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 Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

(For other online garden tours, see the listing at the bottom of this page.)  

meadow with poppies santa barbara The meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden bursts into bloom with native California flowers in March and April every year. 

The mission of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is to show plants from all California ecosystems--from the islands offshore to the high desert to the redwoods of the northern coast.  And they do it well in just 80 acres.

Near the entrance to the garden is the meadow--a field of native grasses and flowers including California poppies, Eschscholzia californica.  Also near the entrance is a small desert garden with signature plants from both the high and low desert regions.

santa barbara botanic garden native plants On the west side of the meadow is the beginning of the mile long trail which winds through the gardens. 

steep steps santa barbara botanic garden While the meadow area is relatively flat much of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is in a steep narrow canyon filled with oak trees and winding trails.

redwoods santa barbara botanic garden The wildfire in 2009 which swept through part of the garden, spared the redwood grove.  It is a cool, refreshing haven on hot summer days.

dam santa barbara botanic garden As the trail continues, you will cross an old stone dam, built by native Americans as part of the water system for the Santa Barbara mission, which is about one mile down the canyon.

tea house santa barbara Located near the lower end of the garden is a Japanese tea house.  During warmer months tea is served on Tuesday afternoons, but be sure to call ahead to confirm.  Details and contact information are on their official website.

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Take these Hot Gardens online preview tours, too:    

Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden  - Arcadia
Huntington Gardens Desert Garden - near Pasadena 
Descanso Gardens - near Pasadena 
Arlington Garden - in Pasadena
Getty Villa Gardens - Malibu
South Coast Botanic Garden - southwest Los Angeles  
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - Claremont, California
Santa Barbara Gardens - Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden  - Santa Barbara, California
Tucson Public Gardens  - Tucson, Arizona
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden  - Phoenix, Arizona
Balboa Park Gardens - San Diego, California
Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic
Shore Acres Gardens - Coos Bay Oregon
San Luis Obispo Creek Park - San Luis Obispo, California
Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California
Japanese Garden - Long Beach, California
San Gabriel Mission Gardens - near Los Angeles
San Fernando Mission - Los Angeles

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