The Honors Humanities Program at San Marino High is fortunate enough to have partnered with the Huntington Library to receive free admission to its gardens! In the era of social distancing, these trips are a welcome break from monotony. Unfortunately, only the gardens are open, but the trip was amazing regardless.
In the Desert Gardens, I was able to view the varied shapes and sizes of the succulents that populate much of California's native landscape. There were also a variety of animals too; I recognized several birds that also crop up around my house at the bird feeder in the garden. Walking through the Australian Gardens, I noticed a greater variety of trees and flowers.
Upon reaching the Japanese Garden, I decided to take the scenic route through the bamboo forest. I took the time to record my thoughts afterwards:
Walking up the path, I was able to process the shaking of bamboo leaves and the chirps of birds. I was able to spot the small variations in the notches of the bamboo. However, I also noticed the chatter of the other individuals around the garden and the carved initials on the bamboo. Simply put, although I was close to spending time in nature, I was very much in a manmade landscape.
After viewing the koi ponds, I walked over to the recently expanded Chinese Garden. Arguably the cornerstone of the gardens, this garden was originally developed as a replica of the Suzhou Gardens but has become a treasure in its own right. I stood and reflected by the scholar's rocks, and sat in the various pavilions. I recalled my parent's lectures about the symbolism inherent in the shapes and layouts of the Chinese Garden's structure; how different from the mansion that Huntington had built nearby! One particularly striking picture I took is below:
Overall, the trip was highly enjoyable, and I appreciated the chance to take a break and enjoy the outdoors at the Huntington!