Spring comes earlier in La La town, than most places. One of the first signs of springtime in Los Angeles are the garage sale signs, but more imminently satisfying for the senses are the cherry blossoms. If you are visiting or just need an escape from the everyday stress of living in a big city, Descanso Gardens would like to share their blossoms with you. Just on the outskirts of Montrose, an adorable town from a by-gone era, awaits an incredibly appealing oasis which is made up of 150 acres of garden.
This coming weekend, March 19-20, Descanso invites you to enjoy the cherry blossoms to their fullest: a guided walking tour, which highlights the beautiful cherry trees throughout the garden is the first of many offerings. On Saturday, traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies are offered in the Minka.
What in the world is “the Minka?” Well, as it turns out, it is a traditional farmhouse, which is situated just next to the Japanese Tea House.
For that horticulturist among you, Descanso doesn’t want you to feel left out. On Saturday, Horticulturist Mike Brown will lead a discussion and demonstration on the proper methods for fertilizing and pruning these heavenly trees. The class will also instruct you in how to protect the trees from another of their ardent admirers, the hungry birds.
For those of you who have no interest in tea, on Sunday, there will be a cooking class on the basics of Japanese cuisine from Jesse Genovese. Jesse, who is a world renown chef, is the co-owner at Ramsey’s which is at The Club in Toluca Lake. He mastered his art of cooking by studying in Spain, and throughout Europe, including graduating from the Cordon Bleu School in London. His Asian influence comes predominately from his being raised in Hawaii.
After the cooking demonstration and the tour, it is probably about time for lunch. Don’t miss the bento box lunches, a typical Japanese lunch box style meal and the Cherry-tini cocktail, sake, wine or soft drinks to wash it down with. Take the bento box with you and enjoy a fabulous picnic on the lawn as you take in the beauty of the cherry blossoms
The founder of Descanso, E. Manchester Boddy, the publisher of the Daily News, would be proud to see his creation adorned with cherry blossoms and people a plenty. The Boddy House is available for tours, if you’d like to take time out from your visit of the gardens to get a glimpse of elegance from a bygone era. Before you leave, take a piece of the garden with you by purchasing a cherry tree of your very own which will be on sale during the weekend.
- Japanese Tea Ceremonies, 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m. Saturday: Witness this traditional ceremony. Seating is limited. Tea and sweets will be sold. In the Minka.
- Japanese Cooking Demonstration, 11 a.m. Sunday: Learn some basics of Japanese cuisine from Jesse Genovese, chef at Ramsey’s at The Club in Toluca Lake. Be ready to take notes! At Nature’s Table.
- Prunuslecture, 10:30 a.m. Saturday: The genus Prunus includes stone fruits such as cherries, plums and peaches. Descanso Horticulturist Mike Brown leads a discussion and demonstration on the proper methods for fertilizing and pruning these trees. The class will also learn how to drape trees in order to protect fruit from hungry birds. At Nature’s Table.
- Cherry tree sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days: Purchase a flowering cherry to plant in your own garden. At Magnolia Lawn.
- Cherry blossom walks, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days: Take a guided walk-and-talk that explores the many cherry trees in the Gardens. Meet at the Center Circle.