There was a lot to see in Descanso besides roses last month. The tulips have been replaced with a colorful combination of daisies…zinnias, osteospermums and marguerites:
A wonderful combo of silver and pinks:
Love these rustic obelisks!
And these arches:
This beautiful magnolia was flowering in amongst the oaks.
And aren’t these seeds heads adorable?
Roses! What I love about Descanso’s rose garden is that it’s not over-manicured as so many seem to be. Some of the more vigorous types are allowed to get nice and big,
and there is an abundance of climbing roses, as well as a good mix of other plants
which make it feel more garden-like and less of a specimen collection.
Some of the arches are more industrial than romantic
but when covered in roses
I can forgive the need for low-maintenance structures!
For once I arrived early enough to be able to photograph the beautiful fountain without interruption.
It reminds me of fountains I’ve seen in some of the California Missions we’ve visited – which makes sense now that I’ve seen this plaque: I love the mix of practical plants such as olives, citrus and pomegranates with drought-tolerant yet decorative plants.
More technical issues this month, but I did manage to make one successful trip…
I fell in love with some new trees. This (I think) is the redbud I photographed before, now in full leaf.
A strawberry tree in the entrance courtyard.
This is a magnolia, I think. Just beautiful.
A huge bottle-brush tree by the Bird Observation Station.
And I was captivated by the tulip tree outside the Boddy House.
March is a colorful – and busy! – month at Descanso Gardens. While the camellias are still giving their best, joined now by the clivias planted beneath them,
other trees and shrubs are getting in on the act. The cherry blossom in the Japanese Garden warrants a festival all to itself, well-deserved when you see how beautifully they combine with the azaleas and acers with which they share space.
is holly. I’ve never seen it blossom before.
– a real reminder of English springs!
The dogwoods (though not strictly a blossom) deserve an honorable mention.
And a relatively new plant to me – the redbud.
And don’t get me started on the bulbs…!
If bluebells are the shy beauties of spring, tulips are the chorus girls. They are typically colourful and wildly effective en masse. Attractive enough to have caused arguably the world’s first speculative bubble and to have inspired some of the world’s most best artists.
I was late planting mine and so I’m only just seeing flowers.
Descanso Gardens is more organised and the results are spectacular!
A true mystery this week…I picked up these
in the car park of Descanso Gardens this week, some of the few not destroyed by being run over by cars. Clearly some kind of seed pod, and from a tree since that’s all that grow in the car park, but I couldn’t identify which tree they’d fallen from. They are cuboid, approximately 1.3cm or 1/2 inch per side, and the longest one is almost 40cm or 16 inches long. Very hard, and they rattle when shaken so obviously full of seeds! Does anyone have any idea what they are?
Technical issues and too much to do were my enemies this month but I managed to carve out some time for my favourite botanical gardens. The camellias are still going strong,
although are being carried off…
And I spotted this little beauty I’ve not seen before:
Unfortunately not labelled. Can anyone identify it?
The lilacs already got a page all to themselves…
And I love that the gardeners allow the leaves to stay on the ground so that nature can do its thing!
I only made it to Descanso Gardens once in January, but that hour was worth it. I believe I can officially call it spring! There are shoots peeping out and blossom beginning to show, even alongside reminders of winter.
It had rained the night before so the camellias and magnolias were a little battered, but I just love their slightly artificial-looking flowers.
One of my favourite places to visit is the small kitchen garden, Nature’s Table. There is always something to spark my interest. This month I was taken by the rainbow chard whose glossy green leaves contrast beautifully with the greyish-green of the artichoke. And the coloured stems look like fireworks!
And I love the weathered forms they use to collect leaves. Look at the way the peas have been trained around this one. Pretty, AND practical…my kind of garden!
The Center [sic] Circle has recently been redone as a California meadow. Although it’s tiny, it sparked the germ of an idea for the most difficult part of our garden…of which more later…
Do you have a favourite place to take photos? Where do you go for inspiration?