The Balboa Desert Garden was established at the Park Blvd. location in 1976 and contains more than 1,300 plants, including succulents and drought-resistant plants from around the world, within its 2.5 acres.
The peak blooming period is January through March; however, these plants are interesting at any time of year because of their unusual shapes.
It is said that some of these plants predate the official garden and were planted by Kate Sessions herself! I love visiting this spot. There are so many quirky plants growing here including a hollowed out tree that is large enough to fit inside!
I also read that Dr. Seuss was inspired by this exact garden and the unusual plants we see in his illustrations were at least in part inspired by them! More inspiration came from the plants in La Jolla!
This is a quaint garden and can easily be done in under 20 minutes (unless you are a big plant lover. In that case you’ll probably want to spend far more time here!). This garden is connected to the Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden so make sure to check that out as well. And if you’re really into native plant gardens packed with history, see if you can find the Old Cactus Garden located on the other side of Balboa Park! It pre-dates this one!