Each year horticulture staff and volunteers grow a diverse inventory of plants for the Garden's living collection and horticultural displays. The Garden's Horticulture Nursery is located behind the scenes at the Garden (on the ridge east of Mission Canyon Road.)
Garden staff also work with others protecting populations of California's most imperiled plants. Since some endangered plants like Lompoc yerba santa (Eriodictyon capitatum) are not able to be grown in the nursery industry due to their protected status, very little is known about how to propagate them. As we gain experience growing these plants, and discover the most successful propagation and planting methods, more plants can be grown from less propagation material, allowing us to make greater gains in restoration.
Additionally, the Nursery is also growing plants for several restoration and mitigation projects around California. Growing plants for mitigation and restoration projects ensures local flora, habitat, and diversity are maintained. These projects also allow SBBG staff to visit areas not publicly accessible otherwise, giving us a glimpse of habitats and populations not often seen.
Branching Out - the SBBG Plant Introduction Program
Garden horticulture staff take time every year to search for new and interesting cultivars among our native species, nurturing and planting earlier collections, and sharing them with like-minded institutions for further evaluation. Cultivars that perform very well in different settings are named (usually one or two words in single quotes, e.g. Iris 'Canyon Snow') and are distributed to affiliated/supportive commercial nurseries under a licensing agreement, providing a small amount of income for our ongoing collection efforts.
Learn More about SBBG Cultivars
Renovations at the Hort Unit
Each winter the Garden's Horticulture Nursery starts the annual process of growing plants for our displays and collections. This year, thanks to a generous grant from the Smart Family Foundation, associated with the Meadow Revival Project, our Nursery will be 'growing' in more ways than one. In order to live up to the ambitious tasks ahead, we are upgrading and modernizing our Horticulture Nursery to maximize our growing space and increase shade over our existing growing areas. These renovations will give new life to the Horticulture Nursery and allow us the space and technology we need to grow into the future. Read More in the Spring 2014 edition of the Ironwood
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.