Descanso Gardens

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Descanso Gardens
Descanso Gardens rosarium
Descanso Gardens is located in California
Descanso Gardens
Type Public
Location La Cañada Flintridge
Nearest city La Cañada Flintridge
Coordinates 34°12′05″N 118°12′35″W / 34.201475°N 118.2098°W / 34.201475; -118.2098Coordinates: 34°12′05″N 118°12′35″W / 34.201475°N 118.2098°W / 34.201475; -118.2098
Area 150 acres (61 ha)
Status Open year round
Website Official Descanso Gardens website

Descanso Gardens, located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California, is a 150 acres (61 ha) botanical garden.

At one time, this property belonged to newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy, who owned the Los Angeles Daily News. He ran a commercial camellia garden at the location, supplying prom boutonnières, for example, until he ceded the site to Los Angeles County in 1953.

Walkway in Descanso Gardens

The county has developed the property to include a rosarium, as well as a Japanese tea house, lilac garden, bird sanctuary, xeriscape, and a gift shop. They also regularly host professional camellia shows, chamber music, and weddings. They are busiest however on the Easter weekend, when the tulips are in bloom.

The park also features the Descanso Gardens Enchanted Railroad, an eighth scale replica of a diesel train, that takes visitors around a section of the park.

In 1942, while the Japanese and Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast of the United States were being sent to internment camps, Boddy bought out two local successful Japanese nurseries. According to different sources, he acquired somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 camellias.[1][2]

Boddy House[edit]

The Boddy House is the original 22-room mansion built by E. Manchester Boddy and designed by James Dolena in the Hollywood Regency style in 1937. The house is located in the far southeast corner of the property, overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains.

In 2007, the Boddy House was rehabilitated for the 43rd annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design, and decorated in a contemporary re-interpretation of its original Hollywood Regency style. Subsequently, a major grant from the Ahmanson Foundation enabled the addition of a museum-quality Heritage Exhibit, with exhibits about the gardens, Manchester Boddy's life and times, and important donors and volunteers for the Descanso Gardens.[3]

The house is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily except Mondays. The house is available for special events including weddings, receptions, parties, conferences, meetings, and filming. Admission to the house is free with gardens admission.


The Stuart Hagga Gallery opened in the Fall of 2011. It was created by restoring Mr. Boddy's original garage and then doubling it in size with the addition of a contemporary building, nestled into the hillside behind the structure. The Stuart Haaga Gallery, open year-round, presents three exhibitions per year of contemporary artist's work that portrays such themes as nature, ecology, botany, horticulture, garden design and history, and other subjects relevant to a botanical garden setting. The gallery is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily except Mondays. Admission to the gallery is free with gardens admission.

In 2005, David R. Brown, former president of the nearby Art Center College of Design, was appointed executive director of Descanso Gardens.[4]

The gardens were featured as a game map in the Sci-Fi Channel reality game show Cha$e.

The 1991 remake of the television series Land of the Lost was filmed on location in the Gardens.

Zoo Animals[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Descanso Gardens: Boddy House
  4. ^ "Descanso Gardens appoints new Executive Director", Pasadena Living Magazine, July 2005.

External links[edit]