While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Santa Barbara, Calif., area, why not visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden?
- The 78-acre Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, founded in 1926, has more than 1,000 taxa of plants on display.
- The garden sections and displays include Arroyo, Canyon section, Desert section, Home Demonstration Garden, Manzanita section, Meadow (Bullard Pond and Brook), Redwood section, Discovery Garden and the Japanese Tea House Garden (used for authentic chanoyu tea ceremonies).
- The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has more than 5.5 miles of walking trails, including the Campbell Trail, Canyon Trail and Creek Trail, Easton-Aqueduct Trail, Porter Trail, Pritchett Trail and Woodland Trail. If you walk along the paths up to Cathedral Peak (3,333 feet) and La Cumbre Peak (3,985 feet), you will see the Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
- Located just next to the Old Mission Santa Barbara, the botanic garden includes a rock dam built by the Native Americans under the direction of the Spanish padres of the nearby mission in 1807. This dam and aqueduct and six other structures (Indian Steps, Caretaker’s Cottage, Information Kiosk, Blaksley Library, Campbell Bridge and Clara Small Smith Entry Steps) are deemed historic landmarks.
- Check the website for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s event calendar, which includes lecture series, workshops and classes, art exhibits and more. One unique event the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden hosts is the series of Time Travelers Private Vintage Domecar Botanical Day Trips. Meet at the Santa Barbara train depot and board a private train car, where a garden instructor will discuss the last native coastal landscapes in Southern California as you dine on a buffet lunch and ride on the train along Highway 101.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Quick Info
1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
$8 for adults, $6 for seniors and children 13 to 17, and $4 for children 2 to 12 years old.
Open daily 9am-5pm November to February and 9am-6pm March to October.