The Rose Garden at Exposition Park–a good place to de-stressify!

It’s definitely time for me to move forward from my outrageous week. That’s what I’m calling it. Thanks so much for excellent comments and interaction with me while I ranted a bit. I don’t often share my frustrations and anger too openly–at least not in print! But now we’re moving into the weekend and I’m ready for a giant exhale.

I did several things this week to “de-stressify.” ┬áMaybe today I’ll just share about one of them.

We spent some time at Exposition Park. In another century this was 160-acres of privately owned racetrack and fairgrounds but in 1889 the State of California and the County and City of Los Angeles jointly purchased the park. By 1909 the Beaux-Arts site plan was in place. It is a beautiful center of the city, with museums, old and new, and wonderfully beautiful grounds.

The centerpiece of Exposition Park is the Rose Garden. The sunken grounds bloom with over 200 varieties of roses. Even in late November the roses are still lovely.

Some of the rose canes are enormous. And many of the roses towered above my head. They are beautiful!

The garden is located adjacent the University of Southern California, the Natural History Museum and the California Science Center. Fortunately the Rose Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places. There have been times when it was threatened!

In 1986 there were plans to replace the garden with an underground parking garage! Imagine! There had been an earlier proposal to turn it into a practice field for the Los Angeles Raiders. Thank goodness for garden-loving activists! Heavy public pressure reversed those plans, and now the garden is open to the public 365 days of the year.

This weekend I’m going to extend my exhale with some time at the ocean. Even though we’re having a little rain, and you know it NEVER rains in Southern California–or that’s what the song says–nothing can spoil time on the coast.

Have a wonderful weekend. December tends to be a busy month…let’s front load the rest and relaxation. Here’s a little bonus to get us started.

I took these photos today…in the rain. These Ginkgo trees were close to my home and when I rounded the corner and saw the gorgeous color I stopped to take a few shots. Who says we don’t have fall color? Proof!

Have a wonderful weekend.

55 thoughts on “The Rose Garden at Exposition Park–a good place to de-stressify!

    • I can let go of tension quite quickly if I get outdoors! And in a nice big garden where I have a little space to myself I can de-stressify! Don’t you love that word? Have a good weekend! I’m sure you need it, too. December is a busy month for everyone!

    • I will definitely share some more photos of the garden next spring when the blooms are at their best. The one thing we have going for us here in Southern California is climate! It’s probably what helps us cope with all the other nonsense I absolutely can be sure you would not enjoy! I wonder if you’ll ever have a conference invitation over here. That would be something! if you ever do…. :-)

    • I did enjoy the time with the roses, Charlie. This garden isn’t far from our home at all, yet I hadn’t been there in years! I’m really interested in going back from time to time. In particular I need to see what they are like next spring! I hope you have a good weekend and can breathe lighter, too! :-)

    • I was a little amazed at the roses myself, Karen. The ones in my own garden look a lot more “weary” and ready to be cut back for spring. We don’t have a true winter die-back because we don’t get that cold, but the landscape does have a dormancy. It’s kind of a challenge, particularly this time of year, to continue to work in the garden and not to let things get too out of control. Right now I’m afraid ours looks a little shabby! Maybe that’s why I end up going to other gardens…I could use a little inspiration! :-)

  1. Ginkgo is the best for fall color! We have a little sapling a friend gave us from her yard when we moved in to this house. It showed its true colors for the first time this year.

    On to the roses; what a magnificent garden that must be. Roses have finally bid us goodbye here, so it is an unexpected treat to see them this morning on your blog, Debra. Thank you.

    • I was hoping you’d mention the Ginkgo, Penny. I was 90% sure I had the right tree! I did just turn a corner and was immediately “hit” by these gorgeous colors. I would love to find a spot I could make room for one, but I’m not sure I can! I’m sure you were excited to have yours color for the first time. They are a very special sight!

      We won’t cut back roses until January, and then we have blooms again by March. It’s a long growing season, but unless the home gardener really stays with it they get straggly and not very pretty. I have a hard time keeping up with mine, but the roses at the Exposition Park are well maintained and made me feel very sorry for my poor neglected ones at home. You’ll note I didn’t share that photo! LOL!

    • I have gray and grim today, Fiona, but I don’t dare complain. I know I’m a little spoiled and I’m not sure how hearty I’d be if I had days of gray. I’ll try to continue to share some sunshine from our corner whenever I can! :-)

  2. There’s nothing like a little stroll in a beautiful garden full of roses to lose some stress! And it’s wonderful that the park is open all year too. This is a perfect post for the weekend – thanks :)

    • Thank you, Meg. I needed to shift gears this weekend. I had myself all riled up…that’s not good long term! :-) I’m glad to share the roses with you. They were beautiful and here it is the very end of their bloom. I’d like to go back by spring and see what they are like with those first buds! I hope you have a fun weekend planned. To me, sometimes fun can be a weekend without any plans at all! :-)

    • I am sure you would enjoy this large rose garden, Barb. I thought in a couple of months when they cut them all back I’ll take another picture, then capture spring when they have fresh blooms. Maybe someday they’ll have a way for a photo to transmit fragrance…there was a time I’d have said “impossible” but I wouldn’t rule anything out now! :-) I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • I’m glad I could share the Rose Garden with you, Lori. We hadn’t been down there in a very long time either. They’ve managed to make that whole area much “friendlier” than I remembered it! :-) I hope you have a good weekend!

