The California Trip, Part Five: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Being an avid California native plant gardener, of course I had to visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Long an advocate of using native plants in the garden, and pictured several times in most books on that subject, I feel like I already know the place.

What actually interested me most were their hanging baskets and various container plantings. Those subjects are not well covered in most texts or lectures that I've been to and I really like hanging baskets and container gardening.


I tried Camissonia cheiranthifolia and Nemophila maculata in a hanging basket this year and it was a bust. The Camissonia got woody and wouldn't trail. The Nemophila needed too much watering. It would be the container mix or the choice of basket liner, or the plant choices. There are other things to try.

Maybe I'll try this Dudleya and Lewisia combo next time.


And here's a container by the entrance that I liked.




Those white flowers in the distance belong to Romneya coulteri.




The spring wildflowers are finished in the meadow. Phacelia tanacetifolia seed heads.


In the garden's deeper reaches, a sycamore and readwood sharing space.




And my first encounter with Venegasia carpesioides, Canyon Sunflower--a perennial sunflower shrub for part-to-total shade. This plant is impossible to find in northern California and noone seems to sell seed, including the Botanic Garden. (I asked.)


They did have this large leafed Fragaria chiloensis cultivar named 'Aulon'. Never heard of it before.

F. chilensis 'Aulon'

I bought some wildflower seeds in the gift store to augment the genetic diversity in my garden, but I only browsed in the nursery.

More, in Part 6.


lisa said...

I am positively IN LOVE with those hanging baskets! I can't believe it never occurred to me to use natives and grasses in hanging baskets...terrific inspiration. I did a lookup on the Canyon sunflower, and I found a couple possible sources for you here and here. Hope it helps! :)

Annie in Austin said...

The yellow semi-shade sunflower shrub is quite pretty - too bad you can't find a source. Maybe it's better not to find too much when you're driving up the coast - I've bought stuff on vacation and it's so hard to keep plants alive in the car.

I'm glad to see you and Guy having such a wonderful trip!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Gardener of La Mancha said...

Jealous, simple as that. Someday I'll make it down there. I think those are most creative native container plantings I've seen. I'm partial to that first container, myself.