The Huntington’s Chinese Garden Expands 11.5 Acres


Amanda Chang, Staff Writer

The Huntington Library, otherwise known as the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, or simply the Huntington, is a large San Marino estate. The property once belonged to Henry Edwards Huntington and his wife, Arabella Duval Huntington.

“Together they amassed extensive library, art, and botanical collections that continue to evolve. In August of 1919, they signed a trust document that transformed their private estate into a public institution, making their collections available ‘to promote the public welfare’… The Huntington opened publicly to visitors in 1928,” according to The Huntington’s website.

It has sprawling pathways that lead to its numerous gardens, each with their own type of plants and beautiful structures. Some of its variety of gardens include a Desert Garden, Australian Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Conservatory, Japanese Garden, and Chinese Garden. On Oct. 9, after a five-month postponement, The Huntington’s Chinese Garden opened an expanded landscape. 

The addition will treat visitors to “11.5 new acres of landscape, pavilions, and other features in Liu Fang Yuan (流芳園), the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. With this last phase of construction now complete, Liu Fang Yuan has expanded from its initial 3.5 acres to 15 acres, becoming one of the largest classical-style Chinese gardens in the world,” touts The Huntington

“The total cost of this final phase of construction was approximately $24.6 million. This brings the combined total cost of the garden to about $54.6 million, all of which was raised from individual, corporate, and foundation gifts,” said The Huntington.

The Huntington reported that in the coming months, a bamboo grove and conifer forest are to be completed as part of the Garden’s 12 central acres.

According to The Huntington, indoor spaces are to open next year as part of “a new art gallery and a traditional scholar’s studio, as well as a casual restaurant.” 

The art gallery, which will be named “A Garden of Words: The Calligraphy of Liu Fang Yuan,” is estimated to open in May 2021, although it is to be seen if the pandemic may delay preparations or discourage visitors from entering. 

However, even though the pandemic may cause such inconveniences, The Huntington remains open during the pandemic to most of the public. Its many expansive fields, gardens, pathways, and benches offer a variety of ways to explore even while social distancing. The estate also has quite a few regulations in place and runs an efficient system to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and visitors who may be following the regulations incorrectly. Its indoor events and attractions, such as the art galleries, museums, and conservatories, as well as places of high interactions, like the Children’s Garden, are closed to protect both staff and visitors. Reservations are also required to ensure that there is a controlled amount of occupants in the gardens. 

With all there is to see, perhaps a visit to The Huntington would be a good way to pass a couple of hours and exercise over winter break.


Photo courtesy of MONROVIAWEEKLY.COM