A fun Harvest Fair in Balboa Park!

A very fun Harvest Fair and Marketplace could be enjoyed today in Balboa Park!

The San Diego Floral Association hosted this annual event–which they call Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees–at the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyards.

During my walk through Balboa Park, I lingered at this autumn festival to look about and meet some cool people.

This is what I discovered…

The family friendly event provided many educational opportunities.
Vendors had all sorts of unique crafts and art for sale.
Representatives from the organization Senior Gleaners pose for a photo. They’ll pick your fruit and donate to local agencies that feed the hungry. Or you can volunteer and help pick fruit!
Ikebana International had a table with some beautiful flower arrangements.
The San Diego Audubon Society was present. We talked about local estuaries, lagoons and feral parrots in my Cortez Hill neighborhood!
I learned there’s a College Area Community Garden in a canyon near San Diego State University.
These cool folks in costume were representing the San Diego Costume Guild!
The San Diego Beekeeping Society was showing this hive of bees. Hundreds of people around San Diego County keep bees. Many are hobbyists.
If you happen to come upon an injured parrot, call these friendly ladies at SoCalParrot.org. They perform urban wild parrot rescues.
The San Diego Floral Association had lots of helpful and interesting information on display.
The colorful Harvest Fair included a “Flower Power” floral design competition!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Another wonderful walk in Balboa Park!

Several walks today. Many photographs taken.

I started in Balboa Park!

And, you know what? Balboa Park on a Saturday morning in late September was just as wonderful as ever…

Friendly painters interpret beauty at the Lily Pond.
Brushstrokes reveal wonder.
This cool guy was playing music for the painters!
Ladies in old-fashioned garb ready a canopy by the Botanical Building.
Garden Stewards do some gardening (and smiling) in the Casa del Prado courtyard!
The Casa del Prado revitalization not only includes garden beds redone with the help of the San Diego Floral Association, but painting the building with historic color and new lighting.
Mitchell, Balboa Park’s cool didgeridoo dude, was hanging out on El Prado. He was wearing Jupiter today! He told me he’s going to be picking up his awesome new sculpted Draco (dragon) didgeridoo soon. He said he’ll send me pics of it which I hope to share!
Peeking into the House of Hospitality courtyard.
The fellow with the enormous camera is a freelance photographer. He saw a big spider building a long web between a Palm Canyon tree and the nearby restrooms. We marveled at how a mere spider could accomplish such a feat.
A bunch of walkers were streaming down El Prado. I believe they were raising funds for the Family Health Centers of San Diego.
I had to circle back to the Casa del Prado because the San Diego Bonsai Club’s exhibition opened at 10 am.
Another wonderful day walking in Balboa Park.

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Love at the Dog Beach Memorial Garden.

Del Mar’s Dog Beach is a place where dogs run free and pure love flourishes. At the Dog Beach Memorial Garden, expressions of that love are made visible.

Small smooth stones are painted with the names of beloved dogs. The garden is filled with angels, butterflies, poems, flowers . . . and gnomes, pink flamingos and other fun decorations.

I walked down from Camino Del Mar through this special Memorial Garden when I visited Dog Beach last weekend for the Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. (If you missed it, you can see those dog surfing photos here!)

Please enjoy the following photographs…

Gracie, Buster, Missy, Bronx, Toby, Scout, Paisley, Wolfie, Cabo, Solana, Macey…
We will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.
Love equals licks.
Hope blooms in the garden of love.
Live simply and be grateful.
Loved ones memorialized simply.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Build an easy compost bin and grow worms!

Look what I learned yesterday! How to easily build a compost bin and grow worms!

Two super friendly ladies at the Ramona Country Fair showed me how its done. They were at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation booth, displaying ways people can bring environmental sustainability to their homes.

The Solana Center has a great website with lots of informative resources. Check it out here. You can even become a Master Composter! They have a wide variety of educational programs and host sustainability events all around San Diego County. They also feature special programs for schools and businesses.

Okay. Are you ready? To compost in a small yard, apartment or condo, all you need is a couple of plastic storage bins with holes drilled a certain way. And some shredded paper. And some starter worms. Then begin adding food scraps to your vermicompost bin.

You’ll end up with excellent potting soil, plus lots of wiggly bait for fishing, if that’s your thing!

For the exact step-by-step details, check out the instructions I photographed below! (You might be able to read the words more easily by using a computer, rather than a phone. Open the images in a new tab and they’ll enlarge somewhat.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Neighbors create sculptures for community garden!

There’s an outdoor sculpture garden in San Diego that very few know about. It’s called the Azalea Park Water Conservation Garden. You can find this special place in Azalea Park, a neighborhood in south City Heights, at the east end of Azalea Community Park.

Last weekend I was given a tour of the sculptures by local artist Jim Bliesner and members of the Azalea Park Mosaic League!

As you can see in my photos, all of the garden’s imaginative artwork is made of recycled materials. What I really loved is the pieces were all created by people who live in the neighborhood!

Come wander with me through this peaceful garden, down several dirt paths through native drought tolerant vegetation, and let’s see what we might discover…

A tall sculpture attracts those who are nearby. Curious eyes will discover something special.

PEACE BEACON

INSTALLED ON JUNE 12, 2016

IN HONOR OF THE VICTIMS OF THE SHOOTING THAT OCCURRED ON THIS DATE IN ORLANDO, FL.

