For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 7
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 8
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 9
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 10
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 11
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Continuing on our west to east travel on El Prado, after the Timken Museum of Art is the most photographed building in San Diego, the Botanical Building:
It is worthwhile to visit the Botanical Building anytime you are in Balboa Park because, along with the resident plants, there are seasonal displays created by many of the plant societies throughout San Diego County. The most recent display comprises leftover orchids from the latest show of the San Diego Orchid Society.
I could tolerate a few leftover orchids in my gardens!
The Botanical Building and the Lily Pond (aka the Reflecting Pool) were built for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915-1916. The building is one of the largest lath structures in the world. Plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants comprising mostly cycads, ferns, orchids, palms, and similar tropical plants. The meat-eating-plants bog is one of the best.
The Lily Pond was severely damaged in late 2012 when someone promoted via Facebook a midnight party at the pond. The party turned into a drunken brawl, destroying all of the lilies and damaging the pond and its infrastructure to the tune of about $100,000. Sadly, the perpetrators have not been caught.
Just outside the two entrances to the Botanical Building are two tall, scraggly bushes. The flowers are beautiful:
The bushes are Crown Plants (Calotropis gigantea), a member of the milkweed family, which means that throughout the year you can find monarch caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies.
Not surprisingly, adults tend to walk right on by the scraggly bushes. Children, however, are quick to spot the butterflies and caterpillars. If only children didn’t have to grow up to be adults………..
The Lily Pond also is home to fish (mostly koi), the occasional turtle, and birds.
Sadly, many of the fish and turtles are unwanted “pets” that owners didn’t want anymore, so they dump them in the Lily Pond. The birds, however, come and go, and quite often you can find some Mandarin Ducks hanging out.
Admission to the Botanical Building is free. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. but is closed on Thursdays and holidays. Closing on holidays is somewhat strange because Balboa Park gets extremely crowded on holidays since it’s a regional attraction and destination.
For more about the monarchs of Balboa Park, see my post Monarch—Caterpillar to butterfly (WARNING: graphic content).
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