I spent a good part of yesterday in the Descanso Gardens, located in the city of Flintridge, California. This is an active and ever-changing garden, located on a property of (I think) 150 acres. Multiple gardens are found throughout the area, with various sections of native California represented – desert, riparian, chaparral – as well as other specialized sections, such as a Japanese garden and a camellia wood (my name for it).
Camellias are interesting plants. Most of the ones I have seen in yards and gardens are pruned to be short. The ones in the Descanso Gardens are big – really, really tall – and spread out over acres it seems. Right now, some have come into bloom and dropped their petals like pink and red rain over the dried oak leaves. Others are just beginning to bud. Many are mixed, with buds and flowers. I can only imagine what it might be like in 6 weeks’ time. With paths winding in and out of the camellias, one can sit on a bench or scuffle through it all.
Besides the camellias, there are oak trees, old and gnarly. I love oak trees, and to see these always is pleasurable. Don’t you think that old oaks are the source of scary trees in fairy tales and the origin of Ents? Druids worshipped them, and the Romans burned the sacred groves. Oaks are powerful and magical – I never tire seeing nor photographing them.
The Descanso Gardens are ever-changing, depending on season and, perhaps, muse.