Donated to the Azalea Park neighborhood, where people of all faiths, cultures, and ethnicities proudly live together as one community. May we shine as a beacon to the rest of the country.

Artist: Vicki Leon, 2016

Installation team: Vicki Leon, Bonnie Brooks, Jennifer Lindsey, Brent Lindsey, Aiya Lindsey, Aiden Lindsey. Title by Aiden Lindsey (10 years old).

City Heights artist Jim Bliesner stands by his fun sculpture Joy Ride. It’s made of colorfully painted car hoods!
A dreamcatcher made of recycled metal objects.
A bull made of old car mufflers.

“The Bull”

By Karim Carlock

Welded by Jose Orozco

I.W.U. Local 229

All the sculptures in the Azalea Park Water Conservation Garden are wonderful. Take a look at this!

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Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

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A very fun Tanabata Festival in San Diego!

The Tanabata Festival was held today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

This always fun festival included traditional Japanese kimonos, art, crafts, kids games, yummy food, the making of kokedama (Japanese moss balls) and other family activities.

Most importantly, visitors to the festival had the opportunity to write their own special wish!

Tanabata has its origin in a story about the Japanese deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, who shine in the heavens as stars. The Milky Way separates the two lovers who can only meet once a year. Tanabata is that day.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website here, “A common practice during Tanabata is to decorate the nanatsu kazari, or seven decorations…” Different types of ornaments are hung from bamboo trees to bring luck, skill, health or success.

I noticed many messages had already been hung. The hands of many at the festival wished for happiness in life!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A magical little garden in Coronado!

In Coronado, a few steps from Orange Avenue, there’s a magical little garden.

If you’ve ever visited Spreckels Park, you might have seen the June Miller Garden surrounding the trunk of a tall palm tree. I took a good look at it yesterday as I wandered down the sidewalk, waiting for the big 4th of July Parade to begin.

Not only did I discover several interesting plaques, but I spied a young boy who was retrieving a baseball kneeling with wonder above a small turtle.

The sculpture represents a magical moment of discovery.

To learn more about the history of Spreckels Park, you can visit this Coronado Historical Association web page.

JUNE MILLER GARDEN

Maintained by

CROWN GARDEN CLUB OF CORONADO

CDR. PHILIP HENRY DENNLER, JR.

WHOSE LOYALTY TO THE CORONADO FLOWER SHOW INSPIRED US ALL.

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION

APRIL 1975

Happy Birthday Coronado

1890-2015

The Crown Garden Club of Coronado

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A water saving demonstration landscape in La Mesa.

If you live in San Diego and love having a beautiful, lush garden in your yard, but also want to save water, there’s a fine demonstration landscape full of drought tolerant native plants, trees and flowers you can check out in La Mesa. The demonstration landscape can be found on two sides of the Helix Water District building at 7811 University Avenue.

I enjoyed looking at the demonstration garden last weekend and took photographs. According to a sign, water can be saved by not only planting vegetation native to the San Diego region, or well suited to our arid climate, but by installing a drip irrigation system under a layer of mulch to prevent evaporation. A smart irrigation controller can adjust watering times based on the weather.

Having such a WaterSmart landscape can help “beautiful plants and trees thrive on half, a third, or a fifth of the water a traditional lawn needs.”

If you can’t make it to La Mesa, go to the Helix Water Districts’ website and check out their Sustainable Landscape page here. You’ll find lots of great ideas, including numerous plants that you might use!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego hero beautifies our city.

An unselfish, unsung hero in San Diego has dedicated countless hours of hard work to making our city more beautiful.

I’m speaking of Joseph Ciavarella. For five years he spearheaded the improvement and beautification of Tweet Street Park, a neighborhood park atop Cortez Hill.

During my walks over the years I often saw Joe in the park spreading mulch, pruning, cleaning up debris, and planting flowers and other greenery. I would express my appreciation, and he was always modest.

Joseph Ciavarella’s quiet optimism, his effective community organizing and relentless hard work, along with the important contributions of Friends of Tweet Street volunteers and San Diego Parks and Recreation, have turned the Tweet Street linear park into the amazing lush garden that it is today.

Joe moved away from Cortez Hill not long ago. His last day at Tweet Street was Arbor Day. I noticed today that the Downtown San Diego Partnership planted a tree in his honor.

That tree will grow and become ever more beautiful over time, bringing a little joy to the lives of so many people.

That’s was Joe did.

Check out the “Friends of Tweet Street Park” Facebook page here.

Donate to the Friends of Tweet Street via a new web page provided by the Downtown San Diego Partnership here.

Thank you.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

La Mesa Community Garden coming to MacArthur Park!

A community garden is coming to La Mesa!

I was walking through La Mesa’s spacious MacArthur park on Sunday when I saw a sign announcing the La Mesa Community Garden. So I directed my feet that way!

The garden, located off Memorial Drive near the La Mesa Municipal Pool, will be a place where local residents can grow their own healthy food and connect with nature and each other. The garden’s small building, which used to be the clubhouse of the now defunct Sun Valley Golf Course, features fun artwork and nearby picnic tables. The community garden occupies the old golf course’s putting green.

If you happen to live in La Mesa, you might want to check out the information contained in a couple of the upcoming photographs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!