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:

image of children at the pond

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. 

image of coast live oak in Meadow

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.

image of dudleya display

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.

image of ground cover display

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.

image of meadow section map