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Descanso Gardens

July 14, 2012
Descanso Gardens' annual series of jazz concerts, which draws listeners from around the region, was in high gear this week when jazz guitarist Gonzalo Bergara hit the stage on the main lawn just before returning to his native Argentina for a series of performances. The series of Thursday evening concerns continues with vibraphone player Nick Mancini on July 19; Havana-born drummer Jimmy Branly's band on July 26; Kristin Korb, a Descanso favorite who sings and plays bass, on Aug. 2 ; drummer Sammy Miller, a Los Angeles High School of the Arts grad who has toured with a variety of headliners, and his band on Aug. 9; and pioneering singer and pianist Betty Bryant on Aug. 16. On Tuesdays through the end of July, Descanso Gardens is hosting a series of events geared toward children, including a play-along July 17 with the Rhythm Child Family Band.
April 10, 2013
Backyard gardeners of all ages with a passion for tomatoes turned out Saturday and Sunday at Descanso Gardens to experience the annual "Tomatomania!" sale of heirloom and hybrid varieties of the plant. Those who wanted to learn how to get the best harvest this year were also able to take advantage of a free class, "How to grow perfect tomatoes," offered on Descanso's expansive Main Lawn. PHOTOS: Tomatomania at Descanso Gardens The "Tomatomania!" community of experts, led by Scott Daigre, owner of Powerplant Garden Design in Ojai, was launched at the former Hortus in Pasadena.
By Jane Napier Neely | July 18, 2013
Flickering lights illuminated Descanso Gardens last Saturday evening as 250 guests enjoyed a new kind of benefit called "Light Up the Night. " Approximately $60,000 was raised during the event. Net proceeds will be used to sustain the 160-acre botanic garden. David Brown, executive director of Descanso Gardens, was on hand to say hello to the casually dressed guests, who were given small flashlights to light their way after the sun went down. It was a movable feast of food and music as guests wandered from venue to venue.
December 5, 2011
Descanso Gardens in La Cañada-Flintridge has reopened after closing due to wind damage, but two county parks remained closed. High winds wreaked havoc on Los Angeles County's parks last week, leaving some still littered with fallen trees Monday. Descanso Gardens will be open with limited hours and access at least through Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Continue reading> > -- Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times Photo: Descanso Gardens in La Ca ñ ada-Flintridge in 2009.
October 13, 2012
Descanso Gardens officials on Saturday showed the public the site of a planned new feature: a four-acre oak woodland celebrating the habitat native to the Verdugo Mountains. Descanso recently acquired $150,000 to develop the area, which had been overrun by eucalyptus. Garden officials will host a public meeting addressing the plans from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Van de Kamp Hall at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. For more information, visit www.descansogardens.or g or call (818)
July 3, 2012
Ten Years Ago A $259,000 outdoor science lab at La Cañada Elementary School was completed on budget. A 24-member steering committee led by Kathy Trueblood and Mary Pinola had spent three years planning and raising community funds for the project.   Twenty Years Ago  About 400 people turned out at St. Bede Church to pay their respects during the funeral of the well-respected longtime local florist Eiji Tomita, who died at the age of 78. He had retired in 1982, but his wife, Hannah, and their daughter, Lisa, carried on his tradition at Eiji's Florist in La Cañada.
December 21, 2011
A forced three-day closure due to damage caused by the Nov. 30 windstorm resulted in a $30,000 loss in revenue to Descanso Gardens, officials there announced Tuesday. The facility, which suffered the loss of six trees, several uprooted plants and damaged irrigation systems, was closed Dec. 1-Dec. 3 due to the clean-up that was required, as well as to an extended power outage. “Fortunately, Descanso Gardens largely escaped serious damage and loss from the windstorm event, re-opening to the community Sunday morning, December 4, with partial power.
By Daniel Siegal, | October 20, 2012
Descanso Gardens officials were urged this week by local residents to keep its proposed “Oak Woodland” project as natural and educational as possible. If all goes according to plan, Descanso will open this new garden - its first expansion in more than two decades - in the summer of 2014. To encourage community participation in the project, a workshop was held Tuesday in Van de Kamp Hall that drew about 50 people. The participants were given a presentation on the history of the gardens and the plans for the Oak Woodland, and then split into groups to brainstorm.
By Carolyn Neuhausen | December 14, 2011
Santa Claus made a special trip to Descanso Gardens last weekend especially to enjoy breakfast with children and their family members. The Patina Restaurant Group, Descanso Gardens' catering partner, prepared a brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday morning that included a sweet potato marshmallow dish, cherry glazed baked ham, scrambled eggs, strawberry almond crepes and hash brown potatoes. Jazz Mondé, a catering partner with Patina, said that about 40 children attended the festivities.
