Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Huntington

A few weeks ago we met one of Bill's old college friends and his wife at The Huntington in Pasadena. This friend (who was the lead singer in their Milwaukee, WI rock band, The Motley Odds) is an English professor doing research on the Regency period in England--so the Huntington is a hangout of his. We took a tour with them through the library and art collections, then after lunch spent some time on our own in the gardens. It was a Saturday and the place was packed. Kids just couldn't resist running across the big lawns. We haven't seen that much grass in years! (I'm surprised lawns like that are still legal!)

Here are a couple of views of the Japanese garden. It's extensive and is becoming even more so, with an expansion currently under way.

Desert people that we are, our favorite thing was the cactus garden. There are many old, old plants, including some massive euphorbias (right) that are truly the size of trees.

We were in luck: the cactus greenhouse was open. Inside there is an impressive collection of lithops--plants that look like stones.

In the art collections, my favorite things were the portrait gallery (where Blue Boy, Pinkie and their cohorts are hanging--the young aristocrats of yesteryear); the John Frame exhibit, "Three Fragments of a Lost Tale" (exhibit now over, but catalog available at amazon.com); and Frame's selections from the library's William Blake collection, tucked away in a small room on the top floor of the art building.