Ironwood Spring/Summer 2022

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Volume 31 | Spring/Summer | 2022 Editor-In-Chief: Jaime Eschette Editor: Brie Spicer Designer: Kathleen Kennedy Staff Contributors: Hannah Barton; Michelle Cyr; Jaime Eschette; Taylor Keefer; Josie Lesage, Ph.D.; Zach Phillips, Ph.D.; Scot Pipkin; Rikke Reese Næsborg, Ph.D.; Katherine Sanders; Steve Windhager, Ph.D. Guest Contributors: Billy Goodnick; Julia McHugh; Emma Trelles; Cameron B. Williams, Ph.D. Ironwood is published biannually by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. As the first botanic garden in the nation to focus exclusively on native plants, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has dedicated nearly a century of work to better understand the relationship between plants and people. Growing from 13 acres in 1926 to today’s 78 acres, the grounds now include more than 5 miles of walking trails, an herbarium, a seed bank, research labs, a library, and a public native plant nursery. Amid the serene beauty of the Garden, teams of scientists, educators, and horticulturists remain committed to the original spirit of the organization’s founders — to conserve native plants and habitats to ensure they continue to support life on the planet and can be enjoyed for generations to come. Visit The Garden is a member of the American Public Gardens Association, the American Alliance of Museums, the California Association of Museums, and the American Horticultural Society.


Director’s Message


The Garden Brand: As Nature Evolves, So Must We


The Amazing Coast Redwood

10 Resilience After the Flames 14 Galls Y'all 18 Our Relationship With Nature in Flux 24 From the Archives

©2022 Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. All Rights Reserved. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 1212 Mission Canyon Road Santa Barbara, CA 93105

26 Lawn Begone: Grow Native Plants to Save Water and Create Habitat

Garden Hours Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members’ Hour: 9 to 10 a.m.

30 Welcome, Keith Nevison

Phone: 805.682.4726 Garden Nursery: ext. 112 Development: ext. 103 Education: ext. 161 Membership: ext. 110 Registrar: ext. 102 Volunteers: ext. 119 Board of Trustees Sarah Berkus Gower Sharon Bradford Samantha Davis Mark Funk, Treasurer John Gabbert, Vice Chair Valerie Hoffman, Chair George Leis

32 Member Story: Discovering the Secret World of Native Plants 38 Field Notes: Poetry Inspired by Nature William Murdoch Helene Schneider Warren Schultheis Kathy Scroggs, Secretary Jesse Smith Ann Steinmetz

Leadership Team Jaime Eschette, Director of Marketing and Communications Jill Freeland, Director of Human Resources Denise Knapp, Ph.D., Director of Conservation and Research Keith Nevison, Director of Horticulture and Operations Scot Pipkin, Director of Education Steve Windhager, Ph.D., Executive Director Join our Garden Community Online Sign up for our monthly Garden Gazette e-newsletter at and follow us on social media for the latest announcements and news.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden @SBBotanicGarden Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

39 The Book Nook 40 The Budding Botanist

Director’s Message


ollowing my passionate belief in the power of native plants to heal our relationship with the natural world, I took what felt like a giant leap of faith in 2010 moving from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, to Santa Barbara, California. I didn’t know then (well, maybe I had a gut feeling) that this would be the start of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. At the time, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden was a very different garden. With a shift in management, financial hardship, and unrest among volunteers (not to mention the ongoing restoration work following the Jesusita Fire), the Garden was at an important crossroads. To move it forward, it was not only going to take hard work but something arguably more valuable: an incredible community and an optimistic outlook.

In the years to follow, the board and Garden staff recommitted to our leadership in conserving native plants, leaving behind forever the suggestion that we should transition to a more traditional botanic garden. We prioritized our community, and we set out to build authentic relationships, starting with our neighbors and volunteers. We dreamed of building a state-of-the-art conservation facility equipped with two labs and fire-proof space to house our Clifton Smith Herbarium and Conservation Seed Bank. Then, through your support, we made it happen. We reinvested in our education programs with local schools and (Photo: Andrea Russell) initiated more on-site programming for families to foster a love of nature in our youngest citizens. We now have a team of top talent in the fields of biology, genetics, restoration, horticulture, education, development, and, more recently, marketing. As I look back at the last 12 years, I am so proud of the work we’ve done together to position the Garden for the future. But this is just the beginning. As the world faces accelerating threats of both climate change and biodiversity loss, the Garden has a crucial responsibility to help evolve the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. With nearly a century of work dedicated to understanding the relationship between people and the planet, we’re more than just a beautiful place. The Garden is a model for environmental conservation and healing through native plants, and we’re committed to delivering evolving and adaptable solutions that continue to improve the ecological health of our region. With the support of our community, we know change is possible. Now in 2022, the Garden has reached another important inflection point. With a growing community of Garden members and visitors from across California, we are no longer Santa Barbara’s hidden gem. We have an opportunity, right now, to invite, inspire, and empower everyone — from the young to the young at heart — to plant native plants. To do this, we are bringing together our in-demand Conservation and Research team of scientists and horticulture professionals to deliver solutions and share what we have learned. With the opening of our newest Garden section, the Backcountry, we welcome everyone to run, jump, play, and explore the natural world so they build a stronger connection to it. And, with a new brand and website, we’ll lead with optimism to inspire a movement of native plant advocates — from backyards to the backcountry of California and beyond. Thank you for being a part of this movement. Without you, none of this would be possible and for that, I am forever grateful. See you in the Garden,

Steve Windhager, Ph.D. Executive Director Ironwood


The Garden Brand: As Nature Evolves, So Must We By: Jaime Eschette, Director of Marketing & Communications


ince its founding in 1926, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has respected the vital role of native plants as the foundation of a thriving ecosystem. They sustain our life on Earth. Today, as threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, and other social and environmental challenges accelerate, so too does our resolve. More than ever, the Garden is committed to our mission of conserving California’s native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet. But as people and the planet evolve, so must the Garden. The Garden has always been more than just a beautiful place. As the first botanic garden in the nation to focus exclusively on native plants, we are



a leader in native plant cultivation and conservation. Yet, until recently, the Garden was known as one of Santa Barbara’s hidden gems. While a compliment, that under-the-radar recognition wasn’t going to help us continue to deliver upon our mission well into the next century. So, we needed to shake things up. At the start of 2021, we embarked on a year-long journey to reestablish the Garden’s brand. That meant we needed to evaluate our principles, voice, personality, and identity to make certain they aligned with our mission, resonated with our audience, and reflected today’s most pressing environmental needs and dialogues. We brought together a group of staff, board members, and key stakeholders to explore and examine our most pressing question: How do we inspire and empower everyone to plant native plants?

Guided by J2, a branding agency out of Philadelphia, we took a hard look at our conservation efforts, educational programs, horticultural practices, and infrastructure. We also delved into the way in which we communicate with you — our donors, members, and guests. This process further cemented our commitment to native plants and strengthened our position for the future. What was our goal? Find opportunities to do even better. To do this, we established three guiding principles which celebrate our past, acknowledge feedback and other data from the present, and evaluate new tools and processes for the future. We acknowledge beauty as the gateway to conservation. To create change, we must facilitate connection and foster a profound awareness of native plants.

We recognize knowledge inspires solutions and know-how toward action. To find solutions to protect and restore native plants and habitats, we must have a deep understanding of nature and the evolution of plant diversity and share this with our peers and our community. We believe in the regenerative power of humans and native plants; change is possible. To move toward a better tomorrow, we must build a community of partners and advocates today. But, defining who we are and where to direct our focus was only part of the work. We also needed to consider what lens we’d use to share our stories with you. This process uncovered a fresh Garden voice and personality that is still friendly and approachable while being knowledgeable, captivating, and driven. So how do we capture all of this in one visual mark?



