Descanso Gardens Part 1

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.

Every holiday season, as do  many botanical gardens, they have a beautiful light show at night for guests. I have been lucky enough to see a number of botanical garden light shows, but I have to say this is the most incredible night show of lights I have personally seen. I have heard about this over the years, but until this year never went to experience it. Our daughter and her husband took their daughter to see it last year and all they could talk about was having us go this year with them. Our oldest daughter and her husband were flying down from Seattle to spend Christmas with us, so opening night (Monday before Christmas) our LA daughter, her husband and our granddaughter (plus a new grandson born this year) hosted all of us to a night at Enchanted Forest of Lights in Descanso Gardens.

I was absolutely not prepared for the incredible beauty of the evening. I loved their use of fog machines throughout to enhance the look and experience. I took some photos, but not on a professional level. Using just my I-phone I wasn’t able to get truly great night photos. Having said that, my son-in-law had his new I-phone 11, which does do night photography quite well. All of that being said, I wanted to share a taste of what we experienced. The photos I am sharing in part 1 are his (with his permission).  Part 2 (next week) are a few of my better ones that weren’t duplicates of his. I hope you enjoy!!!

Descanso Gardens 1

Descanso Gardens 2

Descanso Gardens 3

Descanso Gardens 4

Descanso Gardens 5

Descanso gardens 6

Descanso Gardens 7

Descanso Gardens 8

Descanso Gardens 9


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41 thoughts on “Descanso Gardens Part 1

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      True on the cell phones like mine, but on the iphone 11 as long as there isn’t movement…they come out pretty good. Not like a good camera on a tripod, but closer than I thought it would ever do. One of those events that was part of a busy schedule and I just didn’t think it through. Having said that, I ‘m actually kind of glad…it allowed me to just enjoy the experience with family and grandchildren to its fullest.

  1. Jet Eliot

    Really enjoyed Jared’s photo, Kirt, and the magical displays at Descanso Gardens. The lights do a good job of enhancing the beauty of the oak trees and bringing forth the mystery of the night. Many thanks to you both.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It was the most beautiful and surreal experience as we walked around. Spending it with family, the grandchildren, etc. made it so special!! I’m glad I didn’t go into it to do photos, would have pre-occupied me and part of the magic is sharing it together! (fog machines added a lot!)

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It was such a surreal experience and so special to share with family! The grandchildren…even our almost 1 grandson….loved it. Blessings to you and your family Ryan!

  2. America On Coffee

    I love botanical gardens— this one is special! Thanks for sharing Kirt! Best Wishes for your New Year (we may have stated this already). Anyways a double to you with Love and Blessings!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you for the feedback and for stopping by!! The entire experience was so stunning and surreal. The grandchildren were in awe as were all of the adults! A night we will all remember!! My best to you this coming year!! Blessings to you and yours!!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Dan….it was way more than I expected. It was a truly surreal experience they way they did it. It’s about a mile walk around the gardens and with the entry into a new part, it never ceased to amaze me. The entire family was mesmerized and in awe (including our 3 year old granddaughter and almost 1 year old grandson).

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      All of the years we lived in San Diego, I was aware of it, but let’s be honest…it’s not just a quick drive up from San Diego over to this part of the LA metro area for a night walk through (although worth it) 🙂 It truly was the most incredible, surreal experience I have had with this type of venue! Thanks for stoping by!

  3. Pingback: Descanso Gardens Part 1 | Matthew Seufer Photography -Reaching Millions Worldwide with a GIFT of HOPE,COMFORT, and INSPIRATION in 2020.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      We lived in San Diego for 24 years and I had heard of this light show before, but from San Diego to this part of LA is a bit of a drive to do a couple hour walk through. Now that we live up here and have experienced it, different story….wished we had taken the time to drive up from San Diego. My son-in-law did a great job of capturing the look and feel of it! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Diane Henders

    Wow, those are wonderful! I love the way the slight graininess of the photos turns the tree bark and branches into a study of texture.

    We had some lovely garden lights this year too. Milner Gardens and Woodland occupies an old-growth forest; and in addition to their regular strings of lights, they added some of the laser projection lights, concealed and pointed up at the big conifers so they projected on the lacework of the canopy high above. The effect was like millions of tiny fairy lights ‘way up in the trees – beautiful!


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