Descanso Gardens (continued)

Descanso Gardens (continued)

As I left the ducks and birds behind, I continued on the path that led me to the entrance to the Lilac Garden, in the southeast corner of the nature reserve. The magnificent shades of lavender, purple and white blossoms with their heady show and sweet fragrance, renewed my love affair with the lilac. This is a showplace with 100 varieties of lilacs, an experience you don't want to miss. During the 1960's, a program took shape through careful planning of the grounds superintendent, that resulted in the Descanso series of lilacs, among them California Rose, White Spring, and the Descanso Giant. These varieties were specifically cultivated for the dry, hot temperatures of the southern California climate. These lilacs have been hybridized at Descanso Gardens and continue to add pleasure and beauty to the setting and surrounding areas.

I thought nothing could be more spectacular than the lilacs until I was treated to the sight of the rose garden: over 5 acres of ground planted in roses. Not only are they beautiful, these roses serve as a living history project for this extremely popular flower. The paths in the rose garden follow a circular arrangement. In chronological order to the timeline of history, these roses include examples from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Victorian England, and from our early American colonies.

At the end of my walking tour of the gardens, I felt particularly fortunate to have a place of such magnificent beauty, where history is preserved and nature is cherished. My first trip to Descanso Gardens won't be my last.

About the Authors As a freelance writer, Judith Stock writes, edits and produces newsletters for her business clients. Her writing experiences include poetry, non-fiction, gardening, humor, personal essays, interviews, travel, genealogy and children's picture books. She is the Fiction Editor for Moondance, a literary e-magazine. Her work has appeared on-line and in print publications at Folksonline, BestBizIdeas, Travelseekers, WebBound, Sennit: A Great Lakes Literary Journal, The "M" Word-Parenting Humor, Windowbox, USATourist and the Writer's Club. A native of Birmingham, Michigan, she currently lives in the San Fernando Valley, near of Los Angeles, with her dog Ann, and her cat, Pete.

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