Descanso Gardens in La Cañada is one of southern California’s most beloved parks, but the area might have been developed into something completely different! Back in the early 1950s when businessman and camellia grower Manchester Boddy was ready to sell his Rancho del Descanso, Walt Disney considered it a possible site for his theme park. Others suggested the land be used as a dump! Yikes! We can be grateful LA County recognized its value as a green space and opened it to the public in 1953. It continues to serve as a necessary and much valued urban retre
Descanso Gardens is well known as home to North America’s largest camellia collection, yet the beautiful Camellia Forest is only one of nine distinct gardens within Descanso’s 160 acres. They range from the rugged Oak Woodland and carefree beauty of the California Natives to the refined five-acre Rose Garden and the tranquil Japanese Garden.
Descanso Gardens is a nationally accredited “museum of living collections.” Its mission is to “offer people an experience close to nature and cultivate understanding of the natural world and people’s place in it through inspiration, education and example.” Plan a visit soon, and be sure to check out their website for upcoming programs and events at Descansogardens.org.
Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, (818) 949-4200 Descansogardens.org