• San Diego Botanic Garden

San Diego Botanic Garden turns 50


Fostering A Love of Nature
For Half A Century

On March 8, 1970, our beloved Garden was formally opened as a full-scale botanic garden at a dedication ceremony attended by County officials, members and the general public.

Quail Botanic Gardens, as it was called, became a showplace in Encinitas for Ruth Larabee’s remarkable plants and gardens. Ruth Larabee originally donated 22.3 acres of land to the County of San Diego as a wildlife refuge and county park in 1957. In the mid-60s, the County Parks and Recreation Department began developing the property as a botanic garden in conjunction with Quail Gardens Foundation. And in the words of Julian von Preissig, founding member and President of the Quail Gardens foundation ‘a dream was born to have a beautiful botanic garden for the benefit of everyone.’

san diego botanic garden
SDBG Dedication Ceremony on March 8, 1970

Over the years, that dream has become a reality. Our Garden has expanded onto 37 acres, through the generous donations of numerous individuals along with the County of San Diego and City of Encinitas. We have added several unique garden spaces – like our Tropical Rainforest and Bamboo Garden – as well as two beloved children’s gardens where thousands of youngsters have come to play and enjoy the great outdoors.

Last year San Diego Botanic Garden was voted one of the “Top 10 Botanic Gardens in North America” by USA Today/10 Best voters, and we opened our new Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, adding yet another horticultural and community jewel to our crown.

We look forward to ‘inspiring people of all ages to connect with plants and nature’ for another 50 years!.

San Diego Botanic Garden

Banner Photo: Rachel Cobb