Spring at Descanso Gardens
There is nothing like exploring the gardens in Los Angeles during the Spring. The weather is perfect and the blooming flowers are have a rich and fragrant scent. One of of favorite places to visit during the Spring is Descanso Gardens. This fairy-tale land of beautiful blooms is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and unwind among nature.
Located about 15 minutes outside Downtown, these incredible gardens were once owned by newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy. Not only did he own the Los Angeles Daily news but he also ran a commercial camellia garden at the location. He supplied the flowers for many boutonnières for proms and weddings. Talk about good business sense… or scents (which ever way you would like to look at it!). A lot of the inventory for these camellias (around 60 – 100,000) came from 2 successful Japanese nurseries that Boddy bought out in 1942 given that many Japanese Americans were being sent to internment camps at the time. Eventually, he turned over the land to the county of Los Angeles in 1953 who developed it into the property that you see today.
The gardens include a rosarium, as well as a Japanese tea house, lilac garden, bird sanctuary and a xeriscape (which is wonderful in this drought-plagued part of California). They also regularly host professional camellia shows, chamber music, and weddings. And wait until you see the tulips in bloom – there is nothing like it.
Also on the property is the original 22-room mansion built by E. Manchester Boddy and designed by James Dolena in the Hollywood Regency style in 1937. The house is located in the far southeast corner of the property, overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains. You can walk through the house on your tour of the property. There is also a Heritage exhibit where you can learn more about the gardens and Boddy’s life.
If you want to take a rest from walking, then take a ride on the Descanso Gardens Enchanted Railroad, an eighth scale replica of a diesel train, that takes visitors around a section of the park.
Check out these gardens on your next visit to LA – you won’t regret it!