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Romance Abounds in the Marston House Gardens

In my never-ending quest to discover all of Balboa Park’s hidden treasures, I’ve recently fallen in deep puppy love with the elegant gardens that surround the historic Marston House. Located at the corner of Seventh Ave. and Upas St., the Marston House was built in 1905 for civic leader and Balboa Park activist George W. Marston by famed architects William Hebbard and Irving Gill in the Arts and Crafts style.


The extensive gardens that surround the house were developed over many years by a number of talented folks, including Balboa Park founder and horticulturist Kate Sessions. The formal English garden located to the north of the house bursts with colorful annuals and roses, serving as a perfect spot for weddings. Several stone-lined pathways wind down the canyon behind the house, offering a romantic walk for couples or an opportunity for kids and four-legged friends to explore a diverse range of trees, plants, and flowers.


Though the main house is only open for tours on weekends, the garden is always open and free. For an in-depth excursion of the gardens, be sure to check out “Elegant & Splendid: An Historic Garden and Landscape Tour” on Thursday, November 20, at 11:00 a.m. (reservations required). And then starting next week, November 28, take a Holiday House Tour to see the house’s interior fully decked out for the season.

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