By Lynne Tucker

Descanso Gardens is a story of plants and the people who loved them for their life-giving utility and their great natural beauty. While the tale unfolds over centuries, the connecting thread – from the tribal people who relied on the plentiful oaks for food and their way of life to the 20th century entrepreneur who sowed the seeds of a cultural institution – is a deep-seated love for this evocative and distinctive place. Its evolution into a botanic garden, open to the public and nationally accredited as a “museum of living collections,” is but the most recent chapter in the rich history of this landscape. Today Descanso Gardens remains an oasis of beauty, both rugged and refined. In its eloquent landscapes, vignettes and vistas we can experience firsthand moments in the epic story of humans’ relationships with the natural world and enjoy a refuge of stunning beauty.

For five evenings only, 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins—some as large as 100 pounds—will line a path through the Camellia Forest. The one-mile walk features expertly carved real pumpkins and live carving demonstrations. Carved runs from October 23–27, 6:30–10:30pm.

Tickets are $25 each for Descanso Gardens members and $30 each for non-members. Sell out is likely.


  • Descanso Gardens is open daily except for December 25. Hours are 9am to 5pm (last entry is 4:30pm). There is ample free parking.
  • The Sturt Haaga Gallery is open daily from 10am to 4pm when an exhibit is on view. The gallery presents three 10-week exhibits per year.


  • General $9
  • Seniors 65 and over/Students with ID $6
  • Children (5 to 12 years) $4
  • Descanso members and children under 5 are free.

For more information visit

Think Travel and Enjoy the Journey