March at Descanso

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,

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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.

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This

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is holly. I’ve never seen it blossom before.

And horse-chestnut

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– a real reminder of English springs!

The dogwoods (though not strictly a blossom) deserve an honorable mention.

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And a relatively new plant to me – the redbud.

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And don’t get me started on the bulbs…!

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February at Descanso

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,

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although are being carried off…

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And I spotted this little beauty I’ve not seen before:

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Unfortunately not labelled. Can anyone identify it?

The lilacs already got a page all to themselves…

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And I love that the gardeners allow the leaves to stay on the ground so that nature can do its thing!

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Descanso In January

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.

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It had rained the night before so the camellias and magnolias were a little battered, but I just love their slightly artificial-looking flowers.

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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!

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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!

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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…

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Do you have a favourite place to take photos? Where do you go for inspiration?