With everything in place, it was time finally to look closely at our brand identity — the visual expression of the work we do — which included everything from the colors we use to our logo itself. Reimagining our identity for the next 100 years forced us to consider not only our past and present but also how we hope to be perceived well into the future. Among other things, our new logo needed to express the synergy between people and the planet, prioritize conservation, and celebrate a spirit of community and collaboration.



Our new logo is intentionally abstract so that the viewer can bring their own interpretation. You may see the sun, an iris, the pistil of a flower, tree rings, a DNA sequence, or something else entirely. Whatever you see, we hope it ignites your passion and encourages you to join us as we continue to champion native plants from backyards to the backcountry across California and beyond. Like Vincent van Gogh said, “If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere.” O





The Amazing Coast Redwood By: Rikke Reese Næsborg, Ph.D., the Garden's Tucker Lichenologist, and Cameron B. Williams, Ph.D., Research Associate


e’re slogging through a forest of 30-storytall trees. Logs thicker than cars force us to scramble over or explore a way around. Head-high ferns devilishly obscure the chaotic jumbles of splintered wood and craterous pits leftover from uprooted giants. If dinosaurs still roamed somewhere on Earth, this would be the place. We’re traversing through a forest of old-growth coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in the northwestern corner of California. Sunshine filtered through dense fog and towering canopy barely reaches the damp leaf litter. It is so quiet. The feeling of awe and amazement is humbling. As one of the state’s iconic trees, coast redwood is sometimes characterized as a living fossil, known as far back as 200 million years in the paleobotanical record. In addition to its lineage being ancient, individual trees can live longer than 2,000 years. Redwoods were once widespread across the Northern Hemisphere — from Spitzbergen Island near the North Pole to Texas in the south, including North America, Europe, Siberia, and Japan. Today, the natural range of redwood is restricted to a narrow

coastal zone from southern Oregon to California’s Big Sur. Sadly, due to logging since the 1850s, the vast majority of remaining redwood forests are young. Only 5% of redwood forests are old-growth. Why are trees that were once so widespread now hugging the coastline? Collections of fossil plants that included redwoods indicate that these communities thrived in environments that were mild and moist, but climatic shifts over the past 200 million years have restricted today’s redwoods to the California coast. Here, cool, humid conditions are delivered by a combination of ocean currents and wind, and the collision of this marine layer with a warmer and drier continental atmosphere generates fog that inundates the redwood zone. The humidifying and cooling effect of fog reduces a tree’s demand for water, and fog interception by coastal trees can drip to the ground to the extent that it may supply as much as 34% of redwood water uptake. And when conditions are just right — thirsty trees in a wet atmosphere — redwoods can even drink from the sky by absorbing water directly through their leaves, which bypasses the lengthy soil-root-stem pathway and more quickly

This redwood branch supports at least 10 different lichen species. (Photo: Rikke Reese Næsborg)



millennia, such damage-resprout events promote bizarre crown architectures frequently resembling gigantic candelabras reaching skyward. Researchers have painstakingly recorded the architecture of many redwoods by manually measuring the height, diameter, length, and trajectory of every branch and trunk. These data can then be used to produce a three-dimensional representation of the tree, such as this interactive model of the tallest redwood in Santa Barbara Botanic Garden ( In this model, do you see any evidence of damage to its top? This tree is only about 100 years old. Imagine what it could look like after aging 1,000 years! The primary motivation for generating such datasets is to learn more about tree structure and function, especially how trees interact with and respond to a dynamic environment.

The tiny (scale bar is 0.03 inches or 1 millimeter) redwood tripe lichen (Xylopsora canopeorum) is growing on the coarse bark of a redwood trunk. This species was described as new to science in 2018. (Photo: Einar Timdal)

quenches their towering crowns. The great height of redwoods affects the shape of their leaves. Water absorbed by the roots is transported all the way to the treetop leaves against gravity. Consequently, the leaves change with height in the tree — leaves at the bottom of a redwood are broad and long whereas those near the top are narrow and short. So stark is this gradient in leaf shape that leaf litter originating from the bottom versus top of a single redwood could be confused as different species. Is it possible that variation in leaf shape helps the redwood capture fog moisture? The presence of summer fog and winter rain likely contributes to the height potential of redwoods. They grow exceedingly fast. Young trees can grow 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) per year under ideal conditions, and trees in northern California routinely exceed 300 feet (91 meters). The trees live so long that they inevitably endure violent storms, lightning strikes, crown fires, and impacts by neighboring treefalls. The resulting loss of branches and sometimes whole treetops awakens dormant buds that sprout into new branches and accessory trunks growing in their stead. Repeated over centuries, or even 8


Peeking through the head-high ferns at a swath of dimly lit trunks, one might conclude that redwoods are poor hosts to other plants. Indeed, few epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) can tolerate such consistently dark and damp conditions found near the ground in old-growth redwood forests. The truth is that so much of the biodiversity in a redwood forest is hidden well above the ground, exposed to more sunlight, fog, and airflow, where old and coarse bark grades into young and smooth, and where a wide variety of nooks and crannies offer a diverse set of living options. The candelabra-like structures composed of accessory trunks and their supporting limbs accumulate decaying wood and leaf litter that

It’s a foggy morning in this redwood forest canopy. (Photo: Anthony Ambrose)

forests, where the flames have reached high into the tree crowns. While an individual redwood tree is likely to survive a crown fire via resprouting, the associated organisms it supports, such as epiphytes, salamanders, tardigrades, and flying squirrels, may not. Moreover, repeated hot fires will eventually kill a redwood. How can we best protect the amazing coast redwood against threats posed by a warming climate? One option is a style of forest management that actively reduces fuel loads in and around redwood forests, regardless of ownership — because fire doesn’t respect park boundaries. Another option is to assist the migration of redwood by planting seedlings further north than they naturally occur. Assisted migration is a somewhat controversial idea since outplanting has potential to replace or reconfigure native vegetation. Obviously, the best solution would be to do everything in our power to slow and eventually reverse climate change. O Coast Redwood Facts

The devastating CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning through Big Basin Redwoods State Park. (Photo: Ethan Baron)

Tallest Widest Oldest

cultivate a profusion of shrubs and ferns. These shrub and fern epiphytes are also available for colonization by other epiphytes — that is, epiphytes on epiphytes! Thus, a redwood’s towering height, old age, and resprouting ability make it a great host to biodiversity. In an exhaustive survey of 24 old redwood trees spanning the species’ geographic range, we found 373 epiphyte species, including 30 vascular plants, 40 bryophytes, and 303 lichens. Three of these lichen species were previously unknown to science. One of our study trees supported more than 100 different species of epiphytes. Humid climates in the northern part of the range favored vascular plants and bryophytes whereas lichens were more common in the drier south. Redwoods are no strangers to fire. The naturally recurring fire interval ranges from eight years in drier sites to 600 years in very humid locations. Redwood bark, which can grow up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) thick, is fibrous and provides good protection against lowintensity, low-to-the-ground fires. Such understory fires also clear space and reduce competition for rapid growth of newborn redwoods. However, decades of fire suppression in and around redwood forests have led to an accumulation of fuel, and our rapidly changing climate has brought higher temperatures along with a reduction in summer fog. Combined with higher fuel loads, these warmer and drier conditions have sparked devastating wildfires in some of the remaining old-growth redwood

380 feet (115 meters) 29 feet (8 meters) 2,266 years COAST REDWOODS Oregon

Crescent City




Sacramento Napa

San Francisco

Protected Lands Historic Range of Redwoods Existing Old Growth







100 Miles

This illustrates the distribution of coast redwood, showing historic range, protected land, and remaining old-growth forests.



