Featuring plants associated with watercourses throughout California, the Arroyo is situated in an oak-shaded drainage along a seasonal stream. Large drifts of California wild rose (Rosa californica) and Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana) fill the open banks while masses of gooseberries, currants (Ribes species) and Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus) are found in shadier spots.

Special features of the Arroyo include the "dripping rock" display, which contains herbaceous plants that require constant moisture, and the Heuchera display, a collection of over 30 species and cultivars.

The Arroyo also is home to many mature conifers, such as Port Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa), and western red-cedar (Thuja plicata).

The Discovery Garden

We're making changes!

A special garden designed in the Arroyo Section is for visitors of all ages, but especially children. Our goal is to interest visitors in the spectacular biodiversity and complex interactions of California’s natural ecosystems through the lens of our watershed. The Discovery Garden is being redesigned to make way for Walk through the Watershed. You will find information here about California’s oak woodlands as well as the importance of freshwater habitats, while exploring the creek, stream and pond. The pollination garden offers the opportunity to witness bees and hummingbirds darting from flower to flower. Thanks to the Steinmetz Foundation, Ji Ji Foundation, and Towbes Foundation for their generous support as we work to transform this part of the Arroyo Section.

For more information or to get involved, contact Frederique Lavoipierre, Director of Education.


image of children in the Discovery Gardenimage of woodpecker granery in the Discovery Garden


For information about the location of a display within the Garden please see the map below.

image of arroyo section visitor map


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.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Our Tax ID number is 95-1644628.