Descanso Superstars: A Caboodle of Camellias

Walk among winter blooms in La Cañada Flintridge.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Feb 7, 2014  |  Updated 1:47 PM PDT
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Descanso Superstars: A Caboodle of Camellias

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens celebrates what is arguably its most famous blossom, the camellia, on Saturday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 9.

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The next person in Southern California to say "I miss the seasons" will be, by our unofficial count, the 3,459,786th utterer of those words.

The Los Angeles region of course gets its share of seasons, but they're subtle and based around different things beyond foliage, like migratory whales and blooming camellias and Santa Ana winds and all of the winter award shows. Oh, and as for foliage? Many leaves turn here, too, only a bit closer to December.

So there.

Camellias, though, serve as a seasonal marker come winter 'round these parts. If they're in robust bloom, it must be February, or close to it. And while bushes along your street may show a few heads, the local place for the most camellia action per square shrub is Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge.

The historic garden's camellia collection gets the star treatment at the annual Camellia Festival, which pops, with so much hue, on Saturday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 9. There are walks and talks among the flowers, and a traditional Japanese ceremony, and camellia-care demos, and a visit from the faeries of a Faery Hunt.

Your admission to Descanso gets you into any and all events, save the Sunday Japanese tea ceremony. That's fifteen dollars.

If you can't make the blooming weekend, visit Descanso over another day, perhaps a weekday, for a meditative stroll among the legendary petals. Flowers are absolutely part of Southern California's seasonal calendar, and few show the passing of a season as fabulously, and as Februaryly, as the camellia bud.

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