Glorious Gardens Landscape, Encinitas, California

Over the past few years the 1953 Chevy truck sitting on the corner of Leucadia Boulevard and Orpheus in Encinitas (on the west side of the Hwy. 5 exit) has become a familiar symbol.  Emma Almendarez discovered it rusting in an avocado grove in Fallbrook, purchased it from the owner, turned its bed into a planter and displayed it at the 2007 San Diego Spring Home & Garden Show where it won a “Most Appealing to Children” award.  In 2009 Emma moved it to Leucadia Boulevard as part of her landscape design center Glorious Gardens Landscape which specializes in drought-tolerant plants, California natives, succulents, cacti and Tillandsias.   I really like how Emma created a great space in front of her business that the public can enjoy as they pass by or stop in.  



Stephen Bolling

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Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station, San Diego

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens opened their second location at Point Loma’s historic Liberty Station, in what was the former U.S. Naval Training Center’s mess hall.  The 23,500 s.f. indoor-outdoor space includes a mix of industrial and organic features of metal, concrete, reclaimed wood, plant life & glass.  They are the largest restaurant purchaser of small-farm organic produce in San Diego County — virtually all the food is grown on their own farm.  Here are my photos on a warm but overcast day enjoying a Sunday brunch of Brioche French Toast (vanilla and orange infused brioche, Stone Smoked Porter vanilla glaze, bananas, powdered sugar with apple-wood smoked bacon) and Grilled Wild Boar Ribs (Porter braised, Korean BBQ sauce and house made Kimchi).


Stephen Bolling

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The James Hubbell Sculptures at San Diego Mission de Alcala


The Graphic Art of Trader Joe’s Mission Valley – San Diego, California

Trader Joe’s is a tiki-themed California-based grocery chain with over 400 stores in the United States.  Each store has graphic art unique to its neighborhood.  One of the newer Trader Joe’s is in Mission Valley, San Diego and I thought it would be fun to look at the artwork which celebrates the valley.  Mission Valley is a wide river valley through which the San Diego River flows from the mountains of San Diego’s east county to the Pacific Ocean.  The first Spanish settlement in California was the Presidio and the Mission which are both in Mission Valley and established in 1769.  Up until the 1960’s Mission Valley was known for its dairy farms.  The 1950s saw Mission Valley develop hotels in what is now known as Hotel Circle.  San Diego’s first regional mall was Mission Valley Shopping Center and in 1967 San Diego Stadium (now Qualcomm) was built.  Mission Valley is the hub for San Diego traffic with Highways 8, 5, 805, 163 and 15 crossing through the valley and at its western end are Old Town, Mission Bay and SeaWorld.  The Green Line of the San Diego Trolley system snakes along the San Diego River the entire length of Mission Valley. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Historic town of Julian, California

The historic gold mining town of Julian, California, an hour east of San Diego, is the perfect day trip into the Cuyamaca mountains.  In 1869 former slave Fred Coleman rode his horse over a creek west of Julian and spotted a glint of gold.  He soon established the Coleman Mining District and Coleman City.  A year later the source lode was discovered in Julian and apple trees were planted and flourished in the mountain air.   A majority of San Diego County’s African-American population lived near or around the town, including the founders of the Robinson Hotel (now Julian Hotel Bed & Breakfast).  Today, Julian is known for its shops, bed & breakfasts and annual apple festival.


Palomar Medical Center – Escondido, California May 26, 2013

The healing environment of gardens, terraces, outdoor balconies, fresh air, two-story courtyards and natural light.  The 1.5 acre green roof and terrace is designed to deflect light and heat to provide a natural cooling system for the facility.  Planted with drought resistant and native plants it is located above the surgery, cardiology and interventional radiology areas.




History of Palomar Health:

Check out the Patient Rooms:

Little Italy Sicilian Festival – San Diego, California May 19, 2013


The Polo Barn 100 Year Celebration – Santee, California May 11, 2013


Doorways to Old Town San Diego


Old Point Loma Lighthouse and Cabrillo National Monument

Stephen Bolling

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego began operations in 1855 but fog and low clouds often obscured the light. Thirty-six years later a new lighthouse was built closer to the water.


The National Park Service refurbished the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.  

aThe lighthouse water catchment system.

Adjacent is the Cabrillo National Monument which commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542, the first time Europeans set foot on the west coast of the future United States.  

From the park is a birds eye view of San Diego’s harbor and skyline, Coronado Island and Naval Air Station North Island.  

Native coastal sage scrub provide habitat for wildlife.


More photos.

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