Over 35 years ago I visited a newly opened Botanical Garden in north San diego County, Quail Gardens which was formed from land owned by Ruth Baird Larabee, an avid plant collector and naturalist. Now known as the Quail Botanical Gardens it boasts 27 themed garden areas with plants from all over the world. In the 35 years since I last visited, the Garden has grown in area, height, and complexity.
There is a delightful series of trails and walks that wind through bamboo and sub tropical fruit gardens, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, herb and bird/butterfly gardens, and more. The bromeliads are everywhere (make sure you look up) and the cork trees are amazing! There is a small gift shop and refreshment stand and the old Larabee House and Library.
We loved the subtropical fruit gardens and were envious of their black sapote tree that has fruit that supposedly tastes like chocolate!!!! We saw a male Anna's Hummingbird working the vines around the base of a kumquat bush/tree. It was sunny and not too hot.
The garden is located just a short way off Interstate 405 (San Diego Freeway) in Encinitas. Take the Encinitas Blvd exit, turn inland, and turn left on Quail Gardens Drive. Check their website for operating hours and special events: www.qbgardens.org
A few photos from a delightful afternoon walk: