All visitors who aren’t members must buy a general admission ticket.

9am-7pm daily

Rose Garden

Horticultural history of roses

Five acres and the perfume of 1,600 roses

Descanso’s Rose Garden is an ambling five acres devoted to America’s most popular flower. The garden’s 1,600 roses represent centuries of horticultural history with significant collections of species, old garden, and modern roses planted among beautiful companion plants.

See it on our map

Passion for hybrids

The story of Descanso’s Rose Garden begins with the property’s original owner, Elias Manchester Boddy, and his passion for plant hybridizing and production. In 1945, Boddy hired Dr. Walter Lammerts, a prominent UCLA botanist and pioneering plant hybridizer.

History of the rose

One of Dr. Lammerts’ first projects was to develop a 1-acre rose garden to support the creation of new and hybrid roses. Just one year later, the Rose Garden expanded to over 5 acres at the center of the Descanso Gardens property.

Rose Garden rejuvenation

By the mid-1980s, the original Lammerts/Boddy rose garden was showing its years and in need of considerable renovation. The Descanso Gardens Guild, a volunteer organization formed in 1957 as a support group for the gardens, raised nearly $2 million from a panoply of small donations to fund a complete overhaul of the rose displays and the entire 5-acre garden.

In 1994, The Guild re-opened the Rose Garden with great fanfare. The revived garden was designed by Lawrence Moss & Associates of La Cañada Flintridge and preserved the basic theme Lammerts and Boddy had established at its inception: The exhibition of thousands of plants cataloging the history of the rose and the innovative work of rose hybridizers.

The Rose Garden now exhibits roses created by hybridizers in the U.S. and many other countries, and so its new formal name is “International Rosarium.”

Did you know?

When we plant perennials and shrubs in the Rose Garden, these companion plants assist pollinators and help with predatory insects so that we can grow roses organically without pesticides or herbicides.

The Descanso Gardens’ Master Plan includes a reimagining of the Rose Garden in the coming years.

Descanso's Master Plan