The usually bucolic Descanso Gardens underwent a spell Saturday, transforming into a one-day wonderland of children’s laughter, trains, damask fairy wings and rich, exotic teas. But through it all, the reason for the gathering was not forgotten, as thousands of white, pink and red blossoms took center stage at the garden’s annual Camellia Festival.
More than 200 varieties of the sturdy winter plant were on display throughout the 160-acre garden, and those who took part in the walking tour and lecture had a chance to learn the history of how the flowering trees and shrubs came to reside there, and to see up close new hybridizations. For camellia lovers and friends Christina Wilson and Linda Rector, who traveled from Thousand Oaks, the festival was a day well spent.
“Last year, we came the weekend after and we missed the festival,” Rector said. “We both got camellia bushes and they’re coming out really well. So now we’re back.”