The Huntington's new education and visitor center opens to the public on April 4th, including six and a half acres of new gardens. The landscape, designed by Cheryl Barton, FASLA, of San Francisco, features a U-shaped covered loggia, a Garden Court and a Celebration Garden.
Visitors enter the visitor center complex with a view of the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, and proceed through groves of orange trees and California pepper trees that are typical of early California ranches.
An allee of olive trees forms the axis of the entire complex, and in the central part of the gardens, there are ever-changing palettes of native and adaptive plants, as well as intimate areas for seating one or two people, rooms formed by hedges for small groups, and spacious plazas for larger groups. The allee terminates in the Celebration Garden, where the new gardens evoke the formal historic landscapes of the original estate, with colorful seasonal blooms (marigolds, cosmos, zinnias) surrounding a stone-lined water runnel.
Well worth a visit.