Monday, May 22, 2017

San Diego Botanical Gardens

San Diego Botanical Gardens

A Place for All Ages


Last month, my boyfriend and I visited the San Diego Botanical Gardens.  I have been there a number of times over the years, but this was his first time there.

The botanical gardens are located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, in Encinitas, right off the Encinitas Blvd. exit from I-5. They are open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m. and the cost is $14 for adults, $10 for seniors, students, and active military, and $8 for children 3-12. Members and children under 2 are free. Parking is $2.

On the first Tuesday of the month, San Diego County residents get in free but still must pay the $2 parking fee. The parking fee is waived if you have 4 or more people in your car. 





I would advise bringing a hat or wearing sunscreen, especially on those hot days. Also, bring snacks and water as there is only one kiosk near the visitor's center and gift shop (yes, they do sell plants). There are a limited number of picnic tables available and you are welcome to bring a picnic. There are no restaurants on site but plenty in the surrounding Encinitas area. The botanical gardens cover 37 acres and most of it is easy walking. Of course, different times of the year, you will see different plants in bloom. 






 You may even catch sight of a smiling dragonfly.



There are a number of gardens containing plants from around the world. There is even a bamboo garden where bamboo is harvested by San Diego Zoo staff for their pandas. The cacti all over the area were in full bloom and flowers were abundant so this is a great time of year to visit. There is also a children's garden that has an edible plant garden and lots of interactive activities for the kids, including some climbing structures.




There is also a garden area that has sculptures made out of plants.



There are certain places within the gardens where you can see the ocean. There is also an area that has a fairly tall waterfall. There were lots of different kinds of butterflies and birds flying around. There are great places to just sit and relax and enjoy the scenery. Many of the plants don't look so exciting on the outside, but if you lean over and look inside, they are magical.



There are plenty of docents and volunteers around to answer questions or show you special plants. We had a volunteer show us a cucumber thistle. They were trying to get rid of a lot of them as it is an invasive plant, but she let us hold one and look inside and touch one of the seeds. It was very cool. 



All in all, a very interesting place to visit any time of the year.

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