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Here's a Blooming Success

March 19, 1992|ANNE KLARNER

The World Almanac says it's so, as does the Smithsonian Science Activities Calendar, so it must be true. But if you're from Missouri, or just the skeptical sort who needs some sensory confirmation that Friday is the first day of spring, a trip to Descanso Gardens should do it.

More than 11,000 tulips have been planted, along with 20,000 daffodils and hundreds of other spring flowers. They'll be blooming in a display that should make Technicolor look dull for the opening ceremony of Descanso Gardens' Spring Festival of Flowers.

"It's the highlight of our blooming season," said Steven Cohan, superintendent of the gardens.

The ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. on the Sundial Lawn. Jack Hastings, mayor of La Canada Flintridge, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich will be on hand to cut the ribbon officially opening the festival.

This is the festival's 10th year. Cohan said it was started because his predecessor, George Lewis, "decided we needed more to attract the public in addition to the camellias." Camellias are Descanso Gardens' primary claim to fame. There are also several other themed areas on the grounds, including a Japanese garden, a lilac grove and a rose garden.

The first of the festival's several events takes place Saturday and Sunday when the Flower Arrangers' Guild of Southern California presents "Spring the Creative Way" in Van de Kamp Hall. Hobbyists will present floral and artistic arrangements, including table settings. "They're very professional looking," Cohan said of the displays.

A lecture by Cohan on "Southern California's Growing Diversity," covering the many types of plants that can be grown here, will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. .

Lectures continue every Tuesday and Thursday through April 16 with topics ranging from flowers in handmade paper to landscaping hillsides to plants from around the world.

Festival events will continue through April 19, and include a plant sale April 3-5 and a horticultural fair April 11-12.

Admission to the gardens during the festival is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students, and 75 cents for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free. Tram tours of the gardens cost $1.50.

The Descanso Gardens are at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.

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