Many gardens have their dormant periods during the winter, not so the occupants of the Desert Garden. On the east side of Balboa Park, follow the foot bridge from the Natural History Museum across Park Avenue and you will find a garden in winter just beginning to hit its blooming stride.
The morning of our visit was cold with a crisp azure sky. The cacti towered in the distance, indifferent to the temperature, comfortable in their own space and time. Cacti and succulent plants seldom have the soft angles of annual flowers or trees. Their harsh angles demand a sense of awe, their sharpness cutting into the scenery around them in their attempt at survival. But the desert does bloom again, thanks in part to the rain and winter sunshine. The first of the blooms were concentrated in the orange fire of ten feet tall aloe vera blooms and the sharp, blood-red crown of thorns.
Originally built for the 1935 Pan American Exposition, the garden fell into disrepair until 1976. Bulldozers moved 12,000 cubic yards of earth to create the current landscape designed to accommodate bands of variable height succulent plants around curving and gently sloping pathways. Cuttings from local nurseries have grown into the large specimens see today.
All descriptions aside, I feel it is best for me to let the images do the talking. Enjoy -