Thursday, July 7, 2011

Father's Day at the Huntington Gardens

For Father's Day, Papa and I sojourned to the Huntington estate for tea and a stroll through the grounds.  As always, we were accompanied by Timmy and his charming brother Tobe, whom I introduced to Papa.  Papa of course found him to be delightful company and the four of us retired to the Rose Garden Tearoom for a spot of breakfast.

 Pip pip cheerio and all that!

Papa and I chose the rose tea, which was positively enchanting.  Very fragrant and quite delicious.  We dined on fresh scones with a selection of devon cream, blackberry jam, and the best marmalade I have ever tasted.  We enjoyed a wide selection of tea sandwiches and other savories followed by an array of sweet morsels and desserts.  Messrs. Timmy and Tobe were quite full by the end of it.

 Timmy helps himself to a lovely sugar cube

My platter of sweets was quite ecstatic at the prospect of being eaten!

Afterwards, we took a stroll through the rose garden and partook of many lovely blooms.  I got a bit artistic with my photography and captured several blossoms on film.  Below are two of my favorites.

Aaaaah, lovely

 An exceptionally beautiful lavender

 Open bloom with dew drops

We then stumbled upon a rather peaceful willow tree and found the most charming bench beneath its branches.

Here Papa poses with Timmy

 Papa was quite keen on finding the lilly ponds and so we wandered in that direction.  It was here I discovered that some parts of the gardens are more suited to what the common people call "sneakers"

 Squishy, but tranquil

Taking the path to the right, we soon entered the Jungle Garden and found ourselves face to face with a manmade waterfall.  We inquired within but Dr. Livingston was no where to be found.

I say!  Rather striking! 

We soldiered on in the direction of the Chinese gardens and came across this lovely fountain on the green.

Yes, quite 

Papa and I found the Chinese gardens to be an absolute delight!  The architecture was most enjoyable and the shade rather pleasant.  The Chinese garden had its own tearoom with lunchtime comestibles available for purchase.  Perchance we shall enjoy luncheon there at a future date.

Yes, the gardens are absolutely filled with architecture

And it was most delightful

Upon further exploration I found that the pond was absolutely brimming with koi.  They all swam merrily to the surface and eagerly thrust their mouths out of the water to beg for a bit of food.  

 Positively brimming, I tell you

I was curious to see the hothouse and the rare and exotic plants enclosed within.  Papa came down with the vapors upon entering the greenhouse and declined to venture further in.  I explored on my own and came across many interesting sights such as this cloud forest.

One almost felt as though one were in another world 

Having had my fill of the humidity, I ventured to the other side and found the most charming children's garden!  Everything was child sized, including tiny fountains and hedge mazes.  I quickly went about to the other side of the greenhouse and fetched Papa, who was just as charmed as I as we watched the children interact with the tactile aspects of the garden.

The entrance to the children's garden was through this cheerful, child sized blue door

The garden was absolutely delightful, particularly this playhouse reminiscent of Wendy's cottage in the musical of Mr. Barrie's work, Peter Pan

After our stroll in the gardens, Papa and I had just enough time to enjoy the library and museum collections that the Huntington estate had to offer.  We saw some wonderful drawings by William Blake on display as well as an absolutely marvelous collection of rooms preserved as they would have been in the 1800s.  The library, of course, is a must for any bibliophile.  Such a rare and prestigious collection of manuscripts I have never before seen.  And the smell of books is absolutely everywhere.  It nourishes the soul in a way that no e-reader ever shall.  I shall most certainly be returning at the earliest convenience.

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