The sections of the Garden are grouped by various plant communities, such as canyon, meadow, prairie, etc. With ten different sections spread across the acreage, there is a variety of landscapes to explore. Visitors can discover miles of trails while taking in magnificent mountain to ocean views.
Plants in the Arroyo section showcase species found throughout watercourses in the state. In the SBBG, this translates to a garden located along a seasonal stream, shaded by native oak trees. A noteworthy site in this garden is the ‘dripping rock’ that displays plants that require a continuously moist environment. Also in the Arroyo section is the Discovery Garden, a special area targeted to children. Here, kids learn about biodiversity and the interactions of California’s ecosystems with a special eye on the movement of water.
The Campbell Trail is home to the Chaparral Section, highlighting plants that grow in this type of habitat. These areas are characterized by dry, rocky slopes near California’s coastal or interior mountains. Plants in this zone necessarily have deep roots, as well as having adapted to the State’s periodic wildfires. This takes the form of rejuvenation following a fire, the absorption of nutrients, and the appearance of new bulbs in the increased sunlight available post fire.
The Canyon section, home to the Pritchett Trail and the Easton-Aqueduct Trail, follows Mission Creek and its adjacent canyon slopes. This area is characterized by western sycamores, coast live oaks, among other native trees. Parts of this section were burned in 2009, during the Jesusita Fire. As fire is part of the normal evolution of habitats in this part of the world, the Canyon Section has rebounded, and what was once an ash-laden, barren landscape is now full of growth.
Water Wise Home Garden
Once the demonstration garden, the Water Wise Home Garden now has a more specialized purpose: to demonstrate beautiful applications of drought tolerant landscape. Using California native plants, this garden inspires visitors to incorporate the ethos of the SBBG in their own homes, providing ideas and tools to help them do so. Many of the plants showcased in this garden are available for purchase at the SBBG’s Garden Growers Nursery.
Manzanita, with their beautiful and distinctive red bark, are a fixture of many California landscapes. This highly diverse plant has dozens of varietals, many of which are on display in the Manzanita Section. These include low growing ground cover, bushes and even small trees. Mixing with other California natives, the garden demonstrates how different plants work together to create visual interest. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Photo: Konstiantyn/Fotolia
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