Get Out Of Town!: Descanso Gardens

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Tulips bloom along the Promenade at Descanso Gardens in March and April. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Descanso Gardens is bursting with color throughout late March and April, with tulips, irises, cherry trees, camellias and lilacs blooming furiously. Natives, wisteria, azaleas and other plants are also beginning to open throughout the well-maintained, 150-acre botanical garden.

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About a fifteen minute drive from Burbank, Descanso Gardens is located east of the 2 Freeway in La Cañada. The gardens have been a refuge for us for decades and even more so during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Lilac Garden bursts with color at Descanso Gardens. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Attendees are mostly diligent with mask-wearing, which is required for entry and while on the grounds.

Descanso Gardens includes a number of themed areas including the Promenade, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Hilltop Garden, Ancient Forest, Camellia Forest, Lilac Garden, Oak Woodland, California Garden, Oak Grove, Mulberry Pond and the Lake.

Paved and dirt paths weave throughout and plentiful shade can be found which is particularly welcome on hot and sunny days. In the summer, misters along the fountain in the Rose Garden help visitors cool down and concrete benches provide ample seating under the Rose Garden’s shady central pavilion.

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The Kitchen at Descanso is currently open daily along with the gift shop’s plant patio, but the Enchanted Railroad, Boddy House and Stuurt Haaga Gallery remain closed at this time. Bathrooms are open and cleaned regularly.

Parking is free in the large lot and picnic tables are available outside the entrance gate.

Members don’t need reservations and can walk in anytime the garden is open. Non-members must purchase advance timed tickets and weekends sell out frequently.

Descanso Gardens is currently open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Visit Descanso Gardens website to learn more and purchase advance tickets. The website includes maps of the garden and information on plants currently in bloom.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

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