California Rose Garden on a Cloudy Day

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

By now, it’s probably no surprise that strolling through gardens is one of my favorite pastimes. This spring, I paid yet another visit to one of my favorite spots in California, the Descanso Gardens near Pasadena.

For some reason, whenever I visit, it always seems to be overcast and damp, but I don’t mind. I think rose gardens are especially romantic underneath a cloudy sky.

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

Isn’t it interesting that roses, so pure and beautiful, attracting bees and humans alike with their color and fragrance, often have thorns? “Look,” they say, “but don’t touch.”

I think this is one reason why roses have been the subject of so many poems. They’re full of metaphorical possibility and a wonderful contradiction. Delicate yet sharp, they remind me of everything from ballerinas and dresses to sensuality and even human anatomy. Like all cut flowers, they don’t live for long in a vase, and yet people have dedicated their careers to cultivating different varieties simply for the sake of beauty.

If you’re a rose freak, you MUST check out photographer and flower expert Georgianna Lane. Last year she spent some time at the home of David Austin Roses in England, and oh my God, it’s a dream! See the blog post from her stay right here. If all you know of roses are the stiff, aroma-less, chemically preserved ones in grocery stores, then you haven’t actually experienced roses. David Austin is regarded as the Godfather of English roses. He cultivated tons of varieties that people now grow all over the world. I’d love to Visit the home of David Austin Roses someday!

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone:
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie wither’d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

Tis The Last Rose Of Summer – Poem by Thomas Moore

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

The day we visited, some goose babies had recently been born, and we saw the whole family crossing the path in a line – so cute! Apparently Descanso named all the little goslings Ryan, for Ryan Gosling.

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

Descanso has a few different themed areas, including a small desert zone. It’s not often that I get to see flowering cactuses.

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

These flowers below, part of the poppy family, remind me of fried eggs. They were BIG too, probably a little wider than my opened hand.

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

I brought my Fujifilm Instax camera and got a couple interesting shots. Working with an instant camera has its challenges when it comes to lighting and focus – you don’t have much control! But I think the blurriness and darkness are pleasantly moody, don’t you?

Descanso Rose Garden in Spring Descanso Rose Garden in Spring

Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, 91011

I'm a Californian in my mid-twenties who studied Art History and lived in France for 3 years. I blog honestly about my travels, share my thoughts on life, and get poetic about art and photography. I also sell prints of my photographs on Etsy.

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