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The Huntington Botanical Gardens
http://www.huntington.org/

In 1903 Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch, a working ranch with citrus groves, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows, and poultry. His superintendent, William Hertrich, was instrumental in developing the various plant collections that comprise the foundation of the botanical gardens. The property—originally nearly 600 acres—today covers 207 acres, of which approximately 120 are landscaped and open to visitors. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in more than a dozen principal garden areas. Forty gardeners, a curatorial staff of seven, and more than 100 volunteers maintain the botanical collections, provide interpretive programs for visitors, and propagate plants for special sales.


History of the Gardens

Henry E. Huntington and Hertrich worked together to mold the working ranch into a botanical garden of rare and exotic plants. They searched local nurseries and visited other plant collectors in the area to find mature and unique specimens. Mr. Huntington imported plants from many parts of the world to experiment with their cultivation in Southern California.



The lily ponds were developed first. They were heated at the time to maintain the giant-leafed Amazon water lily during the relatively cool Southern California winters. Huntington and Hertrich also worked together on the Palm, Desert, and Japanese gardens and planned the North Vista and the landscaping around the mansion.


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Most of the plants are exotic ornamentals; many are labeled. If you have questions about roses or herbs, look for volunteers who are often on duty in those areas to answer questions. Behind the scenes, new collections from Mexico, South America, South Africa, and other regions are cultivated for planting in the gardens or for distribution to other botanical gardens, plant science professionals, and amateur horticulturists.


Since Mr. Huntington’s death in 1927 many other gardens have been developed, including ones for subtropical and Australian plants, herbs, and camellias, among others.


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Los Angeles County Arboretum
http://www.arboretum.org/index.php

Occupying the heart of the historic Rancho Santa Anita, The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a unique 127 acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and located in the city of Arcadia. Home to plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species, The Arboretum also houses outdoor historical landmarks representative of the major phases of California history.

Our mission is to cultivate our natural, horticultural and historic resources for learning, enjoyment and inspiration. We strive to reflect Southern California's distinct climate, community and opennes to new ideas. The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a rich historical site that includes Native American, Rancho Period, and late 19th century treasures. In addition to concerts and tours, we offer activities and events that cater to every audience.


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Three thousand years ago, the homesite of the earliest inhabitants of today's Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden was known as Aleupkigna, "the place of many waters." With the arrival of the Spanish in California some two hundred years ago, the residents of Aleupkigna became known as the Gabrielino (in reference to the mission responsible for their conversion), and the land upon which they had lived before removal to the Mission became Rancho Santa Anita, an agricultural outpost of Mission San Gabriel. Hugo Reid, a Scotsman with Mexican citizenship, married to a Gabrielino woman, became the first private owner of Rancho Santa Anita and in 1840 constructed his adobe house next to the lake.

When Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin purchased Rancho Santa Anita in 1875, he acquired not only the natural lakes and cienegas on the property, but water rights in both Big and Little Santa Anita Canyons just north of his homesite. The Baldwin Ranch was situated on a 2,000 acre artesian belt, a benefit of its location atop the Raymond Hill Fault. Sixty percent of Baldwin Ranch irrigation waters came from artesian sources, the remaining 40 percent from canyon waters. Baldwin Lake, which served as a holding reservoir for ranch irrigation projects, was dredged and deepened, perhaps 12-15 feet, by owner Baldwin in the late 1880s, and a retaining wall, capped by granite boulders, was constructed around the lake edge.



"Baldwin's Belvedere," today known as the Queen Anne Cottage, was built in 1885 on a peninsula jutting out into the horseshoe-shaped lake; the springs that feed the lake are located in both the north and south inlets. Lucky Baldwin supplied residents of the city of Arcadia with a combination of canyon and artesian water of such quality that a Los Angeles Herald reporter commented, "Why, if this God-given fluid were piped to Los Angeles and distributed to the city, the saloons would lose half their customers, and water drinking would become fashionable." In early Arboretum days the lake was designated LASCA (Los Angeles State and County Arboretum) Lagoon, perhaps a reference to its film location possibilities, perhaps a corruption of the Spanish word for lake.
 

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First, the calm and balance of a Chinese garden
then the merging of timeless nature and human art
then the stunning beauty of flowers and a bird
then a charming home on a lagoon

then an over-dressed spacey dwarf screaming from a tower

how do you do it, Milquetoast?
 

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Sorry, yeah- I was there in 1980 and the Huntington is there with "Pinky" and "Blue Boy" (Gainesborough) and really really important historical documents and sculptures and- it's a wonderful place.​
The picture of the bridge over the pond was taken by the huge Japanese bell, which you could ring by swinging a suspended log into it.​
 
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