Resilience After the Flames By: Josie Lesage, Ph.D., Applied Ecologist


n Southern California, where wildfires are a natural part of our ecosystem, many native plants have adaptations that allow them to recover after a burn without human intervention. But this may be changing as climate change, increased urban development, and the spread of invasive species lead to more frequent wildfires. As a result, humans may need to step in more often to help landscapes recover after fire. At Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, we’re working to better understand exactly where, how, and when to intervene in post-fire landscapes to make the greatest impact.

landscape is left looking like a moonscape, but that same fire also stimulates the seed bank and promotes resprouting of native species. In Southern California shrublands, wildflowers proliferate after fire while native shrubs recover by resprouting or germinating from the soil seed bank. As climate change, increased development, and the spread of invasive species lead to more frequent wildfires, we need to step in more often to help landscapes recover and maintain the benefits nature provides.

Fire is a major evolutionary force in our local habitats, and many of our local species are well adapted to the historical fire regime. A fire regime describes the seasonality, frequency, size, intensity, severity, and type of fire. These factors are important to consider when understanding fires, especially because different habitats have historically had different regimes. For example, in many shrubdominated chaparral habitats, infrequent but intense canopy fires are thought to be more common, while in oak woodland systems, low-intensity litter fires would be considered the norm. Following a typical high-intensity summer crown fire in chaparral, the

However, fire regimes are changing as more humans move into the wildland-urban interface, as invasive species spread into new areas, and as our climate changes. The fire return interval, or period between fires, has historically been between 30 to 100 years for chaparral ecosystems. However, with fires occurring more often, intervals shortening, and fire season extending on both ends — stretching into the earlier summer and later fall/winter — seed banks and resprouting are pushed to their limits. In systems where the fire regime has been radically changed, or where unadapted invasive species dominate, it may

Over 900 native plants of 18 species were planted to restore post-fire habitat above Lake Piru.

In restored versus unrestored plots, we’ll compare habitat quality, carbon sequestration, and soil nutrients over the next two years.



We’re recovering former shrubland above Lake Piru that has been converted to invasive annual grasses and mustards.

Garden Conservation Symposium, we honored trailblazing scientist Carla D’Antonio, Ph.D., whose research on the California fire cycle has been critical in helping us understand how our local habitats respond to this natural but increasing disturbance. As she explained in her talk “When and Why Would We Need Post-fire Restoration?,” rising fire frequency and increasing drought could be pushing our ecosystems away from native, shrub-dominated landscapes and, terrifyingly, toward easily ignited grasses that can spread fire rapidly, as happened in the Marshall Fire, which destroyed over 500 structures near Boulder, Colorado, in December 2021.

Each plot is hand watered and monitored for survival.

take a landscape much longer to recover, or it may never return to its original state.

How the Garden (and You) Can Help Our Landscapes Recover With limited resources and funding, prioritizing where and when to intervene after fire is critical. At the Garden, we’re working to help fill gaps in our understanding by researching where the landscape needs help recovering, developing appropriate and effective techniques to help plants and habitats recover, working to measure the value of restoration after fire, and removing invasive plants that have established and are outcompeting natives after fires. At our recent ninth annual Santa Barbara Botanic 12


After a fire, the first step to understanding how the landscape is recovering is to survey it. Over the past five years, the Garden has led several post-fire surveys with the help of our local community. In the scars left by the Zaca, Jesusita, Thomas, and Whittier fires, we’ve surveyed for rare plants, invasive plants, and signs of erosion. These surveys occurred on horseback, by four-wheel-drive trucks, and by the power of our own legs as we hiked along our local trails. But we couldn’t cover all that mileage alone; we’ve had a lot of help from the Santa Barbara community. Over 110 people have helped us map these post-fire landscapes over the past five years. After conducting post-fire surveys, we use the data to predict and prioritize where restoration efforts would be most helpful, only intervening to replant natives and remove harmful invasive species where our projects are most likely to succeed. For example, along East Camino Cielo in the Jesusita Fire scar, we

With our partners, we’re restoring more than 15 acres (6 hectares) above East Camino Cielo Road that is invaded by Spanish broom.

used our post-fire survey information to prioritize the removal of an invasive species that has started to choke out native plants: Spanish broom (Spartium junceum). With our partners, we’re working to remove over 15 acres (6 hectares) of this noxious weed and to return the native chaparral community that is found in that area. We are collecting native seed to spread in the areas where Spanish broom was removed, regenerating the native plant habitat that local animals rely on for food and shelter. The Garden is also helping post-fire landscapes recover by replanting native plants. At Lake Piru in Ventura County, we are collaborating on a post-fire restoration effort with researchers at University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Forest Service. This

Spanish broom increases the intensity of fires, changes soil chemistry, and is unpalatable to wildlife.

winter, we planted over 900 plants, representing 18 native, site-appropriate shrub and perennial grass species, covering an area of over 3,000 square feet (278 square meters). Together with our partners, we’ll monitor these plots over the next two years to compare how habitat quality, carbon sequestration, and soil nutrients are affected by restoration actions. Overall, we’re working hard at the Garden to help maintain native plants on our local landscapes after fire and improve the methods we can use to do that, so that our landscapes continue to be resilient to fire. If you’re interested in helping, keep an eye out for opportunities to collect and seed native seed or survey in fire scars, or join us for weed removal and native species planting days. O Ironwood


Galls, Y'all By: Zach Phillips, Ph.D., Terrestrial Invertebrate Conservation Ecologist


ome visitors to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden don’t need a membership or reservation to get in. They enter as they please, and once inside ignore requests to “not touch the plants.” They touch them, crawl on them, and if all goes well inject their children into them. These are the gall-forming insects — supreme plant manipulators. They induce plants to develop specialized growths (galls) that they exploit for food, shelter, and protection. In general, galls develop as a plant's response to insect stimuli such as feeding and saliva, but exactly how most gall-forming insects run this grift remains a mystery. Many wasps, aphids, flies, and other bugs have evolved gall-forming relationships with California’s native plants. As such, some plants in the Garden are naturally ornamented with galls that belong to local insects. Below, we take a short tour of a few galls observed around the Garden, and one currently being tested as a biocontrol agent for an invasive plant. Hopefully, this will manipulate ... ahem ... inspire you to learn more about galls, to appreciate their uncanny biology, and to make your own field observations.

5a: An old cynipid gall on a coast live oak, the woody legacy of a bygone bug



Wasps Oak trees (Quercus spp.) are gall hotspots, and cynipid wasps (Cynipidae) are by far the most diverse group of oak-galling insects, with over 200 species occurring on the oaks in California alone. These miniature wasps form relatively large and elaborate galls on leaves (Photo 5a), stems (Photo 5b) and other plant tissues. Adults deposit eggs, galls develop, and larvae remain inside the galls for months or even years. The adults don’t eat, reproducing and dying too quickly to need food, and the larvae don’t poop, maintaining a clean gall during their extended stay. Hollywood, pay attention — this is good material for a cynipid-themed remake of “Freaky Friday.” Despite their intrusive behavior, cynipids tend to do little or no harm to oaks, acting more like commensals (i.e., symbionts that have a negligible effect on their host) than parasites (i.e., symbionts that harm their host). Cynipids themselves are vulnerable to intruders. Galls are valuable real estate, and many non-galling creatures occupy or usurp them, including other wasps. By inducing galls, cynipids therefore

5b: A still-developing cynipid gall on a coast live oak

6a: A gall of Parafreutreta regalis on Cape-Ivy

4a: A Euura sawfly gall on a willow leaf

4b: A Euura sawfly larva poking its head out of a dissected gall

serve as “ecosystem engineers,” creating homes and microhabitats for other organisms, and enriching animal communities associated with oaks.

