Discover The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library, art collections, and botanical gardens is located on 150 acres of land at 1150 Oxford Rd. in the city of San Marino, California. San Marino is best known for the financial wealth of its residents and its proximity to the city of Pasadena. Many people, however, believe that the city’s biggest asset is the Huntington Library which is made of three art galleries and a library which “showcase magnificent collections of paintings, sculptures, rare books, manuscripts, and decorative arts”, and the botanical garden with a collection which “features over 14,000 different species of plants”.
The Huntington houses such treasures as “the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; a Gutenberg Bible on vellum; the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America; a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works; original letters of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Lincoln; and an unsurpassed collection of materials relating to the history of the American West.”, 18th century British and French art, American art ranging from the early 18th century to the early 20th, French and British sculpture, tapestries, furniture, porcelain, and silver, and British drawings and watercolors. Additionally, the Huntington is world-renowned as home to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie.
“Henry Huntington began developing the Botanical Gardens in 1903. Now they span nearly 150 acres with sweeping lawns and vistas interspersed with statuary, tempiettos, and benches. Approximately 15,000 kinds of plants from all over the world make up the botanical collections, many landscaped into a series of theme gardens.”
The three and a half acre Huntington Rose Garden is comprised of approximately 1,200 cultivars made up of “Old Garden Roses (roses developed before 1901); China, Tea, and Noisette Roses; Shrub Roses (including the David Austin English Roses); and Modern Roses from all parts of the world”.
“Playful plant choices, such as topiary animals, weeping mulberry trees, papyrus, and tree aloes resembling something from the world of Dr. Seuss, create a storybook atmosphere that combines elements of fantasy with the very real wonder of nature” make up the children’s garden.
“The Shakespeare garden contains shrubs and perennials that evoke an English garden. Many of the plants have been cultivated for centuries and were even mentioned in works of Shakespeare, including pansies, violets, pinks, rosemary, daffodils, iris, roses, pomegranate, and orange.”
In the Subtropical Garden, “Walking east to west from the Jungle Garden, the area transitions from subtropical southeast Asia and South America plants to Mesoamerica plants (Mexico and Central America) in the central beds, Chile in the upper central bed, southern Africa in the western bed extending along the road and in beds continuing uphill to the lawn, to the Mediterranean region in the upper two west beds.”
There are also Chinese, Desert, Herb, Camellia, Japanese, Australian, Palm and Lilly Pond gardens as well as a Botanical Conservatory
The Huntington is closed Mondays and the following holidays: Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Admission is free to members. For non members the fees are Adults $15, Seniors (age 65+) $12.00, Students (age 12-18 or with full-time student I.D.) $10.00, Youths (age 5-11) $6.00, children under 5 are free. Groups of 15 or more are $11 per person. Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of every month.