Sunday, June 7, 2009

Around Town - Dining And Dancing At The Descanso Gardens Gala

I've often heard negative comments about Los Angeles to the effect of "there is no there, there".
Well, I beg to differ.
We may not have history but we do have plenty of nature...and in some cases, like the Descanso Gardens in La Canada, we have history and nature.

The area that included the Descanso Gardens was originally claimed by explorer Gaspar de Portola for the Spanish Crown in 1769. Later this area was deeded as a Spanish Land Grant to Jose Maria Verdugo in 1784. The land stayed in the Verdugo family until the mid 19th Century and eventually ended up the property of E. Manchester Boddy, the publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News in 1937.
Boddy cleared the land and built an elegant mansion 22 rooms, designed by architect J. E. Dolena of Beverly Hills. This mansion overlooks 25 acres of live oak forest and a camellia-lined driveway. Boddy named his estate "Rancho del Descanso," which means "ranch of rest" in Spanish. He also purchased an additional 440 acres north of the original property, whose mountain streams provide fresh spring water for the Gardens today.

Today the Descanso Gardens remain as an example of California Heritage with special gardens of camellias, lilacs, roses and native plants. There is an art gallery with traveling exhibits, a lecture program and an educational program where the gardens become an "outdoor classroom".
Which brings me to last night, the benefit for SEEDS
Supporting Educational Excellence at Descanso Gardens which helps to bring elementary school students from all over Los Angeles to the gardens to learn about nature and science.
The evening started out the usual gala way with a cocktails and and a silent auction.

The crowd was mostly well heeled East Side society types from Pasadena, San Marino and La Canada, the men in black tie and the women in summer gowns.
There were even a couple of us West Side types, some even sporting Beladora estate jewelry.
Corporate sponsors included Los Angeles heavyweights such as The Capital Group Companies, Warner Brothers Inc. and The Walt Disney Company.

The tables were set with soft translucent pale green tablecloths and white and green floral arrangements, very understated but appropriate.... and dinner was catered by Patina.

After the sun went down and the wine was flowing the live auction at the party looked like this.
(bad photo courtesy of my iPhone....not too much wine)
And what did I wear...simple navy blue dress and coat (it was damp and cold outside)
and a suite of pearl and diamond jewelry from Beladora of course!

The Descanso Gardens are literally on the other side of town, a couple of freeways away from where I live...but it would be worth the trip....for hiking amid the old oaks then afternoon tea at the cafe.
Now...if I just had some free time....
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Jill said...

I'm so jealous of all the amazing jewels you have at your fingertips! Looks like a glam night.

Belle de Ville said...

I wasn't the youngest, prettiest or richest woman at the event...but I had the best jewelry!

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