At the very heart of the Botanic Garden is the Meadow Display. With its sweeping views across the 1.5 acre expanse up to Cathedral Peak and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Meadow is one of the most distinctive and renowned features of the Garden. This mosaic of perennial bunchgrasses and herbs represents the tremendous diversity found in California's many grassland communities. In spring the Meadow is famed for its spectacular show of wildflowers, with California poppy, meadow-foam, farewell-to-spring, succulent lupine and others vying for attention.
The Meadow area encompasses several other major exhibits:
The Bessie Bullard Pond and Brook
Turtle watching is a favorite pastime at the Bessie Bullard Pond and Brook where, besides the red-slider turtles, yellow pond-lily (Nuphar lutea ssp. polysepala), cat-tail (Typha angustifolia), native ferns, and many other water-loving plants can be viewed.
The Meadow Oaks
The magnificence of our mature coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) is best enjoyed in the Meadow Oaks, along the western edge of the Meadow, where several of these gigantic trees have spread their limbs high and wide. A mixed perennial border further up the path displays some of the outstanding, garden-worthy flowering plants in the California flora.
The Dudleya Display
The Garden's Dudleya Display showcases an exemplary collection of Dudleya in a large bed on the east side of the Meadow, where 35 of the nearly 70 taxa are on display. These succulent plants, many of which are rare or narrowly distributed, are found primarily in the coastal regions of Central California south to Baja California, Mexico.
The Groundcover Display
The Groundcover Display lies just south of the Meadow itself near the Garden entrance. This display presents a grouping of low-growing, drought-tolerant plants that can be used to fulfill this essential garden function.
For information about the location of a display within the Garden please see the map below.
Meadow Revival Project
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is excited to bring back the glory of its historic Meadow landscape display, preserving the core of this amazing historic landmark garden.
This Meadow Revival Project will be multi-faceted and time intensive, with final completion scheduled by 2015.
- Spring 2013 - Winter 2014
- Restoration of Meadow border
- Complete Renovation of Meadow interior
- Removal of invasive 'weedy' species
- Restoration of preferred native species in the seed bank
- Revitalized planting of the Meadow
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.