Kate Sessions near a Saguaro in Balboa Park Cactus Garden
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Photo by Unknown, 1935
Katherine Olivia 'Kate' Sessions (1857-1940) was an American botanist, horticulturalist, and landscape architect known as the 'Mother of Balboa Park'. As a nursery owner in 1892, she leased 30 acres for a nursery in the park. In exchange, she would plant 100 trees/year in Balboa Park and make 300 more available for planting around San Diego. She imported seeds from around the world and filled the park with cypress, pine, oaks, pepper trees, eucalyptus and jacaranda. Her nursery still exists and provides plants and trees for the park.