Santa Barbara Botanic Garden plans activities for October and November
The botanic marvels during the California drought are native plants.
They can handle the heat, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden says now’s a good time to plant them.
The garden is celebrating the fall planting season with activities for plant lovers and home gardeners of various skill levels.
“Native plants have evolved to manage the environmental stresses of our local climate, and there is no better time to plant them than the fall season,” Keith Nevison, the garden’s director of horticulture and operations, said in a news release. “Not only are native plants the best option to help manage your home’s water use, but they also attract beneficial insects, pollinators, and birds that are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Simply put, our community needs native plants, and the garden is here to help.”
The botanic garden is stressing the importance of native plants as homeowners deal with the drought, tired lawns and rising water bills.
To emphasize the fall planting season, the garden is starting special events on Oct. 1 and will begin its new shop online, pick-up onsite program Nov. 1 at www.shop.sbbbotanicgarden.org. This e-commerce site allows customers to buy from a large selection of native plants, plus other retail items.
“Fall is the best time to get native plants in the ground so the rainy season can help them get established before the stresses of our hot, dry summers begin,” nursery manager Matt Straka said. “To support our community, we stock our nursery all year but especially pack it with even more native plants and a wide variety and some unique plants for the fall so our customers can get inspired and really embrace the season.”
The Garden Nursery is located at 1212 Mission Canyon Road, just inside the garden entrance. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Garden members receive a 10% discount. Visitors interested in shopping don’t need garden reservations. They can park in a “member” parking spot and check-in at the front kiosk to receive a shopper pass.
For more information, go to sbbotanicgarden.org/access-the-gardens-nursery-inventory.
Here’s the garden’s schedule of events.
— Oct. 13-14: WeDigBio Volunteer Days will take place, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. There’s an opportunity to volunteer to document data from the garden’s collections as part of global citizen-science event Worldwide Engagement for Digitalizing Biocollections (WeDigBio).
— Oct. 15-Nov. 27: The garden presents an art exhibit — “Thirteen Moons: A Book of Hours” by Connie Jenkins at the Garden Gallery.
Ms. Jenkins, a photo-realist artist, records the passing of the seasons with 12 oil paintings each featuring California native flowers that bloom during a specific month, plus a large painting “Fire-Followers,” painted after the Woolsey Fire (2018).
— Oct. 21: “Family Nature Night: Celebrate Bat Month” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. People are encouraged to come in costumes in a nightime exploration of the garden. There will be bat-themed games, a batty-black-light station, sensory activities, eerie stories,and more. Cost is $24 for adults, $14 for youths 12 and younger, and $20 adult and $10 youth for Garden members.
— Oct. 23: Ojai author Lanny Kaufer will lead a herb walk at 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Mr. Kaufer will talk about plants featured in his book “Medicinal Herbs of California” and will sign copies of the book at noon. The event is free, but reservations are required.
— Oct. 30: Richard Merrill will discuss “Attracting Pollinators with a Native Garden” at 3 p.m. Attendees will learn to create or enhance their native pollination gardens, see plants that are especially effective at attracting pollinators, discuss the importance of biodiversity, and more. Cost is $40 for general admission and $25 for Garden members.
— Nov. 1: The garden’s new e-commerce webpage will go live. To browse and order native plants for pickup at the Garden Nursery, go to www.shop.sbbotanicgarden.org.
— Nov. 4: A fall plant season preview will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Garden Nursery, and the program is strictly for Santa Barbara Botanic Garden members. They will see the native plants for sale.
— Nov. 4, 11, 18 and 25: “How to Garden with California Native Plants” will be featured on social media with new videos led by Scot Pipkin, the garden director of education. You’ll find the new programs at www.facebook.com/sbbotanicgarden, www.instagram.com/sbbotanicgarden and www.youtube.com/c/SbbgOrg.
— Nov. 5: Stephanie Ranes, the botanic garden grounds manager, will discuss “Building Habitat in Your Home Garden” from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The hands-on class will take place in various sections of the garden and focuses on how to use native plants and natural features to better attract local animals to home gardens. Cost is $40 for general admission and $25 for garden members.
— Nov. 5: The Garden Nursery officially opens for shopping with the Fall Planting Kickoff from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The botanic garden says it has the largest selection of native plants on the Central Coast.
— Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27: Retail Manager Matt Straka will discuss native planting techniques during “Nursery Chats” at 9:30 a.m. Questions are welcomed during the free talks, and nursery staff can provide shopping assistance.