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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Championing California Natives for 75 Years

Articles: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Championing California Natives for 75 Years

The Meadow, circa 2000, planted to a variety of grasses, sedges, and wildflowers. A large patch of meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii) brightens the foreground with Cathedral Peak of the Santa Ynez Mountains towering in the background. Photograph by Carol Bornstein
One must learn, to borrow Dr. Jepson’s delightful phrase, a plant’s range of tolerance, and learn also to widen it by skillful handling.
Ervanna Bissell, 1930

Throughout 2001, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been celebrating its seventy-fifth birthday. Since its inception in 1926, the garden has been devoted to the display, study and conservation of California’s native flora. From its modest birth as a small memorial garden tucked away in a remote canyon, the garden has become a leader in fostering stewardship of the natural environment through its research and educational programs and its inspiring, naturalistic displays.

The Garden site in 1926, looking south towards the Blaksley Boulder across a weedy pasture that would become the Meadow. Photographs from the Blaksley Library...

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