For this month’s Garden Bloggers Foliage Day I am inspired by a recent visit to a public garden in southern California. With more than a dozen themed gardens the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino near Pasadena features more than 14,000 different plant varieties. I deliberately left my camera at home so I could just enjoy the adventure, but I pulled out my camera phone at the last minute to snap a few images.
During my half-day visit it was impossible to see the entire 120 acres of landscaped gardens, but the recently renovated Japanese Garden was at the top of my list. There was a beautiful ceremonial teahouse, a Japanese House, a Zen Garden and of course, water. The pond featured a charming moon bridge. The bonsai display was extensive. In this image the golden colored group of Ginkgo biloba enhances the view.
Other gardens I visited were the Camellia Garden, Chinese Garden, Conservatory, Herb Garden, Shakespeare Garden and Rose Garden. That means someday I must return to see the Australian, Children’s, Desert, Jungle, Lily Ponds, Palm and Subtropical Gardens.
Camellias were planted along a wooded walk that separated the Japanese and Chinese Gardens. The blooms were gorgeous but what stood out is that with each step I was aware of the intoxicating fragrance of the camellias and certainly I must add more Camellias to my own garden.
The Herb Garden was unexpectedly interesting with some rich fall foliage displays and pomegranates on the trees.
Walking to the car I had to stop to get pictures of a Gardenia cornuta we just happened to pass. It featured elongated, oval green hips surrounded by glossy, deep green leaves. A few of the gardenia hips had colored to a chocolate brown.
Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.
We were at the Huntington Garden but it was the height of summer and quite dry. I think the Chinese garden was our favorite. Those Gardenia hips are so interesting!
Isn’t it a great garden? The weather was so gorgeous the day we were there. I hadn’t thought about what it must be like at other times. There was a lot of serious construction going on in the Chinese garden, making it pretty noisy, but I agree it was lovely.
Really neat pictures. Guess California is the land of milk and honey.
Judy, if we had forty gardeners, a curatorial staff of seven, and more than 100 volunteers taking care of our gardens it would look like milk and honey too!
Hi Susie, the foliage in the Herb garden is beautiful and those hips on the Gardenia’s are interesting, do you plants have hips? I’m not so keen on Bonsai but the ones you featured are dispayed beautifully especially with the Ginkgo. Thanks for joining GBFD this month.
Christina, thanks for hosting GBFD. You can see gardenia hips from my ‘Chuck Hayes’ gardenias earlier this month. I was struck by how different these are from mine. https://pbmgarden.wordpress.com/tag/gardenia-jasminoides-chuck-hayes/
Lovely pictures – so much green and colour! The hips and the pomegranate are very attractive.
Thanks Cathy. I wish I’d taken a better camera along. The garden is so extensive–has a beautiful rose garden.
You’ll just have to visit again! 😉
Plenty to enjoy, no winter feeling at all – will there ever be or is it rather autumnal until next spring? The herb garden is splendid.
I’m not sure but don’t think the temperature changes that much during winter in that part of California, but they do get some winter rain. Actually there were also Iris and Delphinium blooming too! (On the other hand It was 27F the morning we flew there from the East coast.)
Love the setting for the bonsai. Looks like you visited at the perfect time!
Marion, it was great–a clear lovely day, about 70F. I showed only a fraction of the bonsai on display–each one was so interesting but not enough time to linger.
Such lovely colours from the Gingko and beautiful contrast of colours and textures in the Herb Garden. The hips on the Gardenia are amazing, do they change colour as well?
Hi Pauline. There wasn’t a lot of autumn color in California so the Gingkos were especially nice. I saw a couple of the gardenia hips that had changed to a rich sienna color. Don’t know if they transition to other colors in-between. Your colors are amazing this month. Susie
I love that herb garden, and I have never seen bonsai displayed like that before. Smart idea to leave your camera behind, it is so easy to get lost in trying capture what is in front of you that you can forget to actually “see” it yourself.
I agree Janet about the camera. My impulse to get a good picture takes over and alters the experience. Sometimes that’s ok but on this trip it was good to just appreciate the garden’s offerings and, as you say, actually see it. Have a good weekend. Susie
I am always thankful for the camera in my cell phone. Your photos are great and I really enjoyed the narrative of your garden walk.
The camera phone does have merit! This garden is not all that close to you perhaps but is on your west coast at least. You would probably enjoy it.
More gardenia hips… to think that just a few weeks ago I didn’t even know they existed! I always love the look of grapes and other fruits in a fall garden. To me it just looks bountiful for the season.
I thought those gardenia hips were so different from the ones on my bushes, so had to get a picture! I agree with you fruits (and berries) make the season stronger. Thanks for your comment. Susie
Wow what a beautiful garden…i will have to remember it when I visit my family!
Donna, you would enjoy this multifaceted garden–it’s lovely.