Tranquil beauty near the center of San Diego.

Botanical Building by reflecting pool in Balboa Park.
Botanical Building by reflecting pool in Balboa Park.

In Balboa Park you can retreat from life’s turbulence. Simply walk, read a book or sit quietly and reflect. You can delight your senses with splashing fountains, green lawns, music, museums. Pleasing architecture is on every side. And there are many beautiful gardens.

My favorite garden of all grows in the Botanical Building. Stroll down El Prado and you’ll see an imposing wood lath building at the opposite end of the reflecting pool. That’s the Botanical Building.

Built for the 1915 to 1916 Panama-California Exposition, the beautiful old structure contains a collection of more than 2000 permanent plants. Take a slow walk through it and you’ll discover ferns, palms, orchids and other tropical plants. You’ll hear the soothing bubble of water tumbling into small rocky pools. You’ll smell sweet fragrances and be touched by many colors. You’ll want to linger.

The Botanical Building is open to the public every day except Thursday, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Admission is free!

People walk through the huge, lush botanical collection.
People walk through the huge, lush botanical collection.
Information and guest book near entrance to historic Botanical Building.
Information and guest book near entrance of historic Botanical Building.
Alfred D. Robinson used the lath house to display plants at 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Alfred D. Robinson used building to display plants at 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Hundreds of different plants and endless beauty.
Hundreds of different plants and endless beauty.
Visitors walk quietly through the cathedral-like space.
Visitors walk quietly through the tranquil, cathedral-like space.
Some people just sit on benches and absorb the tranquil atmosphere.
Some people just sit on benches and absorb the tranquil atmosphere.
A section of wall bright with colorful blooms.
A section of wall bright with colorful blooms.
A sample of the natural beauty found in this special place.
A sample of the natural beauty found in this special place.
Platycerium, commonly known as the Stag Horn Fern.
Platycerium, commonly known as the Stag Horn Fern.
Beautiful orchids and other plants on display in Balboa Park's Botanical Building.
Beautiful orchids and other plants on display in Balboa Park’s Botanical Building.
Botanical Building visitors near display of Easter lilies.
Botanical Building visitors near seasonal display of Easter lilies.
Lots of cheerful, colorful Hippeastrum hybrids.
Lots of cheerful, colorful Hippeastrum hybrids.
Bare carnivorous plant bog isn't yet in season.
Bare carnivorous plant bog isn’t yet in season.
Delicate beauty on display for anyone to see.
Delicate beauty on display for anyone to see.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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