A rope fence installed on September 23 keeps visitors from approaching the Lily Pond in front of the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. “Landscape Renovation Project Under Way,” reads a sign on the fence. “Sorry for any inconvenience.” The new fence protects a freshly planted arrangement of daisies, palms, and cycads at the front of the Lily Pond as well as the grass adjacent to the pond's long, narrow sides.
A ranger with the San Diego Park and Recreation Department said portions of the fence may be permanent but much of it would eventually come down. The ranger said the new arrangement is part of a landscaping overhaul that aims to restore the original look of the gardens surrounding the Botanical Building, which was built in 1915. Organizations including the Friends of Balboa Park, the San Diego Foundation, and the Balboa Park Trust helped fund and organize the project, the ranger said.
The sign on the fence says the project is “Drought Ordinance Compliant.” That message is intended to assuage citizens who might be upset to see the landscaping team watering the new plants generously.
“There’s an establishment period in the existing drought ordinance that allows us to water as needed,” explained a worker at the site. Eventually, the new plants won’t need much water. “Once they get established, the majority of the landscape here is going to be drought-tolerant.”