The magical new Chinese Garden at the Huntington is the getaway you need right now

Enchanting. Extraordinary. Entrancing.



a body of water surrounded by trees: The new Stargazing Tower, with its sweeping view to Mt. Wilson, commands the highest point in the Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)


© Provided by The LA Times
The new Stargazing Tower, with its sweeping view to Mt. Wilson, commands the highest point in the Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Really, there aren’t enough superlatives to describe the $25-million completion of the magnificent Liu Fang Yuan — the Garden of Flowing Fragrance — at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. But that’s probably for the best, since a description with too many embellishments would go against the core aesthetic of the now 15-acre space commonly known as the Chinese Garden, which finally opens to the public on Friday.

The newly completed garden should have opened in May, with great fanfare and many public events, but the COVID-19 pandemic ended those plans and forced the closure of the institution for several months. In this respect, the pandemic has been a bit of a gift: It gave the landscapers more time to complete plantings, and now that the Huntington has reopened, with social distancing rules limiting daily attendance, visitors will be able to experience the Chinese Garden without the usual crowds.

That’s a lucky thing, because the garden is a meditative spot, with something to inspire or delight at every step — turtles posing in the Lake of Reflected Fragrance, near the weaving Bridge of the Joy of Fish; the intricate pebble mosaics on the walkways and courtyards; the huge contorted oaks sprawling over the new courtyard outside the Flowery Brush Library; the garden’s handmade charcoal-colored roof tiles and swooping roofs; the whimsical cutouts in the freestanding walls; the giant limestone rocks looming throughout, like sculptural deities.

The good news-bad news is that experiencing the Garden of Flowing Fragrance will take patience. Because of the pandemic, all admissions to the Huntington are by reservation only, even for members, who enter for free. Timed-entry tickets become available at noon every other Tuesday, including Oct. 6, but because attendance is limited, it’s likely slots will fill quickly for people wanting to visit on the Chinese Garden’s official opening day.

But persist. (Masks are required at all times at the Huntington — and be prepared for questions about your health and having your temperature checked before you enter.)

Be sure to bring a smartphone, unless you are well versed in Chinese history and calligraphy. The pavilions, courtyards and many of the larger rocks reveal a poem or name carved in calligraphy, China’s most popular art form, and those words can give new meaning or insight into the scene before you. For nonscholars, the Huntington has created audio guides and a GPS map you can access on your smartphone to get descriptions of what you’re seeing, or the translations of the characters carved into wood or rock.

Indeed, the garden’s place names are poetry in themselves: consider the Studio for Lodging the Mind, the Terrace of Shared Delights, the Verdant Microcosm (dedicated to miniature potted landscapes known as

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Hotel Chinzanso’s Japanese garden is about to get even more magical with artificial fog

A dramatic fog is drifting through the garden of Hotel Chinzanso this month, transforming the Japanese landscape into a mysterious vista. The phenomenon isn’t a regular occurrence at the hotel, which is situated in the heart of Tokyo, but part of a special event for its guests to experience unkai in the city. 

Hotel Chinzanso
Photo: Hotel Chinzanso

Unkai refers to the early morning fog or low-rise clouds that, when viewed from above, resemble a ‘sea of clouds’. These clouds can be found year-round if you’re at a high enough altitude, but reach peak visibility in autumn and winter.

Hotel Chinzanso
Photo: fb.com/Hotel.Chinzanso

If you were climbing mountains just to see unkai, you’d have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch them in time. The artificial clouds at Hotel Chinzanso, however, are released throughout the day from morning to late night, so you can sleep in and still enjoy the spectacular view in the afternoon. And it gets better: after dark, 1,000 lights are lit up around the garden to illuminate the scenery and the property’s stunning three-storey pagoda. 

Hotel Chinzanso
Photo: Hotel Chinzanso

The garden is free to visit, but it’s only open to hotel guests, who can roam around the premises at their leisure. If you’re not staying the night, just dine at any of the hotel restaurants, or opt for the themed dinner at the garden terrace for a grand view of the spectacle. From October 8 to October 31, a French dinner course will be served at the garden terrace for ¥10,000. The menu includes a selection of appetisers, steak fondue and dessert; champagne, mulled wine and free-flowing drinks are included in the price. 

Before you go out, check out our guide on going out safely in Tokyo and Japan.

 

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Pregnant Emma Roberts glows in florals at ‘magical garden’ baby shower

Emma Roberts looked blooming beautiful at her “magical garden”-themed baby shower in LA on Saturday.

Dressed in a smocked floral midi dress ($478) and matching face mask ($35 for five) from Tory Burch, who also provided the party’s décor, the 29-year-old “American Horror Story” star celebrated her impending arrival with a stylish and socially distanced backyard gathering.

Roberts’ boyfriend Garrett Hedlund — with whom she’s expecting her first child, a baby boy — was on hand for the festivities, as were famous friends including Kristen Stewart and Camila Morrone, according to People.

Floral designer Eric Buterbaugh suspended roses from the trees with blue ribbon and presented the mom-to-be with a vagina-shaped arrangement, while Loria Stern and Little Sparks Cookies provided sweet treats adorned with real pressed flowers and the words “baby boy,” respectively.

“So grateful to my family and pod for making my pregnancy feel so celebrated during such wild times,” Roberts captioned her Instagram post. “I love you guys @cadehudson22 @kakeykake @britelkin and thank you to @toryburch & @ericbuterbaugh for the magical garden 🌸 #toryburchhome.”

Eric Buterbaugh provided the flowers for Emma Roberts' baby shower, suspending roses from the trees and presenting the mom-to-be with a vagina-shaped floral arrangement.
Eric Buterbaugh provided the flowers for Emma Roberts’ baby shower, suspending roses from the trees and presenting the mom-to-be with a vagina-shaped floral arrangement.Instagram

Roberts announced her pregnancy in August. The pair were first linked in March 2019, shortly after Roberts and her on-again, off-again partner Evan Peters parted ways.

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Emma Roberts’ “Magical Garden” Baby Shower Included A Giant Vagina

Emma Roberts is expecting a baby boy with boyfriend Garrett Hedlund, and to celebrate the pending arrival of their new addition, the Hollywood couple hosted a unique pandemic baby shower, that featured everything from a Twilight cameo to a giant floral vagina.



Emma Roberts posing for a picture


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The baby shower, which took place on Saturday, October 3, allowed Roberts and Hedlund to gather with their closest friends and family in a safe way. A source told E! News that the function carefully followed pandemic protocol, including having fewer than 20 people who all practiced social distancing while at the event.

“Emma’s baby shower was Saturday afternoon at a friend’s house,” explained the source. “It was a co-ed shower with about 15 people. It was outside, and everyone stayed distanced.”

A “magical garden” was the theme for the shower, and Roberts took it very seriously. The spring-like motif was spearheaded by Tory Burch and floral designer Eric Buterbaugh, who decorated the outdoor area with flowers galore. The celebrity florist even took it up a notch, gifting the mother-to-be with a unique gift — a floral arrangement shaped like a vagina.

The American Horror Story actress shared glimpses of her special event with her Instagram followers, revealing a casual but fun gathering. Her mother attended the shower, as did Hedlund’s, and other guests included Kristen Stewart (who starred in the 2012 film On the Road with the father-to-be), and close friend Camila Morrone.

“So grateful to my family and pod for making my pregnancy feel so celebrated during such wild times,” Roberts captioned photos of herself at the baby shower. “I love you guys.”

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Emma Roberts Celebrates ‘Magical Garden’ Baby Shower

Emma Roberts is getting ready to welcome her baby boy. The 29-year-old actress’ close friends and family helped her celebrate her baby shower this weekend, with a “magical garden” party. 

Roberts, who is expecting a baby boy with boyfriend Garrett Hedlund, was dressed in Tory Burch for the occasion. Pieces from Tory Burch Home also helped complete the outdoor affair. 

“So grateful to my family and pod for making my pregnancy feel so celebrated during such wild times. I love you guys @cadehudson22 @kakeykake @britelkin and thank you to @toryburch & @ericbuterbaugh for the magical garden 🌸 #toryburchhome,” Roberts captioned her post. 

The actress’ fans and celeb friends gushed over the pics in the comments. “You are the most beautiful! 💓,” wrote Lea Michele, who welcomed her own baby boy on Sunday. 

Ashley Tisdale, who recently revealed her own pregnancy, added, “Beauty 💕💕.” 

Reports that Roberts was expecting first circulated in June, when her mother, Kelly Cunningham, appeared to confirm the news on Instagram. Roberts confirmed her pregnancy and revealed she was having a boy on Aug. 30. 

See more on Roberts in the video below. 

Emma Roberts Confirms Pregnancy With New Pics, Reveals Baby’s Gender

Emma Roberts Wears Tory Burch Following Pregnancy Announcement

Emma Roberts Reportedly Expecting First Child With Garrett Hedlund

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