    • I can’t be positive that the word “de-stressify” is precisely used in the musical “Wicked,” but I think perhaps it is. I adopted it about the time I saw the musical. We now use it a lot and it is a perfect word for just what we need! I will gladly share the word with you! :-) I hope you have a lovely weekend. It’s really nice to hear from you, Rita.

  3. My goodness, can’t imagine turning a beautiful garden into underground parking garage, glad they didn’t. How great to be able to go the ocean when for most of us are stuck home because of the rain or snow. Today we had the sun come out after constant rain so my s/o and I went to the park, chatted while enjoying the fresh air and the leaves surrounding us. I have been wanting to go the planetarium which I haven’t visited in Oregon, so will see about getting tickets.

    • I hope you made it to the planetarium, Marie! That would be a great outing. We are in Laguna and it’s raining, which is funny, because it rains so rarely, yet last time we were here it did, too. But it’s not too cold, so we’re just enjoying it anyway. It’s just nice to get out. I hope you have a very nice weekend! And stay warm! :-)

    • I did, Edie. I can be assured of “calming down” in a good garden! I would do well to actually schedule time to do this more often! :-) I hope you have a very nice weekend! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

  4. Sometimes our cities’ forefathers got it right. Purchasing that race track and eventually converting it into a rose garden is definitely one of those times. This place is beautiful and, with your climate, can be enjoyed year-round. i hope it has plenty of benches so that one can sit and marvel at the surroundings. If I ever make it back to LA, Debra, you can bet I’ll spend a day or two at Exposition Park.

    • I think you would really enjoy the rose garden at Exposition Park, John. Some of them are really old. I couldn’t believe how large many of the canes were, and the height! Some were easily 6 feet tall. I’m curious to go back after they’ve cut them back in January and see if I can read some of the markers. If I find out anything really noteworthy I’ll share the info! I just don’t know anyone who doesn’t think roses are quite spectacular. :-)

  5. What a flash…I loved going to exposition Park as a kid in the 50′s; lived just three miles west of it if you went up Santa Barbara (now MLK Blvd). The Rose Garden was ‘okay’, but what I liked best was the model railroad room upstairs in the Museum of Science and Industry. Exposition Park is in a pretty bad neighborhood, is it safe to visit?

    • You’d be very pleasantly surprised at the way the neighborhood has improved, Hansi. I’m not sure I’d wander around on my own at night, but during the day, it’s really not bad at all. I remember it the same as you when we were younger, and even not that long ago. Exposition Park has expanded to include a new Science Center–where the Shuttle is housed, and several new enhancements. We hadn’t been in a while and I was rather impressed. I need to find out if the railroad room is still there. My husband works for Union Pacific and we have a backyard railroad setup. Sometime you’ll have to check it all out for old time’s sake!

    • We usually cut back the roses sometime after Christmas, usually in January, and they are flowering again by March. They grow very easily here and are disease resistant, so I really do hate to say this, but I think a lot of people take them for granted. I think the biggest issue is that to grow well they do need water, and back to my concern about drought and water conservation, we don’t have an English climate. Yet people want English gardens. Isn’t that ironic? You have all the rain and grow tired of it, and people living in arid, semi-desert climates want to emulate what we think of as an English cottage garden. Sometimes I just get very amused at how we all think! We do have our fantasies! :-)

  6. Just look at those rose gardens! The pictures alone have the ability to transcend the feeling of peace and happiness. They are just beautiful. Enjoy the whole weekend Debra!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever been in a garden with so many really old rose bushes, Kristy! The size of the canes was impressive. I hope to go back in early winter when they’ve been cut back and see if I can read the labels. They were so lush I couldn’t! And you’re right, just walking in the garden and taking in the fragrance was a real boon to my overall well-being! :-)

  7. Oh, roses in full bloom in December! Lucky Debra to be surrounded by so many flowers. Our last rosebuds have withered on the stem with the recent cold weather. I’m sure visiting such a beautiful place must be good for the soul.

    • I hadn’t seen this Rose Garden in years, Perpetua. It was a real treat to discover that it was just exactly as I remembered it from the past. So few things seem to withstand time, and aren’t we glad they weren’t replaced by a parking lot! :-)

    • Can you imagine those beautiful roses taken our for a parking lot? Choices like that get made every day, so it’s really quite amazing to me that they’ve remained intact! I will share photos again next spring, Claire. They should really be beautiful then! :-)

  8. Dear Debra, it’s good to know that you truly listen to your body and are gracious to yourself and so take yourself off to a rose garden! And then to show us ginkgo trees as well . . . I first met one when I went away to college to Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. The nun who was the prefect in the dorm where I lived told us how the trees had come to be there in Kansas and the Japanese connection. Those fan-shaped leaves are beauty distilled. Peace.

    • I’m so glad you had a reference for the ginkgo trees, Dee. They are just beautiful, aren’t they? The trees that I shared in the photos were very close to the Huntington Botanical Garden, so I wonder if they had been part of the grounds at one time. I’d love to know more!

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