The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino hosted An Evening Among the Roses, A Celebration of the LGBTQ Community, on Friday, June 8, in the Library’s celebrated Rose Garden. The event featured an opportunity to view rarely displayed Lewis Carroll materials from The Huntington’s archives, including both first editions of Alice in Wonderland and a special performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
It was a picture-perfect evening with golden light and a cool breeze. Attendees gathered in the lush Rose Garden to enjoy wine and cocktails, finger sandwiches and specially decorated cookies and cupcakes.
The event highlighted the celebration of the 150th anniversary of “Alice in Wonderland.”
The Huntington is one of the few libraries that own both the suppressed 1865 version of “Alice in Wonderland” and the official publication of 1866.
The Huntington’s Rose Garden was originally created in 1908 for the private enjoyment of Henry and Arabella Huntington, roses being a particular favorite flower of Arabella’s. The garden was designed primarily for display, providing copious quantities of cut blooms for the large elaborate floral arrangements favored in their home. Household records indicate that in one year alone, more than 30,000 flowers were used in these massive bouquets, 9,700 of which were roses.
Since the Huntington’s time, the three-acre Rose Garden has gone through many transformations, and now contains more than 3,000 individual plants and more than 1,200 different cultivated varieties (cultivars).
Beyond being a beautiful place to linger, the garden represents an extensive collection enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The spring bloom begins in late March and extends beyond Thanksgiving, thanks to Southern California’s mild climate.
For more information on The Huntington Gardens visit www.huntington.org.