Exploring LA: Descanso Gardens

Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

April is coming to an end and I’m all kinds of excited for May. My schedule will be pretty packed with long days, especially with training for my Summer job at a nearby science camp. I’m really looking forward to the events I have lined up, but I’m definitely going to relax this weekend in preparation for the rush.

Back in March, Mike and I visited the Descanso Gardens as we thought it would be a fun way to appreciate the beautiful Spring flowers in bloom. I never got around to posting the photos I took from our trip and now seems like a great time to share them—especially since the super bloom in Southern California has pretty much reverted back into a wasteland. So these photos serve as a nice memory of what used to be.

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Located in La Cañada Flintridge, about 20 minutes from Downtown LA, Descanso Gardens is accredited as being a museum of living collections. Their botanical collections are featured year-round, and you can find a list of what’s in season on the official website, along with a detailed history of the area. Fun fact: before Descanso Gardens became a public garden in 1953, it was a private estate, one that Walt Disney had his eye on as a potential place to build Disneyland. Could you imagine the popular theme park being located somewhere other than Anaheim?!

Tulips have always been my favorite flower, followed closely by peonies and hydrangeas. And the tulips at Descanso Gardens are a wondrous sight to behold. Just as you enter the Center Circle you’ll find yourself surrounded by them, in a wide range of colors. Red tulips are my personal favorite, but there’s no doubt that every color was gorgeous in the sunlight. I didn’t want to leave the area and it was obvious that most of the other guests felt the same way. This spot was perfect for relaxing and taking plenty of pictures.

While the tulips have a soft spot in my heart, there’s no denying that the cherry trees in the Japanese Garden were the real show stoppers of our visit. Whenever a gust of wind would pass through the area, hundreds of petals would rain down from the trees, creating a beautiful sight. Standing underneath the cherry blossoms, where the bees buzzed about and the light shined through the branches, I felt calm and at ease. I think anyone who is feeling stressed or in need of a moment of peace should sit on a bench underneath a cherry blossom tree—it worked wonders!

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As we left the Japanese Garden, we came across the Oak Forest, an area filled with massive Coast Live Oak trees. These trees are a keystone species, meaning that they are essential to the survival of hundreds of other species. As we walked through the forest, I couldn’t help but feel like we were transported into some other place. It’s difficult to associate Southern California with anything other than deserts and beaches, so it’s nice to be reminded that our state is filled with much more. And if you take the right path, you’ll find yourself stumbling upon a waterfall in the middle of the forest.

One of the last areas we had a chance to walk through was the Rose Garden, which features over 1,600 roses. Although it’s not my favorite flower, I still greatly enjoyed viewing them, along with the other various plants and flowers that are in bloom throughout the rose bushes. This Garden is where my camera got the most usage, but I chose a few of my favorite photos to share with you 🙂

 

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We had only a short amount of time to explore Descanso Gardens, as we arrived near closing, so I cannot wait to plan a longer trip in the near future. It’ll be interesting to note which plants are in bloom during our next visit that weren’t around in March. I’ll sure miss the tulips, but I know everything else will be just as magical to see. And after hearing so much about their recent nighttime exhibit, Enchanted: Forest of Light, I’m thinking a return trip in November to see it reopen is a must!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! As always, thank you for following along 🙂

-Ciara

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