Downed trees, uprooted plants, broken branches and lost leaves that were blown across the facilities from the Dec. 1 wind storm have been repaired or cleaned up by staff, according to a news release by Jill Mamey, marketing and media coordinator for the gardens.
"Fortunately, Descanso Gardens largely escaped serious damage and loss from the windstorm event. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to our public garden colleagues at The Arboretum and The Huntington, and we are pleased to welcome members of both those institutions to Descanso, free of admission charge, through the balance of 2011,” David R. Brown, Executive Director of Descanso Gardens, wrote in a prepared statement.
Six trees in all, including two Coast live oaks were uprooted during the windstorm. Amazingly, Descanso’s signature camellia collection came through the storm unscathed. The camellia plants are full of fresh green foliage and buds waiting to burst into bloom. Also, the wildlife that make their home in the landscape have been seen out and about.
Descanso Gardens estimates a loss of more than $30,000 in revenue after the windstorm. The garden was closed Dec. 1-3, because of full-scale cleanup efforts and the lack of electrical power. Horticulture and facilities staff focused on safety-related efforts in order to open on Sunday, Dec. 4, with limited hours and limited access.
Some working around the clock, staff members pruned and mulched most of the downed greenery and repaired damaged irrigation systems for more than a week. Eighty percent of the crew is back to their usual tasks of maintaining the horticulture collections and facilities.
Descanso Gardens was proud to serve as a resource to the county and city in the days following the windstorm. The Department of Water and Power (DWP), and used the Descanso parking lot as a staging center for their heavy machinery and crew deployment.
While Descanso Gardens did suffer significant losses in the landscape, and will dedicate close to 3,000 hours in staff cleanup efforts, administration has not established a separate fund for donations.
Instead, donations made to the year-end campaign during the month of December will go toward the general operating budget in support of the cleanup efforts taken and still to come. Information about donations can be found at www.descansogardens.org.