Mysterious Tulips of The Enchanted Forest

Something strange and wondrous has sprouted at Descanso Gardens.

Call upon the online headquarters of one of our celebrated public gardens and you're bound to find a tab or link or page that talks about what exactly is blooming.

It might be wisteria in March, or jasmine in June, or some other bud that springs to life particularly well here in Southern California when the calendar says it is time.

But the La Cañada Flintridge destination's "what's in bloom" calendar, curiously, has no report of the strange and semi-translucent tulips that have made a sudden appearance at Descanso Gardens in recent days.

What are they? Some sort of fantastical flower from the cosmos? Blossoms from a newly discovered seed? Or are they lined up in preparation for Enchanted: Forest of Light, a nighttime illumination experience set to take root at the historic gardens throughout the holidays?

But like any flower destined to appear in a bouquet, time and attention are first required. And if you stop by Descanso Gardens during its daytime hours ahead of the Friday, Nov. 25 opening of Enchanted: Forest of Light, you're bound to come across those mysterious, Promenade-close tulips, the Rainbow Sycamore interactive light display tubes, and the starry installation above the property's rose garden.

A sighting during the sunlight will, of course, mean that the lights and lamps and incandescence-creating sculptures will not be lit, but do they add a fresh dimension to the natural space? One that has some art and a pinch of oddness to it?

They do. But then the holidays are a time of magic, or so say the storybooks. Why shouldn't dozens of unreal tulips spring from the soil when December draws near?

Tickets are now on sale for the Friday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 8 garden-meets-glow spectacular.

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