Flies In some cases, galls cause significant damage to their host and can be harnessed as biocontrol agents for invasive plants. In California, the fly Parafreutreta regalis has been identified as a potential biocontrol agent for Cape-Ivy (Delairea odorata), an invasive plant run amok across the West Coast. The fly forms swellings on Cape-Ivy stems (Photo 6A) that may harm the plants, but the effect of the galls on Cape-Ivy populations remains unclear. In order to test the fly’s effectiveness as a biocontrol agent, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), researchers have released populations at Cape-Ivy invaded sites. At the sites, some of the galls have been eaten by animals, possibly rodents. Discovering the culprits has practical implications for control efforts, and would also address a broader ecological question: How do galls contribute directly to vertebrate food webs?

2a: A Pemphigus aphid gall on a black cottonwood leaf

4c: Euura sawfly larvae: a tiny one and a large one

Stuart and Callan Halewood, two local naturalists, are working with UCSB Professor Tom Dudley, Ph.D. and the Garden to set up camera traps to monitor the galls and whatever might be eating them.

Sawflies Sawflies have a name that is both misleading and on the nose/abdomen. They are not true flies (order Diptera); they are in fact close relatives of wasps, bees, and ants (order Hymenoptera). True to their name, however, they do possess saws. Adults have saw-like ovipositors which they use to cut into plants and lay eggs. These eggs develop into larvae that look like caterpillars wearing full-face motorcycle helmets (Photos 4b, 4c). In Santa Barbara, the pearly red galls of Euura sawflies (Photo 4a) are common on willow leaves (Salix spp.).

Aphids The primary hosts for Pemphigus aphids are poplars (Populus spp.). At the Garden, an unidentified species of Pemphigus forms galls on black cottonwoods (Populus trichocarpa) (Photos 2a, 2b). Like other

2b: A Pemphigus aphid gall on a black cottonwood leaf

2c: A Pemphigus aphid in a dissected gall, covered in white wax and surrounded by her babies



1a: Multiple Tamalia coweni aphid galls on a manzanita

1b: The narrow opening of a Tamalia coweni aphid gall

1c: A nymphal Tamalia coweni aphid

1d: An adult Tamlia coweni aphid

aphids, they produce a liquid waste called “honeydew,” which, if not dealt with, can contaminate or drown them. Wax secretions (Photo 2c - the white material covering the large Pemphigus mother) can help aphids package, transport, isolate, and remove honeydew. For example, some Pemphigus aphids use wax to shape honeydew into “marbles” and roll the marbles out of holes in their galls.

builds a tiny manzanita home to share with her kids. She induces a leaf to fold over on itself, enveloping her and her brood (Photos 1a, 1c, 1d).

Another gall-forming aphid found at the Garden, Tamalia coweni, lives on manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.). The female reproductive, called a “stem mother,” 16


The leaf’s curling edge stops short of the blade, and the narrow opening that remains gives the gall a sea shell-like appearance (Photo 1b). Interestingly, if you hold one of these galls against your ear, you can hear the sounds of the ocean. THIS IS NOT TRUE…DO NOT DO THIS…YOU COULD GET APHIDS IN YOUR EAR.

Ripe for Discovery

A Gall to Action

On a recent Garden collecting trip to Sonoma County, a midge — a small, elegant type of fly — was collected from Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum) flower galls. A pupa was dissected out from one gall, and an adult midge emerged on its own from another. Based on photos of both the pupa and adult, Raymond J. Gagné, an authority on gall midge biology, identified the midge as an undescribed species in the genus Asphondylia, and likely the first record of a gallforming midge collected from Eriodictyon plants.

In their own way, galls are beautiful. Go admire some. Appreciate the roles they play in healthy ecosystems. Pretend you’re a miniature wasp. Make miniature wasp noises, move as a miniature wasp moves, dream as a miniature wasp dreams (of galls). A good place to start is under the shade of an oak tree.

Finding undescribed species of gall-forming insects is not uncommon, and in California many remain to be discovered and studied. Plant Galls of the Western United States (Russo, 2021) is the best field guide to our region, and the “Galls of California” project on iNaturalist ( is a great online resource for exploring gall biodiversity and sharing images that biologists, naturalists, and other gall-curious folks can help ID.

Contact If you find galls around the Garden, you can email photos and locations to the author (zphillips@sbbg. org), who is very gall-curious but not very gallknowledgeable, and the Living Collections Curator (, who tries to maintain an omniscient gaze on all things plants. O Acknowledgements: Thank you to Christina Varnava, José Flores, Stephanie Ranes, and Helen Noroian for their help spotting and collecting galls. References: Russo, R. 2021. Plant galls of the Western United States. Princeton University Press. All photos by Zachary Phillips.

Yerba Santa Gall Midge

Yerba Santa Gall Midge Larvea





Our Relationship With Nature in Flux By: Scot Pipkin, Director of Education


was born just after the summer solstice, during a socalled cusp. I’ve been told that dictates a lot about my personality. While that may be true, I believe a greater influence on my personality is the fact that I grew up during a different kind of cusp. As a child of the early 1980s, I was raised during a period when kids’ relationship to the natural world changed remarkably. During my earliest years, there was no computer in our house. Aside from watching some television, most of my free time was spent playing outside. When my family acquired a personal computer, it was used by adults for work. As I got older and began to visit friends’ houses to play, video games emerged as a central activity. Although I enjoyed the games, I found myself being more excited about going outside together. Reluctantly, my friends would agree, but that outdoor time typically didn’t last long. After a few minutes, we’d retreat back inside where I would end up watching a screen over someone’s shoulder. I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but I think I sensed a social and cultural shift. I felt it in myself, too. Video games can be very fun and addictive, just as the vast amount of information and media on the internet can (and does) consume inordinate amounts of time. As years passed, I understood that the dissonance I felt between my appreciation for technology and my urge to be in natural settings was partly the result of the era in which I grew up.

Disconnection Intrinsically, screens and digital media are not necessarily a problem. However, our interaction with digital devices is inversely correlated with time spent outdoors and our connection to the natural world. It’s been documented that children spend over seven hours looking at screens each day. For many professional adults, that number is even higher. Over the last several years, researchers have used a variety of metrics — ranging from the disappearance of wildlife in urban areas to a decrease in time spent outdoors to the fact that children can name more Pokémon varieties than local wildlife species — to measure disconnection from nature (Kesebir and Kesebir, 2017). In our work at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, we are working to counteract people’s “plant

blindness,” which is a subset of the term, inattention nature blindness (Zylstra et al, 2014). By myriad metrics, people are losing touch with the earth and its processes, which nourish us. Meanwhile, we are experiencing our planet’s sixth mass extinction event. Species are disappearing from our planet at the fastest rate in 65 million years. Temperatures are rising at an alarming rate, and every year we seem to be setting heat records. In California and throughout the West, this puts additional stress on a system where precipitation is completely random and drought is typical (Woodhouse, et al, 2010; Williams, et al, 2021). Drier plants burn more easily, and we are seeing massive and usually human-caused fires spread across huge swaths of the landscape. These fires threaten homes and lead to uncertain futures for wildlands trying to recover amidst invasive species and fragmented ecology. While all of this may be true and the world appears to be on the brink of catastrophe, let’s focus on a positive path forward. Working at the Garden, I have surrounded myself with solutions-oriented people. That’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to this place. Our "raison d'etre," or reason for existence, is to instigate change for California’s native plants and habitats, not rue their loss or bemoan disconnection from the natural world. Instead, we rejoice in the diversity, beauty, and resilience of California’s native plants and habitats. Through one’s garden itself, we demonstrate the reciprocal relationships humans can cultivate with the planet. By tending the earth, particularly with native plants, people simultaneously address their disconnection with natural processes and the twin threats of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Enter: The Backcountry In this spirit, the Garden has embarked on an ambitious project to foster love and appreciation for California’s native plants and habitats and cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards. We call this project the Backcountry and believe that it will provide a wealth of opportunities for youth, families, and other visitors to make profound, authentic connections with the natural world. Through thoughtful design, a unique plant palette, and careful balance between free exploration and engaging interactions, the Backcountry is a children’s garden like no other.

