House of Hospitality courtyard garden replanted!

Some say the House of Hospitality is the heart of Balboa Park. I can understand why. Visitors who pass through the courtyard colonnade might feel they’ve wandered into a beautiful dream.

The House of Hospitality’s fantastic architecture, interior garden and iconic sculpture by Donal Hord appear like a painting of paradise. An eternal canvas into which the living step–if only for a moment.

With the recent refreshing of the historic garden’s four corner planters, the Spanish Colonial courtyard is more alive and welcoming than ever.

Originally created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the House of Hospitality was rebuilt by architect Richard Requa for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. In 1997 the building was recreated as accurately as possible from historical documents.

Before sunset today I walked about the courtyard, read a sign which described the garden’s revitalization, then climbed stairs to the second floor balcony.

Sunlight was slanting into the outdoor courtyard, turning many of its trees and plants bright green. And high above it all, up in the blue sky, shined that eternally amazing tower…

Sign explains how aging plants in the House of Hospitality's courtyard garden were replanted and refreshed, with the help of Urban Corps of San Diego.
Sign explains how aging plants in the House of Hospitality’s courtyard garden were replanted and refreshed, with the help of Urban Corps of San Diego.

At the center of the House of Hospitality courtyard is Woman of Tehuantepec, a 1935 sculpture and fountain by Donal Hord.
At the center of the House of Hospitality’s courtyard is Woman of Tehuantepec, a 1935 sculpture and fountain by Donal Hord.

In one of the four planters is a time capsule placed on September 13, 1997, to be opened May 29, 2035, the centennial of the California Pacific International Exposition.
In one of the four planters is a time capsule placed on September 13, 1997, to be opened May 29, 2035, the centennial of the California Pacific International Exposition.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Poetic words deepen Balboa Park’s beauty.

Time - Becomes meaningless in the face of Creativity
Time – Becomes meaningless in the face of Creativity

Life’s abundant riches fill Balboa Park.

Walking about, you might happen to encounter a few poetic words. Words that express and deepen the beauty of this very special place . . .

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see - So long lives this and this gives life to thee
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Enjoy the beauty of this day; this moment.
Enjoy the beauty of this day; this moment.
Many people enter our lives for just a little while-- others pause and plant flowers in our hearts that continue to bloom forever.
Many people enter our lives for just a little while– others pause and plant flowers in our hearts that continue to bloom forever.

My Beautiful Sweet Pea - If I had a rose for every time you made me smile and laugh I'd have a garden to walk in forever. You are the sunshine in my life.
My Beautiful Sweet Pea – If I had a rose for every time you made me smile and laugh I’d have a garden to walk in forever. You are the sunshine in my life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Glimpses of beauty in the Zoro Garden.

Resting by butterfly murals in Balboa Park's uniquely beautiful Zoro Garden.
Someone rests beside butterfly murals in Balboa Park’s beautiful Zoro Garden.

Today I tried to photograph butterflies in the Zoro Garden. My efforts were mostly in vain.

Flitting butterflies are sudden.

One blink–they’re gone.

So much beauty surrounds us that we miss. So I fill my eyes when I can.

A sudden butterfly . . . a magical moment not seen.
A sudden butterfly . . . a moment not seen.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A new stream in the Japanese Friendship Garden!

A new stream is presently under construction at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!
A new stream is now under construction at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

For several months I’ve been watching with growing excitement as the channel of a new stream takes form in the Japanese Friendship Garden!

Water is a vital element in a Japanese garden, and the beautiful new waterway will add even more life to an already wonderful place. The gently bending stream will run down into the Lower Garden through some shady trees, bubble under a bridge and small observation deck, and join the existing stream along the canyon’s bottom.

Here are some photos to get an idea of what is coming. I was told the project should be completed in several months.

If you’ve never visited the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful spots in all of San Diego. Become a member, and you can freely visit any day that you please!

