Balboa Park San Diego

The  Museums and Gardens of Balboa Park

To preview other Public Gardens in the West, go here

Balboa Park San DiegoThe gardens surrounding the historic buildings in Balboa Park in San Diego are more enhancements to the buildings still standing from the 1915 and 1935 Expositions than strictly botanical gardens.

Even the lath house, called the “Botanical Building” is primarily a visual showcase, rather than an educational botanical or demonstration garden.

Botanical Building Balboa Park San DiegoInside the spectacular Botanical Building, however, you will find thousands of tropical plants. Unlike glass greenhouses in colder climates, this lath house in the heart of Balboa Park is open to the air, but the laths shade the carefully tended plants inside.

The real center of focus are the many museums in Balboa Park. Happily most of the gardens are within easy walking distance of the Botanical Building.  You can enjoy seeing them as you move from museum to museum along El Prado drive.

angels trumpet brugmansiaThese Angels’ Trumpets (Brugmansia) are at the edge of a large parterre garden called the Alcazar garden. The flowers within the parterre squares change seasonally.

The desert garden and rose garden, reached by walking across an overpass, are okay.  We have seen much better examples of both types of gardens elsewhere.

Museum Balboa Park San DiegoThe collection of buildings housing the museums, however, are amazing architecturally.  This one is home to the San Diego Junior Ballet.

Just steps away are the Timken Museum of Art,  the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Natural History and many others.

Dragon sculpture Balboa Park San Diego

Outside the Mingei International Museum, just across the street from the Botanical Building, is this whimsical dragon sculpture.

To preview other Public Gardens in the West, go here

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