Opposite page: Trolling Trees Casita (Photo: Andrea Russell)



Gaia Tree Casita (Photo: Central Coast Green Business Council)

The root activity driving the entire Backcountry design is child-directed play. By engaging young people’s curiosity and providing agency in their experience, we intend to promote more than connection with the natural world. By supporting self-directed exploration and play, the Backcountry could help visitors with decision-making, independence, and self-confidence in a space that is non-deterministic or judgmental (Aminpour, Bishop, and Corkery, 2020). In the parlance of video games, the goal is to promote as many “side quests” as possible, with visitors participating in activities because they are curious, not because there is a larger goal to achieve. The difference is that the video game environment is limited by the parameters of binary code. In the Backcountry, the opportunities for exploration are almost limitless. 20


Among the most significant asset of the Backcountry is its sheer size. At 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares), the Backcountry provides a world unto itself. This allowed the design team ample opportunity to infuse a sense of place into the design. To achieve this, the boundaries of the Backcountry were carefully planned to reinforce a sense of arrival and threshold into something special.

A Backcountry Tour Most visitors will enter the Backcountry via Campbell Bridge, on the north end of the project site. On the west side of the bridge, a turn to the south (left) will take a visitor into the Backcountry by way of a sycamore (Plantanus racemosa) grove. In the same way that the Garden’s Redwood Section creates a stunning sense of place through a mass planting of trees, the intention

is to immediately engage the imagination with color, texture, and a three-dimensional experience. Planted berms flowing through the site provide visual interest and beckon running, hiding, and changing perspectives on the ground plane. It might be tempting to think this is the extent of the Backcountry, but two trails — one wide and smooth enough for two strollers to pass, the other narrow and leading to parts unknown — demand reconnaissance. Either way, the trails converge eventually, as they do throughout the Backcountry, giving parties the chance to split up, have individual adventures, and reconvene down the trail to swap stories and doubleback to share discoveries. As the traveler moves south, they will pass through a series of Retention Basins, designed to capture water runoff from Tunnel Road, reduce erosion, filter water, and provide opportunities to rock hop and scramble. Down the trail, visitors encounter the Fallen Forest, a feature that resembles a hillside of windfallen tree trunks hugging a steep hillside. Again, choice can be

exercised here, giving visitors the option to ascend, leading to another series of narrow trails that contour the hillside, climb a little way up and return, or continue along the main trail. Moreover, the interstices of the tree trunks provide opportunities to hide and crawl. Continuing on, the Backcountry features a Salamander Snag, where cover boards or sections of dead wood are placed principally for the purpose of flipping and looking underneath. It’s easy to overlook the detritivores, decomposers, and hunters of the soil, but exploring this microscopic world reminds us how much life is always underfoot. Adjacent to the Salamander Snag is the preexisting Centennial Maze, whose entrance has been realigned to increase a sense of suspense and discovery. Throughout the Backcountry, there are opportunities to sit and enjoy a quiet, still moment on a bench, rock, or log. At the heart of the Backcountry, a particularly large area for lounging named Base Camp has been installed. The intent is to create a central location that is close enough to let individuals separate and explore

Be a Bee Casita (Photo: Andrea Russell)



In awe of the Hawk's Nest Casita and the Backcountry (Photos: Andrea Russell)

without getting too far from the rest of their party, while also allowing for independent exploration and safe boundary-pushing. Base Camp features seating spaces, a shady canvas tent, and a composting toilet. This area provides a gathering space for the occasional program and also houses the Ranger Kiosk. One of the most ambitious aspects of the Backcountry project is that the funding model has ensured an endowment to support two staff (rangers) to help maintain and supervise the Backcountry. This innovative and forward-thinking feature of the project ensures that the space is consistently cared for and provides an opportunity for public engagement through earth art, wildcrafting with the abundant, useful plants that are cultivated throughout the Backcountry, and enthusiastic support for inquiry and exploration. Moving upslope from Base Camp, above the bishop pines (Pinus muricata) that are holdovers from when 22


this area was the Island Section of the Garden, the intrepid explorer will find the Raptor’s Perch, a site with a commanding view of the Backcountry and more than a couple of surprises to discover. Down below, an entirely new area called Quail Grove has been cleared just above the creek. It highlights the native topography of an alluvial bench, with the attendant boulders, brambles, and hummocks. As in the true backcountry of California, little more than access to natural spaces can open worlds of discovery. At the southern terminus of the Backcountry, visitors will find an entry/exit featuring several living structures, placed as reminders that humans are in constant interaction with the natural world. For those leaving the Backcountry, these archways and the dome of sycamores will hopefully give pause to consider how they will interact with the world around them moving forward.

Backcountry Casitas Scattered throughout the Backcountry, the Garden has invited designers from near and far to provide additional perspectives on discovery in nature through the creation of unique dwellings. These five Backcountry Casitas infuse a built element to the project and provide opportunities for continual reinterpretation of the Backcountry. First among the Casitas is Trolling Trees, a design developed by students and faculty from Colorado State University. This sculptural design evokes the mythical troll creatures often associated with forests and woodlands. Featuring gabion baskets (mesh forms filled with cobbles) typically used in erosion control, this Casita is sited at the Retention Basin area of the Backcountry. Just east of Base Camp, above the creek, the Central Coast Green Building Council partnered with local designer Natasha Elliott of Sweet Smiling Landscapes to create the Gaia Tree, which evokes the Tree of Life featured across many cultures. In addition to providing a multilevel experience with interior and exterior spaces to explore, the Gaia Tree is constructed using hempcrete. This building material utilizes hemp hurd (a hemp-plant by-product) combined with lime and water. In the Raptor’s Perch area, the Backcountry design team, Brightview, designed a Casita called the Perch, which simulates the preferred nesting site of the redshouldered hawk, one of the resident birds of the Backcountry area. Although they are in the genus of soaring hawks, red-shouldered hawks utilize a slightly different method of hunting. They swoop down on their prey, small mammals, from perches on high, as opposed to soaring and dropping from high elevations in the sky. Far below the Raptor’s Perch, near Mission Creek, visitors encounter the Hawk’s Nest, designed by Composer Cody Westheimer. This nest-like structure, featuring a sculptural red-tailed hawk, provides a space for reflection and respite. Featuring comfortable benches and a free library, the Hawk’s Nest also provides opportunity for building with loose parts within the footprint of the Casita. At the southern-most end of the Backcountry at the terminus of the Quail Grove is Be a Bee, the second Casita designed and installed by students and faculty at Colorado State University. This structure asks visitors to pretend they have shrunk to the size of a native bee, one of 1,600 species found throughout California. Many of these bees nest in horizontal

cavities, which is the premise for Be a Bee Casita. Pass through a nest cavity to get to the other side. Throughout the lifespan of the Backcountry, the Garden will put out new calls for designers to create unique, innovative domicile designs for temporary installation.

