous for my liking and needs my personal stamp! I am dizzy with the possibilities!!!

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