While other parts of Balboa Park have a very ordered look to them, the Alcazar garden is an interesting contrast. The beds are laid out in a pattern for sure but the plants that grow have a far more natural feel to them. It doesn’t have the feel of a perfectly manicured garden but instead feels a bit more like what the natural plant growth would be if things had been left to their own devices. It makes the place feel more relaxed as a result.
While it was a nice place to relax for a while, it was a bit tricky to find a way to convey the relaxed nature of things photographically. The type of plants gets a little lost when you are looking at the wider view of the garden and the detail of the plants loses the feeling of the overall space. Perhaps you will just have to take my word for it!
As we wandered around the botanic garden in Balboa Park, I was quite interested in a plant that had branches with an odd oval shape repeated across their surface. I mentioned it to Nancy and she had seen something similar in another part of the garden but that had been cut off. The cross section of the branch was more interesting than the surface apparently.
We spent a short while hunting for where she had seen this before and when we found it, she was proved correct. The outside of the branch had the same pattern as I had seen earlier. The inside was certainly unusual. Rather than try and describe it, I shall just let you take a look for yourselves.
Located in Balboa Park is the Japanese Friendship Garden. Just alongside the Spreckels auditorium (which had an event underway whose speakers were sufficiently loud to somewhat diminish the peacefulness of the garden), it drops down into a valley in the park. Work is currently underway on some new areas and, after walking through the top and seeing that building work was underway lower down, I was a bit concerned that it might prove to be a little lacking in interest.
However, once we dropped down the steps and into the valley, it became apparent that there was more to see lower down than up above. The garden was beautifully laid out with a number of different pathways to take you through the trees, around the blossoms and past the water features. A tour was underway while we were there which actually served well to keep most people together and us, therefore, with a bit more space and peace (other than the noise from next door) to enjoy the garden.
Someone had come in a kimono to have their picture take so we were moving around trying to avoid getting in their way. Some of the other visitors seemed a bit more oblivious! Our timing was good for the blossoms to be in good condition. Obviously that was not something we had planned but we were happy to take advantage.