If you’ve driven down Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, you might have noticed a couple of enormous old trees at the corner of Pico Street, just east of Soledad Mountain Road.
By the sidewalk stands an easily overlooked historical marker. It reads:
KATE OLIVIA SESSIONS’ NURSERY SITE
THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES THE LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF A WOMAN WHO ENVISIONED SAN DIEGO BEAUTIFUL. ON THIS SITE SHE OPERATED A NURSERY AND GAINED WORLD RENOWN AS A HORTICULTURIST. SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO RECEIVE THE INTERNATIONAL MEYER MEDAL IN GENETICS.
CALIFORNIA REGISTERED HISTORICAL LANDMARK NO. 764
PLAQUE PLACED BY THE CALIFORNIA STATE PARK COMMISSION IN COOPERATION WITH THE PACIFIC BEACH WOMAN’S CLUB.
JULY 7, 1961
Kate Sessions is probably best known as the Mother of Balboa Park. In addition to owning other nurseries and growing fields in San Diego, she maintained a small nursery in a corner of Balboa Park (originally called City Park) under an 1892 agreement with the City of San Diego. She was required under the lease to plant 100 trees in the park each year. Most of the older trees in Balboa Park that you see today were planted by her hand.
The colorful jacaranda trees seen around San Diego were also introduced to the city by Kate Sessions.
I recently blogged about the very first camphor tree planted in North America. She’s the one who planted it. The historic camphor tree stands just west of Balboa Park in Bankers Hill near a beautiful historic house. To revisit that old blog post, click here.
Here are a couple more photos that I took this weekend by the historical marker…
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