Gardens of Beauty
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ―
I've been a garden lover since as far as I can remember. Living in California gives me the privilege of visiting a lot beautiful botanical gardens.They never seize to inspire me to create more beauty. I want to share with you today some of the photo albums I've collected of Southern California gardens over the years as my creative inspirations.
These photos are taken from Sherman Library & Gardens. The gem is located at the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California. If you happen to visit here, do stop by. Every season has its own charm. I go there sometimes to paint or meditate. You can sit there for hours and never get bored.
South Coast Botanic Garden is another beautiful gem in Southern California. We went in time for their cherry blossom in spring.
Mission San Juan Capistrano combines history and garden together. The waterlily pond is divine, you can chill in their center court yard garden all day.
Heisler Park in Laguna beach sits above the pacific ocean along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). It is a frequently hangout place for me and my family. The beautiful view is breathtaking. I get inspired every time when I visit there.
Treasure Island Park is another incredible ocean view park in Laguna Beach that our family loves to go. It has this expansiveness that fills you up. They have beautiful sitting benches that you can bring a book or a sketch book to spend an afternoon.
Roger's Gardens is a beautiful nursery located in Newport Beach. You can even design your own garden with them. Just note they are a little pricey because they are high quality. The food inside their Farmhouse restaurant is fresh and organic. Even if you don't buy anything (hard to resist, they have a gorgeous gift shop), just walking around different garden rooms gives you a huge dose of beauty and inspiration.
I love this 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival registered historic landmark: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens in San Clemente. I've been always drawn to the colorful Spanish art and passionate culture, no wonder I became a Flamenco dancer. Sometimes I think in my past life, I was a Gypsy:) And, oh, I can eat Paella everyday!
Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden inside Cal State University Long Beach is a small garden to find tranquility. I love to meditate, read or just relax in Japanese gardens. It is open to the public, you don't need to be a student to get in:)
The Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Gardens has a stunning botanical collection encompassing 120 acres, not even mention a distinguished collection of European and American art and one of the world's great independent research libraries. You can spend at least a full day or a week visiting different gardens inside this garden and never seize to be amazed by its beauty. Their Chinese garden I think it is one of the most authentic ones outside of China.
When we used to live in the Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa is one of my favorite inspirational place. I even bring my baby there for her to run around the garden:) The entrance is free, but you need to get the timed ticket ahead of time to get in--so it is never too crowded.
The villa is a recreation of an ancient Roman country house. The reflection pool is breathtaking. It has four gardens that blend Roman architecture with open air spaces and Mediterranean plants. In ancient times, gardens served both practical and aesthetic purposes at Roman country homes. They let fresh air and light enter the home, and also acted as gathering places to have conversations or to escape the heat.
If you enjoy meditation or just want to avoid tourists crowds, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Garden is just down the hill of Getty Villa. The Self Realization Foundation itself was founded back in 1920 by yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda as he first came to America. Considered far and wide the father of Yoga in the West, Paramahansa Yogananda is attributed with introducing his practices of Kriya Yoga and meditation to both Indians as well as Westerners. Regardless you are into Yoga or meditation, the garden is a beautiful and peaceful place to have a stroll.
We drive down to San Diego sometimes for a day trip. Balboa Park (the famous San Diego Zoo is inside) is one of my favorite places to visit. It is huge like the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with multiple gardens and museums that you can visit for days. The colorful and inspiring Spanish Village Art Center is a heaven for artists and art lovers. You will be able to talk to the artist who might happen to be working on their projects in their studios. The price of everything is reasonable.
Are you feeling inspired? Let me know!!
Disclaimer: The images, artwork, and contents of this blog may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Helen Plehn. All Images on this blog is taken by Helen Plehn.