By Sara Cardine, | May 1, 2014
For her tireless efforts to promote and represent the city of La Cañada Flintridge in all things, to enhance community spirit and, in her case, to literally take care of business, Pat Anderson has been named "La Cañadan of the Year. " The president and chief executive of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce was officially bestowed with the title in a ceremony Wednesday held at Descanso Gardens by the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada. Leading the personal tributes, Anderson's younger sister, Marilyn Smith praised the honoree for her organizational and multitasking abilities, as well as her devotion to family.
By Sara Cardine, | April 23, 2014
Officials at Descanso Gardens gave Metropolitan Water District a look under the hood Friday morning, participating in a free irrigation survey designed to pinpoint spots where water efficiency upgrades could be made. The audit is a service MWD offers at no cost to larger, nonresidential entities that maintain at least one acre of irrigation within the Metropolitan Water District's 5,200-square-mile service area. Descanso has about 80 acres of cultivated, irrigated garden space. During the three-hour audit, Gregg Roesnik, a San Diego-based certified landscape irrigation auditor contracted by MWD, examined various systems throughout the garden, reading meters and taking notes on his observations.
By Anita S. Brenner | April 16, 2014
The pine tree we planted has grown tall. The cones tumble down, full of sap. Hummingbirds nest in the branches. The mama birds dive bomb when I walk by. They want to attack me, divert me and protect their young. Down the hill, dozens of hummingbirds live in a scrub oak. The males are brightly colored and iridescent. Their feathers glisten in the sun. The female hummingbirds are less colorful. I feel guilty that I don't know their names. City dwellers traipse out to Descanso Gardens to “go birding.” They carry binoculars, cameras and iPhones to record their findings.
By Sara Cardine, | April 10, 2014
When Pat Anderson, chief executive and president of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, learned she'd been named Kiwanis Club's 2013 "La Cañadan of the Year," she was a little more than surprised. Although, as a past president, Anderson serves on the selection committee for the annual leadership and volunteerism award, she had no idea she was being considered for the title. "At first I thought, 'How can that be?'" Anderson said of her reaction to the news. "I'm part of the selection committee, and we hadn't met to select anybody.
April 9, 2014
The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada (Noon) sets aside one day each year to honor all of the clergy of the city and single out one member of the clergy for special honors. This year the club will honor Father Tony Marti, OFM, Cap., the president of St. Francis High School. The event will take place at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, in Van de Kamp Hall at Descanso Gardens. Former state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino will serve as master of ceremonies. This year's honoree has had an unusual career.
April 2, 2014
Ten Years Ago A herd of 250 goats arrived by transporter truck that brought them from Lakeview, Ore. to Descanso Gardens to serve in a vegetation management capacity, eating brush to reduce fire fuel. They were in La Cañada for a one-month stay, during which it was expected they would thin out the brush across 13 acres. Twenty Years Ago La Cañada resident Sue Schecter, then serving as president of the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation, was appointed to the State Historical Resources Commission by Gov. Pete Wilson.
By Sara Cardine, | March 27, 2014
Last year was a busy one for the city of La Cañada, residents learned as Mayor Laura Olhasso delivered her annual State of the City address Wednesday to a roomful of Kiwanis Club members at Descanso Gardens. Giving updates on major projects - from sound walls along the Foothill (210) Freeway to sediment removal at Devil's Gate Dam - and recent changes to city ordinances on filming, tree removal and housing, Olhasso acknowledged the progress made in her third term as mayor. That term officially ends April 7, when Olhasso is expected to hand the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Mike Davitt at the next City Council meeting.
March 19, 2014
The Los Angeles Times recently published a story, “Most L.A. County cities failing to protect historic sites, study says, ” about a Preservation Report Card issued by the Los Angeles Conservancy. In it, the writer reports that La Cañada Flintridge was one of several cities to receive a failing grade. I think the Conservancy and the story's writer should have done more research. I want La Cañada residents to know the city has spent significant monies, about half a million dollars, to restore and maintain our most precious historic facility, Lanterman House.
By Sara Cardine, | March 13, 2014
The city of La Cañada Flintridge is editing its local filming ordinance, most recently discussing the matter with stakeholders Monday in a Public Safety Commission meeting. Administrative staff, in an attempt to accommodate concerned citizens, pro-filming advocates and the production companies themselves, are refining the ordinance last drafted nearly 20 years ago. That language delineates the process by which production companies must seek permission to film in public and residential areas and notify homeowners after approval.
March 13, 2014
Ten Years Ago Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alice C. Hill, a resident of La Cañada Flintridge, was named the 2004 Judge of the Year by the San Fernando Valley Bar Assn. Twenty Years Ago Mary Brosius was named rose curator for Descanso Gardens' new $1.5-million International Rosarium, which was set to be dedicated on May 14, 1994. Thirty Years Ago The Los Angeles Olympic committee announced La Cañada Flintridge resident Dr. Val Clark, then 51, would be the California director of the Olympic Boardsailing Exhibition for the XXIII Summer Olympiad in Los Angeles.
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