Gardening with Natives

Celebrate California native plants with us!

Today, California horticulture is in transition. Gardeners are becoming more interested in the use of native plants, organic fertilizers, and natural ways of combating pests. Taken together, the term "sustainable horticulture" is being used to describe horticultural practices that are least likely to adversely impact the environment. Gardeners are looking for ways to improve their soil and use less water so they can effectively grow the plants they love.

Why grow California native plants?

For 88 years the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has displayed, studied, and conserved California native plants. Why natives? Native plants are the foundation for healthy ecosystems. They are a source of food, shelter, and medicine. They define the look and geography of our region.

With the simple addition of native plants in your garden or landscape, you will:

  • Celebrate the beauty of our unique California flora
  • Conserve our unique California flora
  • Enjoy the diversity of design choices for the landscape garden
  • Practice sustainability - lower water and fertilizer needs (saves you money and conserves earth's resources)
  • Provide habitat and food for pollinators and other beneficial wildlife
  • Connect with your California heritage and California's natural history 

SBBG Spring Plant Sale: Saturday, March 29 - Sunday, May 4

Our month-long California native plant sale ends May 4, with new shipments arriving weekly!

Learn More about the Garden's Spring Plant Sale

Download the SBBG Garden Growers Spring 2014 plant availability list

image of SBBG Spring Plant Sale  image of native iris available at the SBBG Spring Plant Sale  A variety of native Pacific Coast image of iris at the SBBG Spring Plant Sale  image of Matilija poppy, Romneya coulteri, blooming in the SBBG Meadow

Garden Allies Workshop: Saturday, May 24

image of Blue Tarantula Hawk wasp ~ photo by David EscamillaLearn how to recognize the beneficial insects that keep pests in check, as well as the native bees and flies that pollinate flowers. This hands-on workshopwill be taught by Frederique Lavoipierre, SBBG Education Program Manager and author of the “Garden Allies” series for Pacific Horticulture magazine.
Register for the Garden Allies Workshop

Garden Design & Strategies for Drought: May 31

images of Susan Van Atta and Robert KourikJoin us for these individual native plant garden workshops, or register for both and make a day of it!

Susan Van Atta will focus on Native Flower Garden Design 
Robert Kourik will discuss Strategies in Time of Drought
Series price includes a box lunch!

Register for both of these workshops now!

Landscape for Life: 5-week course, October 14 - November 11

image of California quail amongst the wildflowers in the groundcover display in the Meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden ~ photo by Tricia Wardlaw

How to work with nature in your garden
Classes will meet on October 14, 21 & 28, November 4 & 11

Our newest certificate program was developed at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Five classes cover all aspects of sustainable landscape, including soil and water resources, plant choices, design and installation. Focus on the use of native plants in drought-tolerant, ecologically healthy home gardens. Learn More

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through
our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices