Chinese Garden Visit When The Lotus Are In Bloom

Summer is here.  We avoid the Huntington Desert Garden at this time of the year because of the extreme heat.  The Chinese garden with its rapidly maturing willows makes for a cooler, shaded stroll. 
On the way there, we saw a Red Whiskered Bulbul, an exotic bird from Southern Asia.  There are a number living in Southern California, descendents of escaped or released pets.  
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Gardenia thunbergia 'Grande'.  The flower is 5" (13 cm) wide.
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The end of June in Southern California means Agapanthus
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We enjoyed the masses of Agapanthus flowers, but were glad to arrive in the shady Chinese garden.  It was already getting hot. 
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More of the pavillions have been completed, with still more planned, and the plantings, most especially the pond-side Weeping Willows, have matured quickly.  
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This group of Acer palmatums planted in a bed of Chinese limestone is quite new.
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A garden of white pavilions, grey stone, and lush green trees.  There is little flower color at the moment.  In the winter there are the camellias, in spring azaleas, and flowering cherry, plum, and other small trees, but in the summer, flowers mean mostly water lillies and Lotus.  Still, they are quite a show.  
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Back in 2008, when this garden first opened, the Willows on the right were, I think, no taller than I was.  Fast they are.
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I continue to have mixed feelings about this garden.  It cost well over fifty million dollars to build--it shows--but the plant materials, while beautiful are quite common.  It's not a plant-nut's garden.  It is a place to have lavish fund raisers.  There's a Disneylandish quality to it.  Now that international travel is so common, going to see an authentic Chinese garden in China is not unimaginable.  One hundred years ago, not so.
One courtyard Loquat, for you PNWesters:
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However, now that the willows have grown, and paths under the pre-existing native oaks are completed, great on a summer's day. 
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The craftsmanship in the first phase of the garden was impressive.
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The brand new phase, at times, not so much:
Made in China:
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After our stroll, we stopped in at the Cactus/Succulent show, about which I will only say this:  Ooooooh!
Epithelantha micromertis ungispina
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After a cool stroll in the Chinese garden, hot & bothered at the succulent show.  Waaaaannnt!
Agave victoriae-reginae variegated
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  1. Exquisite photographs of an exquisite garden. That gardenia photograph makes me fingers itch to pick up my watercolors. Just lovely

    1. The fragrance of the gardenias was even better! Need smell-o-blog.

  2. A wonderful garden with many interesting plants, trees and architecture, the lotus blossoms and the water lilies are beautiful.
    xoxoxo ♡

  3. Stunning photography (as usual). Wish I could get that degree of clarity in my pics. Loved your comments on the Chinese Garden -- fifty million dollars! I went once: when it opened and I only live 7 miles away.

  4. I'm a few blocks away from the Huntington and was there to see the Lotus in bloom. It was around 8:30 am and it was already scorching HOT! I am excited to see all the additions they are doing to the Chinese garden, although most of the time I can't get myself out of the Shakespeare and rose garden. I'm glad you identified that bird - Red Whiskered Bulbul. I have a photo of one of them from the Huntington and had no idea what it was. I just found your blog so I haven't browsed much of it yet, but I'm sure you probably go to Descanso as well. I love both places, but Descanso is a little more bearable in the Summertime since there's a lot more shade.


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