Friday, July 27, 2012

Desert Garden ~ Balboa Park

Whether a visitor or resident of San Diego, you will probably visit Balboa Park.  It is one of the gems of our city.  There are several notable gardens within the park, one of which is a cactus/succulent garden or Desert Garden, established about 70 years ago.  As a plant enthusiast and succulent collector, I find myself walking through here many times a year. Here are a few photos from a recent visit.  Notice the number of very large, old specimens.

Western end of garden

Old, very tall Yucca

Euphorbia ingens

Aloe barbarae


Huge clump of Agave attenuata, growing in shade.

Below:  Although disturbing, I thought I would add a few photos of what tends to occur in public gardens ~ vandalism by graffiti.  Fortunately, most plants either cannot be carved or they have enough spines to protect themselves.  Opuntias and agaves are the primary victims.  Such a shame!

Back to the more natural....

Blooming Crassula falcata growing under cactus

Unknown Opuntia with very large pads.  Some were over 12" in diameter.
This clump of aloes looked like flames of fire

Aloes and euphorbias

 Aloe dichotoma
Loved this combination!

The Opuntias were all forming fruit.  Guess I'll have to visit again when they ripen!


  1. Love the "flaming" aloes. Great post and interesting. Thanks! LT

    1. Thanks LT! Do you recognize those aloes? Would love a grouping like that in my own garden.

    2. I Know A. vanbalenii does something similar, not sure if that is it, but it is really stunning.

  2. I'll check out photos of A. vanbalenii, thanks!

  3. I remember Balboa Park very well, a fantastic place! And those flaming aloes are something else!

  4. Gotta agree...they were the highlight of the garden (literally and figuratively)!

  5. (found you via StatCounter Came From) The fiery red aloes are in a bed at the Karoo Desert NBG, sadly they were not for sale last time I asked.

    1. Would love to see a photo. Does the NBG hold plant sales!

    2. will take a photo in August. The nursery there is run by volunteers - quite a few of our succulents began life there. The annual Bot Soc sale at Kirstenbosch has a large succulent section. (PS now your blogger comment link works like a pro)

    3. What I wouldn't give to go to that sale! Also, thank you again for setting me straight on my blog. I'm not the most computer savvy person!