What happens when a local calls up Descanso Gardens and offers a donation of almost 180 plants? Not just any plant, but a type of plant that dinosaurs enjoyed walking next to and sometimes nibbled on, almost 300 million years ago.
When Katia and Frederick Elsea of La Canada reached the Executive Director of Descanso Gardens, David R. Brown, about their cycads collection, Brown notified Rachel Young, the Director of Horticulture and Garden Operations to accompany him to the property. “We get calls all the time from people wanting to donate their roses and camellias.” said Brown. “This time we got excited.”
They went to the Elsea’s home and saw a yard filled with 60 different species of one of the earliest types of flora on Earth. The Elsea’s wanted to make sure their collection would be in good hands.
“I take great comfort in knowing these plants will continue to thrive,” said Brown. The Gardens’ mission is “to cultivate an understanding of the natural world and people’s place in it through inspiration, education and example.”
Come see the newest addition to Descanso Gardens’ 160 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral. Stroll and appreciate the beauty and tranquility on Saturday, Sept. 26 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and take a guided tour at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to learn about a variety of plants that thrived millions of years ago.
Besides a cycad collection with blooming cones, there are conifers – Redwoods and Pine trees looming high in the area. Throughout this area and below the Boddy House, there is a nice variety of ferns. All of these plants are non-flowering and have been on earth before camellias, magnolias and water lilies.
On Saturday there is a fossil table to see a display of fossils from the Jurassic era. An educator from the National History Museum will be at the table to answer questions. Families can make a fossil at the Center Circle to take home.
It’s easy to close your eyes and imagine dinosaurs roaming around the plants. They may be extinct, however these plants are blooming beautifully.
Activities free to members.