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“Lots of potential”
Review of Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens is a botanical garden and place of year-round natural beauty, with internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Accredited by the American Association of Museums as a museum of living collections, Descanso Gardens welcomes 250,000 visitors annually. The principal collections include California native plants and oak woodlands; one of the largest concentration of camellia plants in the Western Hemisphere; a rose garden with specimens from all corners of the globe; and significant presentations of lilacs, maple trees, cherry trees and iris. It has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

This is a great horticultural collection. We went at just the right week - last in March - the camellias, lilacs tulips and others were out. Its a manageable size - not too large nor too small. Some of the displays need a little more attention by the maintenance folks - the pond at the Japanese Garden was pretty murky and low, and a number of the elements needed some TLC. There is a little train which you can ride which is cute. It seems to be a destination of choice for families with young children though, so if you don't like a steady background soundtrack of shrieks and yells, then this might not be for you. The amenities are well done - there is a lovely gift shop and small grill/restaurant with outdoor patio seating.

Thank tp21-5649
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (328)
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"japanese garden"
in 53 reviews
"rose garden"
in 44 reviews
"gift shop"
in 33 reviews
"enchanted forest"
in 14 reviews
"cherry blossoms"
in 14 reviews
"la canada"
in 9 reviews
"art gallery"
in 13 reviews
"full bloom"
in 9 reviews
"oak trees"
in 8 reviews
"koi fish"
in 6 reviews
"light show"
in 7 reviews
"beautiful place to visit"
in 7 reviews
"los angeles"
in 20 reviews
"small lake"
in 5 reviews
"check their website"
in 5 reviews
"beautiful flowers"
in 6 reviews
"water features"
in 4 reviews

280 - 284 of 329 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2013

This was one of very few attractions open in or near Pasadena on a Tuesday. We were lucky to visit on a weekday to avoid crowds; however, we did not get to see the full splendor of this place since the camellias were getting tired, and the roses were not yet out. The Japanese Garden was gorgeous, and the Boddy House lifted the whole experience for us to a four out of five.

Thank Kay M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

What a treat to visit in late March when the lilacs, cherry trees, camellias, and tulips are in full bloom! On a weekday it was very peaceful and a feast for the senses. It's easy to walk around the gardens, although there is a tram and a small train also. The gift shop is a must!

Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We happened to go on the cherry blossom weekend so we had a 45 minute wait just to get into the park, which I heard is not typical. So unless you're going for a specific check the events page of the website to make there it's not a special weekend.

So despite the wait, it was a beautiful day to be outside. The property is quite large, but 80% of it is just oak trees and camellias. If the camellias had not been somewhat blooming, there would not have been much to see. What we did see: About a dozen cherry trees in blossom, which are quite beautiful. The tulip garden was quite spectacular with beds of different colored flowers. The lilac garden was nice, but you can tell they don't really thrive in SoCal climate. The roses were not in bloom yet.

Other than the very front of the garden, there is not much to see. It is more like walking through a park than a botanical garden. I expected the grounds to be much more manicured like the Huntington Library or even the small garden at the Getty center. For $8, I can't complain too much. It just wasn't quite what we expected from a botanical garden.

Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 24, 2013

I recently visited the Descanso Gardens and was very happy to see so many tulips. There were red, pink, white, purple, and yellow tulips galore. In fact, some were gigantic and it took me by surprise to see them so large. I was snapping pictures like crazy as were many others. Besides the beautiful tulips, all of the cherry blossom trees are in bloom. It's such a sight to see especially along the small lake. There is a small train ride for an additional fee which takes you around the gardens. If you have young kids, they will love it but the gardens themselves are small enough to walk through. The rose garden is not yet in bloom so I would give it another month or so if you'd like to see them. Overall, a great little escape.

Thank Caroline L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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