THE Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntington is the first public Chinese garden in California and only the fourth in the U.S.
The new garden, which opens Feb. 23, has been painstakingly designed to embrace the composition, details and craftsmanship of classical Chinese gardens. Craftsmen from China worked six months on-site in San Marino creating the stone floral mosaics in courtyards and walkways, installing burnished panels of ginkgo and fir, and etching Chinese characters into limestone -- 850 tons of which were imported from the Lake Pai region.
"We are faced with trying to make decisions as people did in China 300 years ago as authentically as we can in a modern age where we have to use contemporary construction," says James Folsom, director of the Huntington Botanical Gardens. "Our climate is not the same. We are in a different world and a different time. We can't replicate the same conditions, but we can create an authentic experience."
-- Paula Panich