As homeowners face long, dry summers and periods of extended drought, and rising water bills, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden encourages planting native plants as a solution to tired lawns and landscaping. Throughout October and November, the Garden celebrates the Fall Planting Season with activities for plant lovers and home gardeners – across skill levels – to provide the community with the tools to make changes in their own backyards.
“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,” says Keith Nevison, director of horticulture and operations. “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.”
Events begin October 1 and include a native plant pruning demonstration, in-person lecture on how to create a garden suited for birds, an art exhibit depicting a year of native plant blooms, a spooky-themed Family Nature Night, and more. Also in October is a two-day volunteer opportunity to join the WeDigBio global effort to digitize local biodata.
The Garden’s new shop online, pick-up onsite program launches November 1, just in time for the holiday season. This new e-commerce site allows customers to shop the largest selection of native plants on the Central Coast, as well as other retail items, and to get plant information ahead of their visit. Orders are prepared by staff and made ready for easy pickup at the customer’s requested time and date. Beginning November 1, shop online at www.shop.SBBotanicGarden.org.
The Garden Nursery increases their inventory in November, and are closed on Wednesday and Thursday, November 2 and 3, to prepare for the expected increase in customers during planting season. A preview for Garden members only is held Friday, November 4, and the public is invited to a kickoff event on Saturday, November 5.
“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,” says Nursery Manager Matt Straka. “ 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.”
For those unsure on how to get started, Straka offers tips and instruction at weekly in-person “Native Planting Techniques” sessions at the Nursery, held every Sunday in November. Also in November is the debut a new series of four “How to Garden with Native Plants” videos on the Garden’s social media platforms, and an in-person workshop on how to create habitat to attract animals to home gardens.
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 do not require Garden reservations; they can park in a “member” parking spot and check-in at the front kiosk to receive a shopper pass. Find a Garden Nursery Inventory List, updated monthly, at: https://sbbotanicgarden.org/access-the-gardens-nursery-inventory/
For a calendar of events, visit https://sbbotanicgarden.org/calendar.