The Southern Forest

Japanese maple, Descanso Gardens (11/30/20) Julie Kirby

California’s southern forest is cultured, bold and manicured. It is not wild. It is civil. This urban forest is found in parks, arboretums, gardens and neighborhood yards.

Color spotter Julie Kirby reports a SoCal cold snap (overnight temps in the 40s) moved crepe myrtle near her Glendale home from Patchy to Past Peak within a week.

Nearby in La Cañada Flintridge at Descanso Gardens, Japanese maple and crepe myrtle are providing vibrant peak color, but its landmark ginkos are still Patchy.

Descanso is a place where gardens are presented as art. Presently (until Jan. 10), its Wishing Tree made of reclaimed downed oak by artist Kaz Yokou Kitajima allows visitors to participate in making a wish for the new year. Descanso reports they’re on fall color watch with peak appearing in the Rose Garden and near the stream where birch are raining gold.

  • Glendale (522′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • La Cañada Flintridge (1,188′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!