Indie writes: My family’s yard needs some serious TLC. Is there some place in Balboa Park where they can get ideas on the best trees to plant for my benefit and theirs?
Cosmos: Funny you should ask. I just took advantage of one of Balboa Park’s free Offshoot Tours and gained valuable insight into some of the best types of flora that thrive in San Diego’s climate.
This particular tour, offered on the second Saturday of the month, focused on the Park’s majestic palm trees. The volunteer tour guide, Steve Wichmann, was a landscape designer by trade and served up a wealth of information on the dozens of varieties of palms around the Park’s Prado area and Botanical Building. In addition to showing us how to identify the different palm trees and their parts, he discussed growth rates, maintenance requirements, and ideal growing environments.
Though they all suit our canine purposes equally well, I can now tell the difference between a Californian and Mexican palm and a King and Queen palm, among others.
If your family would like to branch out even more, there are also Offshoot Tours that explore other types of trees in Balboa Park (third Saturday) as well as the cactus and succulents housed in the Desert Garden (fourth Saturday).
These pet-friendly tours, which meet in front of the Balboa Park Visitors Center each Saturday morning at 10am, are a great way for you to exercise your legs while your family members exercise their brains.