Tuesday, December 05, 2006

LA Story #3: The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Saturday in Los Angeles was cool, sunny and wonderful. We chose to spend the day at the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botantical Gardens.

For Nightowl (and the rest of us) the botanical garden was the only option. And it really was amazing. Bearcub and I spent the morning at the Garden. Then we headed back to the hotel for afternoon nap. We picked up Chillymama and Nightowl when the gardens closed. They'd spent six hours in the gardens and we're still not really ready to go.

First we explored the Children's Garden - a very hands-on, experiential type of garden with lots of topiary, water, sand and fog. The actual Fog Garden was a favorite (first photo). Every five minutes chimes would toll and clouds of fog would billow. Bearcub enjoyed the topiary animals (second photo). There were rabbits, deer, dinosaurs. We also splashed in a number of fountains, enjoyed a "plant house," the prisim rainbow bridge and a number of topiary tunnels (third photo).

After the Children's Garden we went to explore the science lab and other nature exhibits - all very hands on and exceptional. One favorite was the tropical seeds exhibit. Nightowl saw a variety of spices and learned to connect them to the actual plant (vanilla pods - vanilla plants, cocoa - cocoa plant, etc.). Nightowl spent a long time here. In the first image she's checking out the view through a bee's eye. The second is a coconut exhibit. The third is an identify the plant game:

There was still more to see: Chinese Gardnes, Desert Gardens, Wildflower Gardens, Rose Gardens, Japanese Water Gardens and on and on. We could have spent days there. Days.

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