April 20, 2015

Descanso Gardens

Over the weekend, I wanted to get out of the house. In an effort to make up for not spending a lot of time out and about during the week (and a little bit of procrastination from studying), I persuaded my parents to take a trip to see some flowers with me.

Unfortunately for us, the wildflowers in Southern California are beginning to wane -- the heavy rains and intense heat brought the wildflower season early, with an equally early end.

My dreams of seeing the poppy fields in Antelope Valley are put on hold for another year..but I heard that Descanso Gardens had a sprinkling of poppies, so we head over there instead.

Our first stop was the Japanese garden, a small area sprinkled with rock gardens and bridges. There are lily ponds with turtles and koi swimming around, traveling from pond to pond through connecting streams.

We walked further in and saw this tiny little train. It's called the Enchanted Train, and is mainly for children.

But don't let that fool you -- there were more adults than kids, and they looked like giants riding on the back of a train meant to take you to some fantasy land. Or into outer space, just like the Magic School Bus.

What was most impressive, and what is probably one of the biggest attractions of the gardens, was the rose garden. It may have been because they were the only flowers really in bloom, they stretch over as far as the eye can see.

There are gazebos and archways covered in vine roses.

We even saw a few weddings being set up around the grounds while we were walking around.

In a somewhat isolated corner of the rose garden is an area where this huge arches stand in four corners with benches in the center of them. In the middle of them all is lily pond with huge water lilies in bloom.

Creeping up the arches are actual grapes!

I can only imagine how they must look when they're full and fat.

I thought these were so interesting. They're called hummingbird sage, and they smell so strongly. We may or may not have pinched off a falling leaf and squeezed it between our fingers to see how fragrant the plants are.

We walked through forests where pine trees were both dying and growing -- brown, sunken trees sprouted bright green branches with bright pines.

After a long route around the grounds, we headed back towards the main entrance to look at one more area: the edibles. Not sure what that area was called, but this garden had tons of actual plants and trees that you could eat. Chard, mint, carrots, garlic, oranges, lovage, kale, artichokes, etc. They even had chocolate mint!

We were finally met with a hummingbird taking a bath in a fountain.

I took slow steps towards it, taking a photo every time I moved forward. After this shot I backed away quickly -- didn't want to disturb it and make it fly away.

On our way out we stopped by the gift shop, which had a nursery in the back. I saw this wall of hanging succulents and fell in love. I would love to do something like this -- pockets of soil covered by brightly colored plants.

Imagine if you also filled these with flowers!

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  1. These flowers are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing these photos. xx


  2. this looks gorgeous, what a fantastic place to spend a weekend! We have gardens like this close to my Mums (Wisley) and I love to go there and chill out. So pretty.

  3. digging tha grapes shot and this depth of field. naaaaiiiiceee.

  4. Oh wow, what a beautiful place! I could spend hours there! :)

  5. Ahh I wish there were more gardens around me. Or that they were actually in bloom! :(

  6. It's wonderful!! Haha, I'd love to switch places and explore YOUR neck of the woods!

  7. SOOOOO gorgeous!! This looks like the most gorgeous place ever. We are way too jealous right now!

    xx 365Hangers

  8. This place looks enchanting. Definitely what I want my future home to have! It's rather spacious though and looks impossibly complete with all the flowers I could imagine. Lucky for you to have been there :) I would want to spend most of my time in that area. Haha

    Mimi | The Foxy Heroine

  9. I KNOW!! Ever since I was a kid I've wanted a huge garden with flowers and trees and all sorts of pretty things.


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