Behold, The Garden!

Posted by Candace Cable in Life After Paralysis on May 18, 2016 # Travel

For the past 25 years, I’ve lived in northern California, the Lake Tahoe area, surrounded by evergreen forests of growing stuff, woodland smells and green everywhere. So when I thought of moving to Los Angeles in November of 2015 in my minds eye I imagined a grey concrete jungle, exhaust smells, devoid of green life spent jamming around the freeways in my car.

Well, I came to find out I was very wrong with my imaginings when it came to this sprawling metropolis, asphalt jungle. This place is dotted with green, flowery fragrances, everywhere! Yes, I’m jamming around the freeways, but in each parking lot I’m met with sweet smell of jasmine and a vision of green as I open my door.

I am pleasantly surprised by the bits of green sanctuary doting this massive grey freeway system of Southern California and maybe all the jasmine is a ploy to cover up the exhaust smells, well, it’s working for me. And it’s motivated me to find some bigger green, flowery spaces to spend time in and I’m sharing my finds, so far with you.

So far I’ve spent long afternoons at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, The Huntington and Descanso Gardens. These places, each, are true oases in this concrete covered landscape. Upon entering the gates of each, the energetic city slips away and peace slips into my mind and body. Instead of writing too much about each one of these beauties, I’m supplying the links to their website for monthly calendars and touring. Here I’m offering some insights and access information and mostly a feast for your eye with my photos.

The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine has easy to maneuver trails that circle the lake. There are two museums, the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial (it’s kind of a museum to me) where some of Gandhi's ashes live on and one to Paramahansa Yogananda's work. The hours of operation vary depending on which area of he Lake Shrine you visit. There are a few accessible parking spaces up front and large accessible restrooms.

Here is where the similarities diverge, while Descanso Gardens offer a self-contained respite from man’s material world among the cool greens and colored petals. The trails and habitats are easy to follow and all surfaces are wheelchair friendly. There are only a slight few hills in this La Canada Flintridge property and a cool railroad to check out. Accessible parking and restrooms are at the entrance to the gardens. There are some areas that a wheelchair can’t get to though.

The Huntington with its world renowned Library and European Art Museum, immerge visitors in academia nd the arts of the finest degree. You can luxuriate in Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy and Thomas Lawrence’s “Pinkie” Or you can hit the trails in the gardens. These gardens are about 50% wheelchair friendly with really steep hills and many areas that are inaccessible. It’s still worth a visit. The accessible parking is at the entrance as well as restrooms.

I hope you enjoy the gardens in your world.

Blessings to All, In joy


The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.