Avail of Descanso Gardens Discount Tickets: COMP – $5* and visit an urban retreat of year-round natural beauty. Immerse in internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Stroll through this La Canada Flintridge destination and you’ll marvel at vast arrays of vibrant colors, discover peaceful wooded oases and even glimpse into California’s past at the historic Boddy House. No two visits are ever alike — you may see rows and rows of roses one day and branches bursting with camellias the next. Art lovers can take in exhibitions at the Sturt Haaga Gallery, shopaholics can find the perfect memento in the well-curated Gift Shop and everyone can refuel at Café Descanso.
UPDATE: Avail of Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest of Light Discount COMP – $26
Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Driv, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Open Year Round except on Christmas Day
DESCANSO GARDENS TICKETS
- General $9
- Seniors 65 and over/Students with ID $6
- Children (5 to 12 years) $4
- Descanso members and children under 5 are free (print e-ticket from their website)
DESCANSO GARDENS DISCOUNT TICKETS
THINGS TO DO AND SEE AT DESCANSO GARDENS:
Boddy House – Perched high above the Descanso Gardens landscape on the crest of a hill is the historic home of Descanso founder – E. Manchester Boddy. Built in the late 1930s, it offers a glimpse of a glamorous bygone era.
Sturt Haaga Gallery – Rotating exhibits throughout the year seek to illuminate the intersection between contemporary arts and the sciences represented by the garden — botany, horticulture, biology, ecology, conservation, and the study of gardens as cultural artifacts.
Enchanted Railroad – Take a light-hearted look at Descanso Gardens from a 1/8th-scale replica of a diesel train. The Enchanted Railroad is a Descanso icon and travels a section of the Gardens near the Promenade. Tickets are $3 per person and is available for purchase at the Visitor Center.
Rose Garden – This 5-acre garden devoted to America’s most popular flower. More than 1,600 roses represent centuries of horticultural history. Significant collections of species, old garden and modern roses are arranged in theme gardens. Planted among the roses are beautiful companion plants, so there is something blooming in every season.
Japanese Garden – Explore this tranquil Japanese-style garden that blends design elements from four classic garden styles. Cross an arched bridge and walk on shaded paths along a koi-filled stream to the teahouse, designed by architect Whitney Smith and built in 1966. The plants in this garden are all native to Asia, and include camellias, azaleas, mondo grass and Japanese maples. The distinctive roof of the teahouse, crafted from blue tiles imported from Japan, is especially striking in the spring when nearby pink cherry and plum trees are in bloom. The garden includes a minka, modeled after a traditional farmhouse, which was designed by Kenneth Masao Nishimoto and built in 1969.
Camelia Collection – Descanso Gardens is home to North America’s largest camellia collection. Located on what was once an Oak Forest, the area is in full bloom from early autumn to spring, with the most dazzling floral display in winter, from January through February.
Oak Forest – Experience the giants in the Descanso landscape, the Coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia). These trees, some centuries old, are the remainder of a forest that once blanketed the region.
Ancient Forest – Descanso’s newest garden is centered on a collection of cycads. The collection includes more than 180 plants representing 60 varieties including several endangered species. Virtually unchanged in form since the days of the dinosaurs, cycads provide a glimpse of the earliest types of flora on Earth. The collection is on view with other ancient plant species – including tree ferns, ginkgo and redwoods – in the Ancient Forest, which opened in September 2015.
California Natives – Opened in 1959, this 8-acre garden reflects the subtle beauty of the state’s native flora. Spring and summer is the best time to see bloom, including the sunny yellow flowers of the desert-dwelling palo verde tree, bright orange California poppies, deep blue ceanothus and creamy buckeye. Early summer brings show-stopping Matilija poppies, with their dramatic “fried-egg” flowers topping lanky stalks. Monkey flowers, baby blue eyes, fairy duster – the names of these natives are as charming as the blossoms. In late summer and fall, the garden is mostly greens, grays and browns as plants go dormant to survive the hot, dry summers.
Center Circle – This evergreen garden will be focusing on show-stopping plants in strong contrasts of silver, purple and hot pink from all over the world, which thrive in low seasonal rainfall.
Oak Woodland – With its mix of woodland, meadow and chaparral plants, the Oak Woodland recreates the heritage landscape of the Los Angeles Basin.
Nature’s Table – An edible garden planted with fruit trees and seasonal vegetables along with herbs, edible flowers and other tasty accoutrements. The area is enveloped with vines, bushes, shrubs and greenery. Like the home garden, the bounty varies from season to season, including citrus, pomegranates, pumpkins and squash, herbs, greens, amaranth, corn — even apples!
Gift Shop – The Gift Shop carries items of interest for all visitors – home and garden furnishings, such as garden benches, bird baths, statuary, lanterns and cherubs. The art lover will find beautifully framed prints, original watercolors, rugs and wall hangings. Other merchandise includes an exceptional selection of cards and other gift items such as lovely glassware, ceramics and collectibles. Outdoor wear includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, gloves and hats.
Cafe Descanso – a casual outdoor dining option during your visit to Descanso Gardens. Located near the Gardens entrance, the Café showcases the season’s best fruit, vegetables and herbs from local farms and gardens, including our own “Nature’s Table” at Descanso Gardens. We offer a gourmet selection of fresh salads, sandwiches, homemade desserts, ice cream, beer and wine.
MORE TIPS FOR VISITING DESCANSO GARDENS:
- A limited number of wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for guest use at the Visitor’s Center.
- No animals, except service dogs, are allowed in the Gardens.
- No bikes, motorcycles, horses or hunting.
- Respect the Gardens by NOT picking flowers, leaves or seeds, walking in flower beds, or climbing the trees.
- Do not feed or disturb the wildlife.
- Personal music devices with headsets only.
- Picnics are not allowed.
WHAT’S BLOOMING THIS SEASON:
Below are estimated bloom times of your favorite plants at Descanso Gardens. Please call Visitor Services to confirm that your favorites are blooming prior to your visit.
- JANUARY: Camellias, cherry trees and winter annuals
- FEBRUARY: Camellias, magnolias, cherry trees and daffodils
- MARCH: Tulips, camellias, irises, lilacs, cherry trees, clivia and daffodils
- APRIL: Azaleas, camellias, irises, lilacs, native plants and wildflowers, and wisteria
- MAY: Roses, azaleas, camellias, irises, wildflowers and California natives
- JUNE: Modern and heritage roses, and summer annuals
- JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER: Roses, summer annuals and perennials, crape myrtle, and cassia
- OCTOBER: Sasanqua camellias, roses and fall foliage
- NOVEMBER: Camellias, toyon berries, annuals, ginkgo and fall foliage
- DECEMBER: Camellias, toyon berries, annuals and ginkgo.
AVAIL OF DESCANSO GADENS DISCOUNT TICKETS: COMP – $5*
*service fee applies but still cheaper than regular admission tickets. This post may contain affiliate links where we earn a nominal commission from your ticket purchase at no extra cost to you. Photos by Descanso Gardens.