February 11, 2015

Photo Essay: Deadly Fruit, Meat-Eating Plants, and Other Oddities In Bloom

I've been so overwhelmed by the expanse of The Huntington Library and Gardens (on the site of the former San Marino Ranch) in the two times I've visited previously, so I welcomed the invitation to go with someone who knew the place well. I knew there would be plenty of new territory for me to explore, and I would get to see one of her favorite places through her eyes.

Besides, I wanted to see the fruit that the corpse flower had borne.

Turns out, despite my friend's familiarity with the place, she'd never seen the corpse flower, nor had she even been in the Conservatory building which houses it.

So together we could explore exotic orchids that look like insects...

...carnivorous plants (like the pitcher plant)...

...that swallow up bugs that are trying to get a drink of water... variety of climates – from clouds to bog – that foster growth of plants that thrive in a humid environment not usually found in LA.

Lucky for us, it is magnolia season... least for the early bloomers...

...and we could find plenty of fragrant blossoms that hadn't lost all their petals yet.

We also got to catch the camellias before all their blossoms had dropped or were shaken off during their peak.

This third visit to The Huntington was totally different than the prior two, finally making my way to the Chinese garden...

...and the Japanese garden...

...and then circling back to my favorite: the desert garden.

Even this repeat visit to the desert garden was different. I didn't have to find my own way. I had someone I could engage in mindless chatter, our admiration for the jade and the yucca and the aloe so totally mutual – both loving living things that other people recoil from.

And maybe she got to see a familiar place in a new way, through my eyes.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: The Blooming, Stinking Corpse Flower (and Other Delights) at Huntington Gardens
A Reality, Shared
Photo Essay: Trying Something New (At An Old Favorite)

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