In January I’m looking for a Winter Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about winter gardens. You can interpret this any way you want; a garden in winter, winter flowers, or plants in a glasshouse)

Botanic Building
The Botanical Building

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens and walking paths, it contains museums, several theatres, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Wikipedia

Visiting in February under a vivid blue sky we were amazed to see so many plants in flower, not only the cacti and succulents in the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden, but also in pots inside the Spanish Village Art Centre.

The view of the Botanical Building (above) with the Lily Pond in the foreground is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park, a “must-see” destination in San Diego. The Alcazar Garden (below), bordered by boxwood hedges, is planted with 7,000 annuals for a vibrant display of colour throughout the year. The garden has been reconstructed to replicate the 1935 design by San Diego architect Richard Requa. Named because its design is patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain, it lies adjacent to the Art Institute and Mingei Museum. It is known for its ornate fountains, exquisite turquoise blue, yellow and green Moorish tiles, and shady pergola.

Alcazar Garden
Alcazar Garden

There are so many gardens, including the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden (best in April – May), a Californian Native Plant Garden, a Desert Garden, an Australian Garden and even a Japanese Friendship Garden. We only touched on a few of these and definitely need to return.

(click on a photo to enlarge and for more information)

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JanuaryWinter Gardens
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in February.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

This is the last week for posting winter gardens. Next week I am looking for Monochrome – black and white or tones of one colour. Look for texture, shape and patterns.

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49 thoughts on “garden photography: Balboa Park

  1. I’ve been there! 🙂 What year were you there? It was in the days before I was trusted with a camera and somewhere in a dusty loft there will be a few images Michael took. Not up to your standards though. 🙂 I daren’t sigh and say ‘oh to be back again’ 🙂

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  2. I remember Balboa Park and the zoo very well and I also would love to revisit. Beautiful gallery of cactus and succulents, so colourful. I think I will have to pass on this weeks winter garden, I can’t find anything, yet….

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    1. You have been there? I hadn’t realised that you had visited the USA. I wasn’t too keen on the zoo, not as good as I expected it to be and I am in two minds about zoos. I hate to see the larger animals confined, like bears and elephants who naturally roam vast areas.

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      1. We spent 4 weeks travelling with a Delta air pass. It was so easy to get around by air back then. Then had another 2 weeks on Greyhound along the Eastern seaboard. Only whetted the appetite and always thought I would like to revisit many of the places, but so much world out there and so little money and time left… I’m ambivalent about zoos, not good for animals to be confined as they are, but the only way I will ever see those animals and many zoos are more enlightened now with bigger enclosures and more natural surroundings.

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      2. It was an amazing adventure. I don’t think I could keep up the pace nowadays, we were on the move every day rushing to catch a plane to the next destination then intensive sight seeing before moving on again, we fitted so much in 6 weeks. But of course USA is so big we only touched a very small part of it.

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  3. Your photos remind me of a February day in Southern California, I almost forgot. It can be a wonderful time, the skies clear and blue, temps warm but not too warm, and oh, I love your cacti pics! Thank you Jude, this is a wonderful post. Looking forward to taking part this month 🙂

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    1. Yes, I have only ever visited San Diego in winter (Feb/Mar) and it is usually beautiful weather so nice to stroll around outside instead of being cooped up in a wet winter here in the UK.

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      1. No, it is not, and I know it is silly of me, but I have always loved extra work. Truth be told I really feel really happy and honoured that all these people respond to my silly challenges that I feel I need to honour their contributions. Besides, look at the entries – they are mind-blowing. Tobias was so good this time. 🙂

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