Out here in the far west, October is usually summer's last blast, but you wouldn't know it from the umbrella weather Lin and I ran into down San Diego way last weekend. Don't get me wrong - I love having to use the windshield wipers in our SoCal near-desert climate. An early start to the rainy season makes me happy as a banana slug in a redwood forest.
After a jolting blast of Peet's dark roast coffee and a couple of wrong turns on the freeway (so much for my iPhone MapQuest app) we made our way to Balboa Park, a 1200-acre cultural park that was originally the location of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and then the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Not knowing quite where we were heading, we pulled into the first parking lot we saw, seeking the Museum of Photographic Arts. As we found our way through a newly planted garden between the buildings, there it was, framed in the arch of a colonnade - the 1915-era Botanical Building, one of the largest lath structures in the world.
The massive but graceful edifice houses more than 2100 permanent plants, mostly tropicals, some of which you might find in the houseplant section of your local garden shop. There were also a slew of specimens you probably wouldn't see unless you macheted your way into a jungle.There's more at Fine Gardening...