A Long-term Investment Individually, each of the elements of the Backcountry is a prime opportunity for visitors to disengage from the digital realm and experience authentic interactions with the natural world. We are pretty confident that kids will not be the only ones who are impacted by this project and predict that adults will find themselves remembering the spark of pure joy and awe at being in nature that everyone’s experienced at some point. After a few visits to the Backcountry at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, folks may even feel compelled to get out into California’s backcountry, whether in Los Padres National Forest, the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, or elsewhere. Over the years, the Backcountry will change. Plants will mature, canopy will develop, and Casitas will be replaced. As the site evolves, we anticipate that young people who encounter the Backcountry in their early years will find more opportunities to engage with the space and with the Garden. Our hope is to build the next generation of plant lovers, conservation voters, and champions for California’s native plants right here in Santa Barbara. See you on the trail! O Acknowledgements: Aminpour, F., Bishop, K., & Corkery, L. (2020). The hidden value of inbetween spaces for children’s self-directed play within outdoor school environments. Landscape and urban planning, 194, 103683. Kesebir, S., & Kesebir, P. (2017). A growing disconnection from nature is evident in cultural products. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(2), 258-269. Gurholt, K. P., & Sanderud, J. R. (2016). Curious play: Children’s exploration of nature. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 16(4), 318-329. Williams, A. P., Anchukaitis, K. J., Woodhouse, C. A., Meko, D. M., Cook, B. I., Bolles, K., & Cook, E. R. (2021). Tree rings and observations suggest no stable cycles in Sierra Nevada cool-season precipitation. Water Resources Research, 57(3), e2020WR028599. Woodhouse, C. A., Meko, D. M., MacDonald, G. M., Stahle, D. W., & Cook, E. R. (2010). A 1,200-year perspective of 21st century drought in southwestern North America. Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences, 107(50), 21283-21288. Zylstra, M. J., Knight, A. T., Esler, K. J., & Le Grange, L. L. (2014). Connectedness as a core conservation concern: An interdisciplinary review of theory and a call for practice. Springer Science Reviews, 2(1), 119-143.



From the Archives By: Hannah Barton, Archivist

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden site in Mission Canyon, looking south to entrance boulders and the Blaksley Boulder, circa 1926 (Photographer unknown)

Don Meadows, “Santa Barbara Island,” paint and ink on wood, 1939


ello, Ironwood readers. I’m Hannah Barton, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s new archivist, and I’m so happy to be here!

You might be asking yourself, “What is an archivist and why does the Garden need one?” Simply put, an archivist manages and preserves records of historical and enduring value. For the Garden, that means overseeing all collections of nonliving materials that contribute to the history and cultural significance of the institution. Our archives include such materials as maps, photographs, artwork, architectural drawings, oral histories, and even historical scientific tools. The Blaksley Library collection also now falls under the direction of the archivist. Beyond being the manager of these collections, as the archivist, I also help to tell the story of the Garden and preserve its history. It is with this task in mind that I aim to make our collections as accessible as possible, both to our staff and to the general public. But more about that later. I came to the Garden in a roundabout way, as most of my professional experience lies within the greater art world. I received my masters’ degrees in library and information science and history of art and design from Pratt Institute in New York, and during that time I worked in several art libraries such as The 24


Historic Blaksley Library cabinet and the Geology Exhibit on display 1930s (Photographer unknown)

Frick Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. After graduating, I began work for a digital art book publisher, where I edited two comprehensive and definitive digital publications. Most recently, I held the position of archivist and senior permanent collection researcher at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, where I supported the curatorial department with important research and was the steward of the museum’s 80-year history. I still have a deep appreciation for art and the lasting impacts it can have, but I found myself drawn to the opportunity to support a greater and more urgent cause, and the Garden’s mission to conserve native plants and habitats for the betterment of the planet is one that I can wholeheartedly get behind. Even though I’m not working in a lab or outside conducting important fieldwork or digging my hands into the earth (though sometimes my hands do get very dirty — archival work is not always what one might expect), I do feel as though I’m making a difference at the Garden by being able to support the important research and public-facing education that is taking place here. Also, I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, so I feel a close connection to this community and want to do my best to contribute to its well-being in any way that I can. Having grown up visiting the Garden (and even participating as a Summer Camp counselor in high school), I know how important it is to preserve the Garden’s institutional history while also moving the mission forward.

Early view of the Blaksley Boulder, 1920s (Photographer unknown)

The Blaksley Boulder and oak today

Herbertia journal, 1941 Gardening hat of Lutah Maria Riggs

There are a lot of exciting developments on the horizon for the Archives and Blaksley Library. We are embarking on the Archives Accessibility Project, jump-started by a very generous benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. With their gift, we will be installing compact shelving in the basement of the Education Office and transforming that space into one that is dedicated to the storage, organization, and accessibility of our archival collections. The basement is the perfect location to house these valuable collections; it served previously as the Clifton Smith Herbarium, so it is inherently secure, stable, and fire-safe. With ongoing help from donors, we hope to continue to evolve this space so it can also function as a reading room and study area for Garden staff and outside researchers. There are so many aspects of this project that I am looking forward to, but I am especially excited about the opportunity to really dig into the content of our historical collections as I begin to appraise and organize them. I’ve read plenty about all the wonderful resources we have, but I have yet to really be able to assess and document the majority of them. That said, since I started work at the Garden in November 2021, I have come across a tremendous amount of fascinating material, and I’ve so enjoyed learning about the history of such a touchstone to our community. Some of my favorite things I’ve

encountered so far include beautifully illustrated journals from the 1930s and 1940s, a hand-carved three-dimensional rendering of Santa Barbara Island from 1939, and the gardening hat of Lutah Maria Riggs, the architect of our 80-year-old Blaksley Library building. In addition to uncovering bits and pieces of the Garden’s documented history, I love the times I get to explore the grounds and observe the way the landscape has changed, or not, in the almost 100 years since our founding. As you are walking around the Garden, have you taken the time to observe the majestic coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) that line the trails? The tree next to the Blaksley Boulder is easily over 100 years old and can be spotted in very early photos of the Garden property — as far back as the 1920s. Take a look at the above photographs of the Boulder from the 1920s and current day. The oak to the Boulder’s left is the same one that stands there today. I’m so excited to be here to help preserve the Garden’s institutional history and make our archival collections more accessible to people like you. The next time you’re at the Garden, please pop into the Library to say hi. I would love to know if there are any resources you want to know more about and how I can best help you access them as our reorganization project progresses. O Ironwood


Lawn Begone: Grow Native Plants To Save Water and Create Habitat By: Billy Goodnick, Santa Barbara Landscape Architect

Los Angeles’ water district just announced the strictest water restrictions ever imposed in the state. It is very likely that Santa Barbara will face similar conservation rules. What’s a good way to start conserving? Santa Barbara’s former city landscape architect suggests you replace your lawn with native plants.

Ask Yourself This: Do I Even Need a Lawn?


hroughout California’s cities and suburbs, people are ignoring the siren song of the “perfect” lawn. Instead, they’re growing food, creating cozy courtyards, and planting rain gardens to capture and harvest precious rainfall. Some even replace swing sets and some plant wondrous backyard “biology labs” filled with native plants where their kids can zoom in on nature’s workings. Southern California is a region where lawns have no business existing if you’re concerned with protecting one of our most precious resources — water. In nondrought years, SoCal receives between 15 to 20 inches (381 to 508 millimeters) of rain annually, most of it falling in winter. Yet, in every neighborhood we find those monotonous patches of green, sucking up life-giving liquid. If 26


that liquid isn’t falling from the sky, it’s coming from somewhere else where it could serve a higher purpose — like help save the planet.

Five Ways Liquidating Your Lawn Helps Protect the Planet Did you know that the natural limitations of water in our region mean that our native plants are much better adapted to use and store rainfall than nonnative lawn grasses? Turf is the largest irrigated crop in the U.S., taking up more space than we devote to growing corn, wheat, and fruit trees combined. When maintained in the traditional way it comes with a lot of other baggage that affects the environment and the health of your family and community. 1. Most of the popular, nonnative cool-season grasses such as fescues (Festuca spp.), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) need about 1.5 inches (38.1 millimeters) of water per week during the growing season to thrive, which puts a huge strain on our water supplies, to the tune of 9 billion gallons per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That water could instead nurture native plants which support biodiversity for wildlife and make up a healthy, diverse ecosystem. 2. Air pollution from gas-powered mowers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers accounts for at least 5% of the emissions in the U.S., contributing to climate change. 3. Overuse of synthetic fertilizers can percolate into the water table and run off into creeks, wetlands, and beaches. Sixty-five percent of U.S. estuaries and coastal waters are eutrophic, meaning they are over enriched in nutrients, which in turn encourages excessive plant growth. This can lead to problems such as algae blooms that starve the water of oxygen and later emit carbon dioxide as they decompose. 4. In our warming world, native trees will be heroes in the fight to mitigate climate change and more. All trees produce oxygen, sequester carbon, and temper climate by lowering air temperatures and increasing humidity. But native trees do all this while providing crucial habitat that supports the foundation of life in your yard. (In your face, lawns!) 5. Since many folks depend on gas-powered mowers, there’s the unceasing din of mowers, blowers, and other power tools that rattle our nerves. Wouldn’t you rather hear birds, frogs, and rustling trees?

