Downtown Condo Guys

Pocket garden rendering at The NAT (San Diego Natural History Museum)
Museum, Gardens, North Park

Pockets of Positivity

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

In preparation of its 150th anniversary this October, the San Diego Natural History Museum (the NAT) in Balboa Park is preparing to surround itself in pocket gardens, which are small-scale gardens seen lately on commercial properties and urban housing complexes across the country.

In keeping with the biodiversity standard of such gardens, the NAT is planning about seven of them on all sides of the museum. Each will flaunt their own unique characteristics.

The west side of the building, for example, will make way for the “First People’s Garden,” which will showcase fragrant, native plant species that were held sacred by indigenous people. The garden will focus particularly on the Kumeyaay Indians and the plants they utilized for food, clothing and medicine.

It’s all about the birds and the bees when it comes to the “Pollinator Paradise” garden, which will be located near the park’s iconic water fountain. Expect an eyeful of colorful blooms from flowers and fruit plants.

Other concepts will include a trail flanked by spiny succulents along the museum’s east side, and a lush “Wildlife Walkway” near the giant Moreton Bay fig tree, which will feature plants that are adaptable to both drought and flooding.

The gardens are expected to be completed by late spring.