Descanso Gardens paid homage to its 20 acres of Camellias on Saturday with the annual Camellia Festival. The event included tours of Descanso’s Camellia Collection given by forest “faeries,” a class on the culinary and wellness uses for camellias and a guided walk of the collection.
When Descanso’s original owner, newspaper publisher E. Manchester Boddy, created Rancho del Descanso in the 1930s, he planted camellias as a business venture to supply the cut-flower industry. Today, Descanso Gardens is home to North America’s largest camellia collection, with more than 34,000 plants, officials said.
The Camellia Collection boasts rare and familiar camellias and has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society.