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SHARING SECRETS: Favorite Gardens, Parks and Riparian Areas To Visit

Edited by Cathy Tylka.

Here’s the question of the month…

Do you have a favorite garden, park or riparian area that you visit? Sometimes, you know about a wonderful place nearby, but no one else does. So, please share this with your friends here at the San Diego Horticultural Society.

Where is your favorite park?

Neal King gives a great suggestion…

I frequent two San Marcos trails with riparian areas. The first is the west end of the Copper Creek trail. This is a private ecological preserve where copper was mined in the 1800s. The second is the Make a Wish Trail. Though this one has housing encroaching on it, still at times, the loudest sound is the creek!


Joselle Spinoza, 92412, simply states…

GREAT question! Definitely an article to bookmark when the next issue comes out.

Southwestern College had a great botanic garden and will again - even better than before, but it will take a few years to develop since it's all under construction right now. Keep it in mind for the future -- it's open to the public and makes a nice little outing. Classes in the horticulture department are worth investigating as well - again, totally open to the public, you can take one-off classes without being enrolled in a degree program. ("LNT" for Landscape and Nursery Tech in the Catalog, but the name may be changing.)
Sherman Gardens is an inspiring horticultural oasis and nationally renowned botanical garden.

Carolyn Convoy, 92625 declares…

I live in Orange County, so, Sherman Gardens on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar is a special place with beautiful gardens, food possibilities and a unique gift shop.

A little-known natural walk is Buck Gully, formerly part of Irvine Ranch and now a Newport Beach City Park. It's a natural canyon the starts at Fifth and Poppy and the trail travels inland almost as far as Newport Coast Drive. I think round trip the walk is about five to seven miles.


Lucy Warren replied very quickly:

One of my favorite gardens in Balboa Park is the Trees for Health Garden located at the intersection of Quince Drive and Balboa Drive. This special 3+-acre site is tended completely by volunteers and includes well over 70 tree species plus shrubs and groundcovers from around the world which have medicinal uses. Developed by the San Diego Herb Club, it has been a part of Balboa Park since 1995. website:

The new Chinese Garden at the Huntington.

BJ Borland, 92009, mentioned…

The new Chinese Garden at the Huntington, San Marino, CA.

Always wishing you and your loved one’s peace, beauty, and good health as I dirty my hands planting, painting or noshing.


Cindy Bruecks of 92107 enjoys …

Best Outdoor recluse spot ever: Cemetery at Fort Rosecrans. Really, it's a great run from the wooded area of Point Loma, and once there you have a beautiful view, quiet green groomed land by the acre, and just enough taste of "cared for" that you can be truly quiet and yet not totally alone. And there is enough room, I can share it with others and not make it overcrowded.


Jenny Hawkins states it simply…

Not a new place and not a secret, but I find the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas to always be a wonderful place!

(Jenny didn’t have any pictures to share but I had a couple of oldies… one of my first dates with this guy… 28 years ago…)


Kathy Voltin, 92112, shares…

Tecolote Nature Center is a wonderful educational center that is at the start of an easy hike up the canyon. There is a small native garden and volunteers maintain.

Before the pandemic I was one of the volunteers that went out with the rangers to water the new natives, once a month. They are working hard to keep invasives out and natives in. I love hiking there and bringing my family and friends there.


Mollie Allan, 92064, declares…

I like walking up to and around the cactus garden at the Safari Park (aka Wild Animal Park). It's up by the Australian exhibit.Cathy Tylka, 92026, aka (me)…is so glad to have Daley Ranch in my backyard…and I take all who want on hikes in this lovely riparian area.


Karen England, 92084 says ...

My dogs (and I) love walking at various county parks, especially nearby Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside, CA. Note: San Diego County residents who are 62 years and older can get a free parking pass to San Diego County Parks, and those younger can buy a yearly pass. I used to buy the pass each year until recently when I went on my 62nd birthday in May and got my free parking pass from the Park Ranger at Live Oak Park in Fallbrook, CA.


Cathy Tylka, 92026, aka (me)…

is so glad to have Daley Ranch in my backyard…and I take all who want to go on hikes in this lovely riparian area.

So, go out and enjoy our wonderful Southern California natural resource!


Cathy Tylka, RN, is a retired Emergency Nurse, who found her love of plants and the SDHS merge many years ago. Cathy acted as Treasurer for the organization and has volunteered for many activities. Now, she is more than happy to assist in gathering questions to ask you in the Sharing Secrets area of the Newsletter.


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