Sunday, June 20

Inspired by a Day at the Huntington Library

It's been hard to find time to post all my sister's husband died of cancer quite suddenly at the end of February and life has been overwhelming, thoughtful, crazy, precious, so many things, ever since. My sister and I needed to regroup and just spend some time together doing something we both loved and jumped at the free tickets we were offered by a friend to the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California.  Another friend didn't come because a visit to a library sounded boring to her, well let me tell you...the library is just a small part (although we still enjoyed it immensely).  There were quite a few books on early science, botany, herbalism which my sister loved (she is an herbalist who works with an acupuncturist - see  

another botanical book - lavendulabotanical bookOld Color Standard Swatch books
I  was coveting the old book of color samples for painting projects, interior design, art and craft project inspirations.

But what we really looked forward to was the art collection.  Statues in the garden and inside interesting architecture, beautiful paintings including the famous "Pinky" and "Blue Boy" and the die for, no really...don't stand under one in an earthquake!  

DSC01482Fine Art, Fine Womenchandelierchandelier dripping in crystal
The art inspired my sister to get excited about painting again.  She noticed the beautiful hands in the statues and paintings, we photographed them to inspire her in the art to come.  (see them all here:  flicker photo set of hands in Huntington Library paintings)


Just when we thought it couldn't get any better after a nice picnic at the entrance grounds, we were enraptured by our walk through the GARDENS!  Unbelievably lush, beautiful, sensual spring in all its glory in the largest once private property in Southern California featuring theme gardens of every kind. We purposely skipped a few to have a reason to go back as soon as possible.  The Wisteria was in bloom and so heavenly fragrant.  The flower beds featured a wonderful variety and many drought tolerant, native plants were featured.  I couldn't wait to see more and it inspired me for weeks in my own garden this spring.  
wisteria under the arbor

camellia pathmain house planting bedsfountain among the ferns
statues garden & main housebamboo stand path/Huntington Librarylily pond - a hidden view

Then we came upon the largest succulent garden we had ever seen  It was like entering another world, interesting, filled with wildlife and at times, even beautiful!

cactus sentinels looking tropicalcrazy thorny tree in the sunbarrel cactus bed

Is this what inspired Dr. Suess?

cacti normal and Dr. Suess like

We went home closer, inspired and glad for the life we have.  We will always have each other no matter what and there's been alot of  "WHAT!" lately.  What places inspire you?

Be inspired by public homes and gardens.  Visit to learn more about the Huntington Library and support public gardens with your donations so that generations to come can be inspired too!  See more photos from this day here:  vintagedesignsmith@flickr

1 comment:

  1. Stunning house and gardens! I love the Wisteria and of course those colossal Cacti!

    I do so much enjoy your blog! Thanks.

    Big blog hugs, Sadie at Flea xxx