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Don’t stop and smell its roses — Descanso Gardens closes as the coronavirus takes root

Descanso Gardens
Descanso Gardens has announced it will close March 19 until further notice in an effort to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Descanso Gardens — a beloved outdoor spot for nature enthusiasts in La Cañada Flintridge and beyond — announced Wednesday evening it will close its doors to the public on Thursday in an effort to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Executive Director Juliann Rooke said in a statement that due to the high volume of visitors the garden receives during springtime, “we believe closing is the best way to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Descanso officials announced in an earlier release issued last Friday they would temporarily suspend all indoor events and programming, including a spate of cooking classes, discussions and children’s workshops, and would work to reimagine how to provide offerings in outdoor spaces.

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The botanical garden’s Boddy House and Sturt Haaga Gallery were closed to visitors as of Monday.

Thursday’s total closure to the public will remain in effect until further notice, Rooke indicated.

“While we know the gardens are a place of wellness and escape in Southern California, the safety of our staff and visitors is our first priority,” she said.

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