El Molino Viejo

Eric and I have been wanting to head down to El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill) for a while now. It’s just one little town south of us, and it’s amazing having that kind of history right in your backyard. We’ve loved learning about the California missions in the years that we’ve lived here, and this mill was actually built to serve the San Gabriel Mission, which is just a bit further south. The mission was built in 1771, and the mill was built in 1816.

By 1823, another mill was built closer to the mission, and this mill became the Old Mill. It was still used for quite some time, before it was passed through the hands of a number of Los Angeles families and eventually beautifully restored. It is such a lovely building, and it’s surrounded by gorgeous gardens filled with native California plants.

The courtyard was full of pomegranate trees, which we had never seen before. So pretty!

The pomegranates were ripe, and they looked like giant Christmas ornaments decorating the tree.

There was also this atmospheric gazebo, covered with grape vines. It was lovely from outside, but the real magic was inside…

The vines created these gorgeous translucent curtains of green. I could have stayed in there all afternoon, and not just because the shade was a welcome respite from the 90-degree heat.

And, of course, there were plenty of succulents to ogle. I can’t help but think that this would make a lovely background image. Kudos to Eric, who spotted it first.

One of the greatest things about the mill is that they host artists in the garden, and you can see them at work. Definitely makes a girl want to break out her paintbrushes.

Finally, on the way out, I noticed this little vine hanging from a nearby tree. I thought it was so gorgeously delicate.

We had such a wonderful afternoon traipsing through the grounds. I love being a tourist in my own town!

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