How To Get Started Why wait for our water woes to get to the point where local water agencies slap hefty restrictions on our water use or increase the cost? Be proactive and shift gears by starting now. The first step, of course, is to completely remove your existing lawn to start anew with a clean canvas. Don’t be lulled into thinking that brown foliage or bare dirt means your arch nemeses aren’t lurking. It only takes a few latent seeds or dormant Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) sprigs to pop up and drop you to your knees with a weeding fork. A quick search online turns up lots of non-herbicide techniques that retain the dynamic web of life under your gardening Crocs. The simplest switch is to replace the thirsty monoculture of grass with a diverse combination of low-growing, easy-care plants like Coastal sagebrush (Artemisia californica ‘Canyon Gray’), California lilacs (Ceanothus spp.), and silver carpet beach aster (Lessingia filaginifolia ‘Silver Carpet’), a lovely daisy flower that can cover a 50–square foot (4–square meter) area. For more ideas, look no further than Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Meadow. Need a surface to walk on or to toss a ball with the pooch? Check out lawn alternatives in the Island View Section at the Pritzlaff Conservation Center where you’ll find swaths of native blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), sedges (Carex spp.), and more. Or consider whether your outdoor space might benefit from another “room” to enjoy — perhaps a cozy, quiet space to read or meditate. Surround your new getaway with groupings of locally appropriate native plants that change with the seasons, attract local pollinators, and contribute to the habitat value of visiting critters.

Simple Steps for a Planet-friendly Lawn Sure, kids and dogs like to play on something soft, and it’s not likely you’ll carpet your garden with old mattresses. If you have a compelling reason to grow a lawn, at least use best practices to care for it in the most benign, planet-friendly way. • Add native plants in and around your lawn as space allows, where they will cut fertilizer use and save water. Consider clumps of native grasses like blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or clustered field sedge (Carex praegracilis) or other ground covers like yarrow (Achillea millefolia) or turkey tangle frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora). In larger scale gardens, deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) makes an eye-catching focal point and in summer and fall “dances” when a breeze wafts through its graceful, flowering wands. • Follow tried-and-true water conservation hardware upgrades, like rotor water nozzles, that send water right to the grass instead of misting away on a breeze. Consider a “smart” irrigation controller that uses real-time weather information to adjust settings for rainy or super-hot days. • Set your mower one-half inch higher in the summer to conserve water and create more shade to cool the ground. • Check out the latest innovations in human powered (hand) mowers which are easy to push, quiet, and feature self-sharpening blades. Some new “mulching” power mowers pulverize grass blades to create an insulating layer of mulch which insulates as it decomposes, reducing evaporation, supplying nitrogen, and eliminating the need for disposal.

Monarch caterpillar



Billy’s Go-to, Tried-and-true Faves: • Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia): A great background screen or small multi-trunk “drama” tree • St. Catherine’s lace (Eriogonum giganteum): It bursts with off-white, flat-topped flower clusters against downy gray foliage • Island snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa): Medium-height shrub perfect near the edges of native oaks (Quercus spp.), prized for its lipstick red flowers that attract hummers • De La Mina verbena (Verbena lilacina ‘De la Mina’): Knee-high, sun or part-shade bush produces lavender-colored, carnation-scented flowers yearlong; its scientific name sounds like a fairy tale princess

Board Chair Valerie Hoffman's Native Garden post lawn removal



Stuck for ideas? Visit the Garden’s new website, which includes a section dedicated to native plant resources. You can also visit for a gallery of imaginative lawn alternatives. Take a deep breath, grab a folding chair, and sit still in your garden. Imagine the soft hum of bees, butterflies, and feathered friends. Now, get growing. About Billy Goodnick: Billy Goodnick updated this article from his 2013 book “Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space Into the Garden of Your Dreams” (St. Lynn’s Press). He was the City of Santa Barbara’s landscape architect for more than 20 years and currently is a landscape consultant specializing in residential-scale, low-water gardens, and the drummer for local rock ’n’ roll band King Bee. Visit O


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Welcome, Keith Nevison By: Katherine Sanders, Digital Marketing Coordinator


his past May, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden proudly welcomed its new director of horticulture and operations, Keith Nevison, to its leadership team. In his role, Keith leads the Garden’s Horticulture Team, including oversight of the Living Collection and Nursery, the Garden grounds and facilities, the retail Garden Shop, and the Garden Nursery where anyone can buy native plants.

Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the Society for Ecological Restoration, and Friends of Trees, where he worked with volunteers to install nearly 40,000 native plants through their Green Space Program. This led him to an opportunity at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania where he completed his master’s fellowship in the prestigious Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware.

Keith joined the Garden from his most recent position at Bundoran Farm in Virginia. While there, he was a steward of 2,300 acres (930 hectares) of land comprised of pastures, forest, and natural areas including 15 miles (24 kilometers) of hiking trails. He was also the cohost of Virginia Public Media’s “Virginia Home Grown,” a program highlighting the work of gardens and environmental organizations and, ultimately, the delights and challenges of gardening in Virginia.

I sat down with Keith to ask him some of our most pressing questions. From his time working with Doug Tallamy to why he decided to make the move to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, his responses proved we’re lucky to have him join the team.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, but raised in California, Keith brings nearly 20 years of horticulture and public garden experience to the Garden. He currently holds certifications as a master naturalist, FFT2 certified wildland firefighter, and an International Society of Arboriculture arborist. With a passion for native plants and habitats from the start, he worked within the area of Portland, Oregon, with Portland State University’s

A: We are thrilled to integrate into what feels like a



So, Ironwood readers, meet Keith Nevison.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in making Santa Barbara your home? passionate community and get to know its residents. My family and I love the outdoors so coming from Virginia we’re planning to spend as much time as we can enjoying the year-round natural setting. I can’t wait for frequent trips to the beaches, hikes in the mountains, and raising our son in the Garden.

Q: Do you have a favorite California-native plant yet? A: This is a downright impossible question to

answer, but I’ll try. I’m going to have to go with Coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) because they provide such vitally important habitat for insects, songbirds, and other wildlife. Plus, their gnarled forms are iconic and beautiful.

Q: How did you get started in horticulture and public gardens? A: I guess you could make an argument that it

started with the first plants that I ever grew, California poppies (Eschscholzia californica). I grew them from a seed packet purchased from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Then, while at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I started working on farms after learning about the farmworker rights movements. I first wanted to learn how to grow my own food, and I was drawn to the perennial plantings on farms. I vividly remember realizing that I ultimately wanted to be involved with a public garden. I knew this would give me a chance to keep learning about plants, seek respite, be inspired by their beauty, and encounter ecological connections. It’s a dream come true to realize my vision at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, working to educate the public to conserve California’s native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet.

Q: Any special hobbies or favorite past times? A: It’s probably cliché but home gardening is my main hobby. My family and I always grow a large produce garden and cultivate many native plants. Other than that, we spend our time hiking and exploring new areas. One thing some find interesting is that we don’t own a TV, so most of our family time is spent outdoors. I also love to cook and enjoy preparing meals using as many ingredients as we can grow/forage ourselves. And, I LOVE music and have very eclectic tastes. In fact, I used to be a radio disc jockey in college on KZSC Santa Cruz.

