garden photography: Balboa Park

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 Comments Add yours

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    I love the light in the Alcazar Garden. It says gentle warmth. Meanwhile outside in Shropshire we have cheerless dank. How are things at your end of Corvedale?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Damp and grey again Tish. Seems to be the same every Sunday!

  2. I just love those blues and yellows together. My dad grows a collection of cacti. He would enjoy this garden very much. My winter garden post is set in Maui, with gorgeous tropical plants. https://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/winter-blooms-on-maui-2/

    1. Heyjude says:

      So much colour in a cacti garden, even when they are not in flower, and I love the different shapes and textures.

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Lovely, warm and cheerful. I’ve posted my monster plant for you, https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/a-contrast-of-winter/
    🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Your monster plant is indeed a monster 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    Such a beautiful garden. Lovely photos. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Amy, it was a beautiful day.

  5. restlessjo says:

    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’ 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      This was 2012, but I visited San Diego in 2009 and 2010 as well, so have plenty of photos 🙂

      1. restlessjo says:

        Eh, lucky lady 🙂 And soon to be a Cornish resident 🙂 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I miss my California trips 😦

    2. I first visited Balboa Park in 1967. I’ve been back at least twice, but not recently.

      1. Heyjude says:

        It is a great park. BTW the starling is on the other blog if you came here looking for him 😉
        https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/starling/

  6. I have always loved my visits to San Diego and this park is one of my favorite spots in the whole world.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a beauty Charlie, I’d like to see more of it if I get a chance.

  7. So lovely, Jude, and I do see the similarity to the gardens of the royal palace in Seville.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely park with some great architecture too. I must do some posts about San Diego.

  8. pommepal says:

    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….

    1. Heyjude says:

      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.

      1. pommepal says:

        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.

        1. Heyjude says:

          That must have been such a lot of fun. USA is so big and they have so many lovely national parks. I still have to visit Yellowstone.

        2. pommepal says:

          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.

  9. Sue Slaght says:

    I have to refrain from touching the screen Jude. The images are so vivid I am certain I can feel them all the way across the pond. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Sue, do you use an iPad to look at my blogs? If so do you have any problems?

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        Jude I often look at them on my iPhone. They seem fine. Is there a specific concern?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Header image on this blog is distorted on an iPad and iPod. Trying to get to the bottom of it. (may have to use a different theme)

  10. Tish Farrell says:

    Here’s my winter garden offering, Jude. More and inside-looking-out effort:
    http://tishfarrell.com/2016/02/01/winter-garden-from-my-window/

  11. Martha DeMeo says:

    Your photos are breathtaking! I just found out about the Garden Photography Challenge and ready to start this month!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I look forward to seeing what you have for me Martha 🙂

  12. Martha DeMeo says:

    I’m only a hobby photographer, no where as beautiful as yours, but it will be a start!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m not professional Martha, most likely to be using the auto settings and letting the camera do the work 🙂

  13. Sherri says:

    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 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      We had some lovely sunny days in SoCal and the temperature was perfect for walking. Not too hot.

  14. Lignum Draco says:

    Lovely photos. I missed seeing this when I was in San Diego at a conference at the Hotel del coronado.

  15. VioletSky says:

    Hello Jude, (remember me?!)
    I don’t know how anyone could think cacti and succulents might be boring (I know someone who does, and he needs to see these!)
    my entry is far too late, but I’m posting and linking anyway…
    http://violetsky-sightlines.blogspot.ca/2016/02/a-mild-winter.html

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hi there! Nice to see you again. And not too late. New theme starts on Sunday 🙂

  16. Paula says:

    It would be so nice to enjoy a sunny stroll like this one this time of year.

    1. Heyjude says:

      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.

  17. Paula says:

    On unrelated matter: I decided to go with the showcasing of bloggers’ entries and since you took part in my last challenge I am enclosing a link here so that you can see what I did, and please if you have any objections let me hear them. Thank you, Jude. 🙂 https://bopaula.wordpress.com/scheduled-challenges/guest-challenges/

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love the slideshow Paula, but it is not saving you work!

      1. Paula says:

        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. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Tobias’s entry is fabulous. He has gained a new follower. His work is very inspirational.

        2. Paula says:

          He went out and bought three animals just for this challenge. I adore him 😀

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