The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden turns 95 years old today, an anniversary worthy of a large celebration. But to keep the event safe, garden staff have opted for a virtual event and self-guided exhibitions throughout the gardens’ 5.5 miles of pathways.
“Come celebrate the gardens and see how our redwoods have grown over the 95 years and created a great space for the garden,” Dr. Steve Windhager, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s executive director, told the News-Press.
A virtual event will celebrate the garden’s birthday alongside Women’s History Month as Dr. Windhager shares the history of the garden’s first donors and “founding mothers.” The presentation will be held at 2 p.m. today via Zoom.
Some of the plants are as old as the garden itself, and pop-up exhibitions will lead guests to these long-standing plants this week.
“The exhibits show some of the story of the garden’s history and help guests discover the garden’s oldest plants — some of which were planted when the garden was established,” Rebecca Curtis, assistant director of development and communications, said.
The exhibits, which provide the context of the picturesque landscape, will be up through the weekend.
“The garden has a long history of conservation work. We were the first garden established for native plants,” Ms. Curtis said. “We were the first conservation leaders before it was cool.”
“Native plants” have become a buzz phrase for gardeners in recent years as conservationists throughout the country embrace the natural flora and fauna of their area.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sells native plants for guests to enjoy at home. After the recent rain, it’s a good time to dig into spring gardening, Ms. Curtis advised.
The retail portion of the nursery is currently outdoor-only, but will open indoor operations as the county progresses to less-restrictive, safer COVID-19 tiers.
“We have been very lucky in that our living museum is all outside. Throughout the purple-tier phase, we have continued to operate,” Ms. Curtis said.
As always, leashed dogs are welcome to experience the grounds.
“Birthday twins,” those who share a March 16 birthday with the gardens, are admitted free today with a valid ID.
To tune into the virtual presentation or plan a visit, go to sbbg.org/athome.