Developing a new premier Mediterranean garden in CaliforniaChris Woods and Edward SchneiderSanta Barbara Botanic GardenSanta Barbara, CA 93105 U.S.A.
Established in 1926 the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is the oldest public garden dedicated to the display, conservation, research and education of California native plants • The Garden is enjoyed by over 100,000 visitors per year
The spectacular setting offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastal Santa Ynez Mountain range • The signature view is the expansive ‘meadow view’ axis and its spring wildflower display
Dr. Fredrick Clements, the Father of North American Plant Ecology, was the Garden’s first Director and established the design concept of plant exhibits within the California biome context • The redwood exhibit is the most popular visitor destination
Oak-Woodlands, which are the most common vegetation type in California, are amply represented in their natural state.
The Island section represent floras from the eight California Islands as well as Baja California Islands.
Collections • Ceanothus, common in the California chaparral, and Dudleya, which include many endemics, are well represented in the Garden
Collections • Fremontodendron or Flannel Bush, common in the Sierran Chaparral, offers spectacular blooms
Historic Mission Dam • Built in 1805 by native Americans under the supervision of Franciscan padres to supply water for Mission Santa Barbara, this feature is part of a federally designated historic waterworks system
In June of 2003 a generous donor offered 80 acres to the Garden with the expectation that a new garden dedicated to display and education of world-wide Mediterranean flora would be developed • Transfer of ownership is in process • The property is located near Ojai, California, approximately 35 miles from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden site
The existing 80 acres has established trails, meeting facilities, and numerous designed outdoor areas
A collection of South African Aloes planted from seed was established in 1987
Plants of western Australia such as Banksia, Xanthorrhoea, Doryanthes, and Hymenosporum are also well established
Future steps include: Continue the integration of Santa Barbara staff and operations into the Ojai site • Begin Master Planning • Secure collections of Chilean and old-world Mediterranean taxa • Apply for Conditional Use Permit from governmental agencies to operate as a public garden integrated with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden under a common governance system • Market the site as the premier Mediterranean Garden of the United States