The existing stream runs through tranquil beauty in the Lower Garden's canyon.
The existing stream runs over small stones through tranquil beauty in the Lower Garden’s canyon.
Photo taken as I approach the place where eventually running water will sparkle, bubble and come alive.
Photo taken as I approach the place where running water will sparkle, bubble and come to life.
The new waterway will course down beneath a newly built bridge and observation platform, to join the existing stream.
The new waterway will course down beneath a newly built bridge and observation platform, to join the existing stream.
I can't wait until this project is finished. Another spot to enjoy this most wonderful Japanese garden.
I can’t wait until this project is finished. Another spot to enjoy this most exquisite Japanese garden.
The new stream will run down into the canyon between shady trees. The project is expected to be completed in September, 2018.
The new stream will run down into the canyon between shady trees. The project is expected to be completed in September, 2018.

UPDATE!

Here are some photos of the construction progress that I took in mid-August 2018. Many stones now line the new stream’s channel. I was told by a docent that the brown tarp covering an object near the waterway’s source is protecting an historic Great Buddha statue donated to the garden that will also make its debut very soon.

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego Iris Society blooms in Balboa Park!

I’m no expert when it comes to flowers, but I definitely enjoy drinking in their beauty.

I spent several minutes yesterday inside the Casa del Prado, walking slowly past tables full of exquisite irises. The San Diego Iris Society is having their Annual Spring Show and Iris Sale this weekend in Balboa Park. The event continues today.

The people I met in the society were all very nice. If you grow irises in San Diego, it would be fun to become a member!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A most wonderful place.

Smiling dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of India lawn program.
Smiling dancers perform at the International Cottages during the House of India lawn program.

The older I get, the more in love I become with Balboa Park. It’s a most wonderful place.

I took a long, random walk around the park today.

Here are a few photos…

A lone gentlemen sits at a cafe table outside the House of Italy in Balboa Park.
A lone gentlemen sits at a cafe table outside the House of Italy in Balboa Park.
Many enjoy sitting in sunshine at the San Diego Museum of Art's May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Many enjoy sitting in sunshine at the San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.
Elegantly dressed visitors to Balboa Park pose for a photo by a fountain.
Elegantly dressed visitors to Balboa Park pose for a photo by a fountain.
A street performer on El Prado wraps a gentle snake over the shoulders of a delighted man.
A street performer on El Prado wraps a snake over the shoulders of a delighted man.
A friendly psychic is ready to assist anyone passing by.
A friendly psychic is ready to assist anyone passing by.
Another beautiful San Diego day along El Prado.
Another beautiful San Diego day along El Prado.
Ranger Kim provides a Sunday tour. A large group has paused to learn about the history of nearby buildings.
Ranger Kim provides a Sunday tour. A large group has paused to learn about the history of nearby buildings.
People have collected near the south end of the picturesque Lily Pond.
People have collected near the south end of the picturesque reflecting pool, or Lily Pond.
There are always lots of treats to choose from in Balboa Park!
There are always lots of treats to choose from in Balboa Park!
A most wonderful place.
A most wonderful place.
Two bicyclists pass each other in the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden. It's winter, not yet spring.
Two bicyclists pass each other in the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden. It’s winter, not yet spring.
Looking from the Desert Garden across Florida Canyon toward Morley Field.
Looking from the Desert Garden across Florida Canyon toward Morley Field.
Kids play near Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Kids play near Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
A Bob Marley banner has been hung on the colorful side of the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
A Bob Marley banner has been hung on the colorful side of the WorldBeat Cultural Center.
The flag atop the Balboa Park Administration Building is at half staff. The world is troubled. Balboa Park is a refuge, filled with peace and happiness.
The flag atop the Balboa Park Administration Building is at half staff. The world is troubled. Balboa Park is a refuge, filled with peace and happiness.
Beauty and sunshine are abundant in Balboa Park.
Beauty and sunshine are abundant in Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Lone cherry tree has early blossoms!

A small handful of early cherry blossoms have appeared at the Japanese Friendship Garden!
A few early cherry blossoms have appeared at the Japanese Friendship Garden!

NEWS FLASH!

A solitary cherry tree at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has made history! It appears to be the very first in the garden to display blossoms this year!

Many more blossoms in the beautiful grove of Japanese cherry trees should be appearing soon!

This branch of one Japanese cherry tree has a few newly opened blossoms in mid-February.
This branch of one Japanese cherry tree has a few newly opened blossoms in mid-February.
All of the many cherry trees in the Lower Garden seem bare--except one lone tree that I found...
All of the many cherry trees in the Lower Garden seem bare–except one lone tree that I found…
Spring must be coming!
Spring must be coming!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!