Monday, May 17, 2010

San Diego Botanical Gardens

There's a long serendipitous story about the photos I'm about to show you. I'd been thinking of this place I'd been to in San Diego long ago called Quail Botanical Gardens. I was hoping to convince Lisa and Joli to find and go there with me again when I was down there a few weeks ago but it just didn't work out. On my way home, driving up I-5, I pulled off at an exit, spied a sign for "San Diego Botanical Gardens", decided to check it out, discovered it was the renamed Quail gardens, and that I had just happened to stumble on it on their monthly free entrance day. How could I resist!

When I'd visited it about fifteen years ago it was a lovely garden but in the intervening years it's grown into an absolutely awe inspiring grounds that would require many return visits to see it all. In two and a half hours I managed to barely, briskly, walk the contours of it.

You might want to grab a refreshing beverage before you go on a rather lengthy cyber stroll through them with me. Water bottles ready? (Wine? Well, uhm, sure.) This is just a few of the photos I snapped, there were virtually dozens of views, hundreds of close up possibilities, every few footsteps.

Bananas on the tree. Or maybe they were plantains. It's fun to think about places where banana trees are just ordinary garden plants. I remember the first time northern Wisconsin and Minnesota bred me saw oranges ON A TREE! I was eighteen. I was amazed.

A nice couple took my photo in front of some Dr. Seuss looking succulents.

This is a vignette from an area that was meant to look like undersea plant life. It did seem very ocean garden-y. I found myself humming "Under the Sea", thinking my Little Mermaid loving granddaughter would love it.

My grandkids would love most of the garden. There were two areas designed just for children. This literary rabbit was reading in the older children's area.

I wished I could bring this colorful froggy home to live in my garden.

On a windy day I bet these sparkled and twirled. They were pretty even when they were still.

Even this storage/potting shed was capped with a garden roof of succulents.

There were many epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) in the garden.

This central gazebo was a popular resting spot. There were so many interesting people sitting under the shade of that tree, it reminded me of a number of Impressionist paintings.

A cork tree! There were about a half dozen of these strange looking creatures.

The newer children's area was large enough to entertain a child all day long. It covered an entire hillside. This was a child's size labyrinth. I walked it of course.

This climbing "tree" was far more realistic looking than I could capture in a photograph. It was really a structure that was built but had real plants hanging (out of reach of little hands I assume) on the outside. I seriously need to come back with a kid so I can climb up into it myself.

There were a number of waterfalls, this is just one view of one of them.

I really loved these eyeball trees but they seemed to be a little annoyed at me in return.

A green lady tending her babies.

Another lady relaxing with a green friend. Can you see her green friend? On the chair to her right?

Summed up nicely already.

A green craftsman. At least that's who he seemed to be to me.

"Their queen had torn her green gown and bared a shoulder white
White as the May that crowned her
And all the minstrels round her
Tilted back their crimson hats and sang for sheer delight," - Lyrics from Merry May Folk by Emerald Rose

This uprooted gnarl seemed to be alive to me as well - can't you see the goblins and gnomes and knobby knuckled tree creatures hiding in it? Maybe even a monster or two!

These cacti looked vaguely reminiscent of something too. I'll just let you and your own imagination go where you will with this one.

Another Dr. Suess scene.

One forgets how beautiful and colorful the desert can be.

This hidden lily pond was another favorite with the little kids. I witnessed a half dozen mothers negotiating "five more minutes and we are leaving" with stubborn preschoolers.

Who can blame them when the place was alight with so many friendly creatures. Fishies. Dragonflies. This red fellow looks like he's smiling.

And several of the biggest, greenest frogs I've seen since my childhood. They were very used to people, I took this photograph really close up, I don't think I even used a bit of telephoto lens for it.

A very cool bamboo forest. The effect was sort of ruined by the yellow roping but I can understand the need for it. Some people don't seem to understand the whole "stay on the path" concept.

If you want to find out more, visit the garden's website here. If you live close enough to visit, they have festivals (including a chocolate festival and a fairy festival!) as well as classes and events of all kinds. Check out some botanical close ups I saved to share over at Laume's Studio.



Blogger Stephanie said...

wow! what a very cool place! The diversity of plants is really something. All the garden sculpture!! and the garden people...hmmmmmm could I pull this off?

thanks for the tour!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Linda Moran said...

Absolutely stunning! This is on our list for our next time in San Diego!

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Patty Ashworth said...

I haven't been to San Diego. Now I really need to go. It's wonderful! Love the Dr. Suezz plants... Got a few of those in my head that need to be on a quilt! Thanks for posting the garden!

4:40 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hello Laume, I haven't visited your blog in ages, sorry about that. You are looking very slender and young, what have you been eating? Thanks for sharing your lovely walk in the gardens, I could seriously get lost in there. I want more succulents to make sculptures out of!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Just wrote you an email to say Thank you! for the birthday wishes but it bounced back.

I don't do much in fb so don't know how to respond there.

thanks again!

1:36 PM  

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