I dream of the Botanical Building and Lily Pond in Balboa Park.

It started with the movie Little Nemo and the parade. The flying bed scenes through trees and buildings, and those buildings, in my imagination as a child, were the Botanical Building and Lily Pond in Balboa Park and other museum buildings.

Yes, I had to take a picture in front of the lagoon because I think it’s mandatory, and I forced my husband to take one too.

Free to the public and open until 4 pm on most days — and with two front entrances. Immediately transported to a garden paradise, with plants of every sort in every direction.

The Botanical Building exterior is made of wood, and the interior is supported by metal beams. I was surprised at how much the wooden exterior is deteriorating, so I’ll have to do research on how the building is preserved and what’s prepared for its future.

They say it’s the largest lath structure in the world — explaining the efforts to preserve what remains vs. rebuilding.

Who chooses what plants to plant at the Botanical Building and Lily Pond?

The number of plants within surpasses anything I was prepared for, including their names. I’m not familiar with many of the plants and vegetation — in one of the patches, carnivorous plants lay in wait for their prey. Many questions come to mind. Who cares for all of these plants and does the city pay to maintain? Does anyone try to break in at night, and who decides what plants to plant?

We spent roughly 15-minutes touring inside until we felt crowded out by others. Outside there were various musicians playing their instruments and classical music seemed to be the theme.

As I think back on the experience, I’m again reminded of how dream-like this place really is. It would be nice if all places were as delicate, beautiful, and dreamy.

Botanical Building and Lily Pond at Balboa Park
Botanical Building and Lily Pond at Balboa Park