Spring Appeal 2014

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April 29, 2014

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Do you have any natives in your garden?

Carolyn and Dennis Naiman began to rethink their garden---and their lives in 1974. They attended a xeriscaping workshop and discovered a style of landscape design just as beautiful as their English-style garden, but requiring little or no irrigation and less maintenance. Inspired, the Naimans began to transform their landscape into a series of small garden spaces composed of drought-tolerant California natives. Today, their home is surrounded by a wonderfully diverse, mature landscape, with distinct planting areas and meandering paths.

image of garden path at Carolyn and Dennis Naiman's California native plant gardenWhen visitors saw this property during Cultivating the Wild ~ Native Gardens Tour this month, they discovered the Naimans’ newest garden improvement project: the replacement of a water-loving lawn with a variety of native grasses and other drought-resistant plants in distinct sizes, colors, and textures.

The Naiman garden is a model for others who are converting to natives as one solution to California’s drought. Their watering and maintenance bills are lower, and they are creating essential habitat for pollinators and other wildlife in our community.

For 88 years, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has displayed, conserved, and offered educational programs about California native plants.

graphic for native plant garden benefitsWhy natives?

Native plants are the foundation for healthy ecosystems. They are a source of food, shelter, and medicine, and are uniquely-suited to our drought-prone climate. Visually, native plants define the look and geography of our region as much as our distinctive architecture and culture. Finally, as our recent Cultivating the Wild tour demonstrated, natives are as beautiful in home gardens as they are in the wild.

SBBG Donate Online graphicIf you have experienced the spectacular color of the Garden’s wildflower Meadow in spring, the majestic scale of our redwood grove, or the quiet beauty and views along the Porter Trail, you understand the inspirational and aesthetic pleasure of native plants.

You can help us maintain these treasures while enhancing the Garden’s important work of conserving and protecting native ecosystems by donating to the Annual Fund today.

Promoting the use of natives in home gardens like the Naimans’ is an important first step, but there is urgent work to be done. The long-term survival of as much as a third of California’s native plant species are of concern due to habitat loss and invasive species encroachment. Your gift helps the Garden continue its work as a change agent for reversing this trend and keeping natives a vibrant part of our urban gardens and wildlands.

Donate because you love the Garden. Donate because you believe in the mission. But please donate now.

Annual Fund contributions provide the operating funds for all the Garden’s core programs: horticulture and garden displays, education, and conservation and research. Each program supports the other in promoting the interdependency between people and plants and the preservation of the natural world.

With gratitude,

P.S. Begin your own conservation efforts with this gift. Go paperless and make your donation online today
P.S. Donate $100 or more to the Annual Fund by July 1 and receive a packet of the Garden's
'Meadow Mix' seeds ready for planting this fall.

image of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Meadow with Spring wildflowers, April 2014 ~ photo by Tricia Wardlaw

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