The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens were once the private gardens of Henry Edwards Huntington, a prominent American railroad magnate. Later, his descendants donated this garden to the U.S. government, and it has become a famous tourist attraction in Los Angeles. The library houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps, and related materials in the field of English and American history and literature, totaling over six million items. Mr. Huntington’s private art collection includes renowned European artworks from the 18th to the 19th century, such as paintings, sculptures, porcelain, silverware, and furniture from countries like England and France.
The botanical gardens are a masterpiece that encapsulates various garden design concepts from around the world. Styles ranging from Chinese, Japanese, English, American to South American and Southern European coexist harmoniously within the same garden. From classical lotus ponds to modern-themed gardens, they complement each other beautifully, creating an environment filled with the fragrance of flowers, grass, and books—an atmosphere rich in art and culture.
One of the notable highlights is the Chinese Garden, known as the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, inspired by the Suzhou gardens of China. Spanning an area of twelve acres (48,000 square meters), the first phase of the project covered about 3.5 acres (14,000 square meters) and cost approximately $18 million. Among the six Chinese-style gardens already built in North America, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance is the largest.
This garden features all the elements of traditional Suzhou gardens, including pavilions, towers, long corridors, small bridges over flowing waters, and pink walls with gray tiles. Seven pavilions and five stone bridges are situated around a 1.5-acre (6,070 square meters) artificial lake, and the garden is filled with the fragrances of plum, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum, earning its name “Garden of Flowing Fragrance,” symbolizing a “fragrant reputation spreading far and wide.”
To create the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, more than a hundred containers of building materials were shipped from China, including a staggering 850 tons of Taihu rocks. During the crucial phase of garden construction, over fifty garden experts and engineers from Suzhou, China, overcame California building regulations and dedicated more than six months to meticulously crafting what is now known as the “Garden of Flowing Fragrance.”