“Full Circle” Opening Weekend Activities @ Descanso Gardens
Nov 14 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Celebrate the opening of Full Circle: A Return to the Land with us on November 13 and 14. Full Circle tells the history and ethnobotany of the land of Descanso Gardens, through art, photographs, maps, documents, and contemporary artifacts.

  • Native Plant Activity Guide | 10am–2pm | Sturt Haaga Gallery Patio
    • Pick up an activity guide and use it to investigate our new plant display at the gallery.
  • Garden to Gallery Walk and Talk | 1pm | Meet at Center Circle
    • Join us for a walk through Descanso’s oak forest and learn about native plants at our brand new plant display at the gallery patio. The walk will culminate at the Full Circle exhibition and curator Lynn LaBate will introduce you to the show. Take a walk through the exhibition and chat informally with exhibition contributors.


Image: River Garza, What the City Gave Us, detail, painting on canvas, 2019
Relational Reciprocity: Native Plant Talk @ Descanso Gardens
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join presenters Craig Torres and Lazaro Arvizu Jr. on Saturday, December 4 as they discuss the Tongva traditions of relational reciprocity with nature and the cultural importance of local native plants. Included in this conversation will be a hands-on presentation about white sage that will explore historic and contemporary cultural uses, as well as the contemporary commodification and exploitation that threatens its very existence.

Free with admission, advance registration required. Click here to register.

This talk is presented in correlation with Full Circle: A Return to the Land on view at the Sturt Haaga Gallery.

About the presenters

Craig Torres is a Tongva cultural educator, presenter and consultant to many schools, culture and nature centers, and museums. He has also worked with city, state and government agencies as a consultant on Tongva history, culture and contemporary issues. He is a consultant on Descanso’s upcoming “Full Circle: A Return to the Land,” exhibition at the Sturt Haaga Gallery. Craig is also an artist and part of Chia Cafe Collective, which is a grassroots group of Southern California tribal members committed to reviving Native foods, medicines, culture and community.

Lazaro Arvizu is an artist, musician, craftsperson and Native scholar of Tongva Gabrielino ancestry. He has served on the Art @ Tongva: Indigenous Now Advisory Committee and has performed and taught at cultural institutions and museums throughout Southern California..

Image: River Garza, What the City Gave Us, detail, painting on canvas, 2019
{SOLD OUT} Wellness Program: Relax @ Descanso Gardens
Jan 9 @ 2:00 pm

Click here for Wellness Program: Renew on Jan. 16 and here for Wellness Program: Rejuvenate on Jan. 23

Please note that Wellness Program: Relax on Jan. 9 is sold out

Take some time to relax with a meditation followed by a mindful observation of a single plant in the Garden and make discoveries in the process of looking. 

$20 for members, $25 for non members. Advance registration required.

About the Wellness Program series

This series highlights mindful experiences as an opportunity to slow down and find meaningful moments observing, immersing, and walking in nature. These one-hour sessions can be taken as a series or as a stand-alone session. 

This Wellness Program is led by Mariko Tu. Mariko is an educator specializing in mindfulness and meditation and has developed and led mindfulness programs at the Norton Simon Museum and Descanso Gardens.

{SOLD OUT} Basket Weaving Workshop @ Descanso Gardens
Jan 15 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Please note that the Basket Weaving Workshop is sold out

Artist Samantha M. Johnson will teach students to make their own round-reed basket to take home. Round reed baskets are starter baskets used to teach new weavers and children alike how to recognize a weaving pattern, work with natural materials and for advanced students how to start their own basket. 

Meets on the Boddy House Patio. $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Advance registration required.

About Samantha M. Johnson

Samantha M. Johnson grew up actively involved in the Gabrieleno Tongva Band of Mission Indians before going on to receive her Bachelors in Science at California State University at Long Beach Puvungna, and then her certificate in Science Illustration at Cal State Monterey. As a digital illustrator, animator, and traditional painter; she wants to bring to light the beautiful nature that Creator has put on this earth as well as the often unheard of culture of her tribe. Most recently she has used her skills to create an extensive environmental science curriculum for 4th and 5th grade based on our local California sage scrub ecosystem for Pitzer College. Currently, she is making an effort to bring awareness on social media to poached white sage in Southern California.