Q: I heard you worked with one of our favorite authors and native plant advocates, Doug Tallamy, Ph.D. What was that like?

A: I got to know Doug, aka Dr. Tallamy, shortly after

beginning my graduate studies in public horticulture at the University of Delaware. He’s beyond thrilled that I’ve landed at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where I can “be a leading voice for native plants on the West Coast.” Doug is a brilliant person, renowned not only for his groundbreaking entomological work on pollinators and native plants but his deep knowledge of ecological movements of the last century. He is by far the best professor that I’ve had the privilege of learning under. Doug served on my thesis committee, helping to guide my research evaluating differences in pollinator attraction to cultivars and straight species for the genus Phlox at the venerable Mt. Cuba Center, a Piedmont native plant garden in northern Delaware. Doug is one of my favorite people in this world. I hope everyone gets to experience his message about the importance of growing native plants.

Q: Anything else you want to make sure our Ironwood readers know about you? A: Yes, I want to make sure our readers know I’m

very excited to serve as director of horticulture and operations at the Garden. What I love most about California and why I’m so excited for this opportunity is the unique responsibility presented to protect flora and educate the public about the exceptional biodiversity and high rate of endemism in the state. California contains so many splendors in its borders, from the redwood (Sequoioideae) ranges to its towering mountains. In so many ways, Santa Barbara serves as the nexus of plants and animals from the north and south, which provides a perfect venue to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our entire state’s biodiversity. I hope everyone comes to the Garden to learn, love, and appreciate everything it has to offer — but this is just a starting point. I hope they leave here inspired to continue to explore the natural majesty of this amazing state and share the love of native plants with their friends and family, in their own gardens and communities.

Please join us in welcoming Keith and his family to the Garden and the Santa Barbara community. When he isn’t at his desk, you’re going to find him out in the Garden supporting his team and talking with our guests. So when you see him out and about, don’t hesitate to say hello! O



Member Story: Discovering the Secret World of Native Plants By: Taylor Keefer, Marketing and Communications Specialist

Dida and Rich Merrill in the Garden, 2022


ifty some years ago, Dida Merrill was attending the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), for her undergraduate schooling in zoology and was told she was required to take a botany course. Dida thought, “Do I really have to take botany”, she imagined that it would be a sitting in a lab course. Soon enough, Dida found herself in the field biology class taught by J.R. "Bob" Haller, Ph.D., unprepared for the revelation that would open her eyes to experience the secret world of native plants. Haller, a renowned California botanist, frequently took his classes on field trips to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, opening the door for a passion for plants that had yet to be discovered. “The Garden was absolutely beautiful back then. Not just the plant connection, but the native plant connection started for me with that field botany class,” Dida said. “That’s where I learned it’s not just



a backdrop of flowers — if it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t be life.” Dida couldn’t wait to get home and share what she had learned with her husband, Rich Merrill, who was also a student at UCSB studying environmental studies. Rich considered his study of ecosystem dynamics and invertebrates “pretty far from plants.” However, retracing Haller’s one-of-a-kind field trips with Dida to deserts, mountains, and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Rich was converted. They both were pointed toward a new trajectory in life as their awareness of the relationship between native plants and the well-being of entire communities grew. “Although my study was in ecosystem dynamics, the foundation of an ecosystem is plants, and the native plants are the foundation of it all,” Rich said. “I recognized that the well-being of native habitats is crucial. What was taught in that class was legendary.”

Haller was not only instrumental in guiding students, college professors, and field biologists across the country toward a deeper appreciation of native plants but continued to give back by serving as the education botanist at the Garden after he retired. He inspired his audiences with the beauty of California’s floral splendor and continued to lead field trips. Rich and Dida became members and explored the Garden’s 78 acres (31 hectares) of California’s native plants. Rich believes the depth of geographical diversity found in California explains why California contains 40% of all the plant species in the country with only 5% of the land area. “There’s really no place on the planet that I know of — although some places come close — that has the geographical diversity that California has,” Rich said. “A lot of those microcosms are represented beautifully at the Garden, and that is what we’re celebrating here.” Some years after finishing up graduate school in environmental studies, Rich and Dida moved to Santa Cruz where Rich became the director of the Environmental Horticulture program at Cabrillo College for 30 years. At that point, Rich admits he was a plant nerd, whether he liked it or not.

Rich and Dida noticed more birds, pollinators, and beneficial insects were all coming back. Even endangered species or wildlife they thought were extinct were returning. Even throughout many successful decades in Santa Cruz, Rich and Dida always planned on returning to Santa Barbara so they could once again reunite with their original source of inspiration. “We never stopped being members of the Garden because, as cocreators of an educational department, the educational component of raising awareness is a very important thing for us to support,” Dida said. After moving back to Santa Barbara three years ago, the first thing Rich and Dida did was sign up to be volunteers. Dida was volunteering with membership and special events, and recently became a parttime member of the Garden staff and guest services associate. Rich does data entry for the Clifton Smith Herbarium with Matt Guilliams, Ph.D., identifies insects with Zach Phillips, Ph.D., and prepares lectures for the Education and Engagement Team, and he is currently writing an assessment/design report on the present and future of the Garden’s nursery facilities.

Rich and Dida were cocreators of the Department of Environmental Horticulture where they struggled to find ways to financially support the expensive infrastructure needs, such as greenhouses. After finding a loophole in education code that allowed them to sell the plants they raised in instruction, Rich and Dida found their funding source. “We had regular plant sales and sold plants at farmer’s markets,” Rich said. “It was very successful.” Their success led to a booming Horticulture program with thousands of students and volunteers and an 11-acre (4-hectare) marine terrace overlooking the Monterey Bay with classrooms, botanic gardens, herbariums, and one of the largest collections of sages (Salvia spp.) in the world. The plant sales not only helped provide the funds needed for the program, but Rich and Dida began to notice their plants in home gardens around their community. “Through Rich’s teachings, people became aware of the plants, and people were replacing petunias with native species of Salvia [sages],” Dida said. “In our 30 years, we saw it start to change the landscape of Santa Cruz, and it was all inspired by what we learned here at the Garden.” Family botany field trip in 1970



In the Garden, 1994

Both Dida and Rich have come a long way from that first introduction and have never stopped the learning process. As the years have gone by, they have discovered even more beneficial roles native plants play in our existence. “There’s something besides just their place in the ecosystem,” Dida shared. “I remember in those field trips, walking through the chaparral, just the scent of Salvia [sage] and Artemisia [California sagebrush] was like aromatherapy. There’s something about them that just uplifts people.” Another dimension both Rich and Dida have grown passionate about is how the plants have been used by endemic peoples for culinary and medicinal purposes. In her time at Cabrillo College, Dida taught a year on ethnobotany and showed her students how to do extractions. Rich and Dida are avid gardeners themselves and admit that the biggest arguments they’ve had with each other are about what plant to put where. Dida likes sage ‘Aromas’ (Salvia clevelandii X leucophylla) and native species of Artemisia for the aromatherapy when she steps into her garden, but Rich’s plant pickings are based on if they will attract, nurture, and provide refuge for pollinators and beneficial insects. He suggests that a novice gardener starts with planting native species of milkweed (especially Asclepias fascicularis and A. californica), wild buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.), and common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) because they “attract everything.”



Rich with kids, 1972

“We just put them all together and everyone says it’s a jungle,” Dida said. Rich considers this a great compliment. Home is where the heart is, and for Rich and Dida, the Garden is home. Rich believes the Garden taught him how to identify native plants in a fuller context. He no longer stops at getting the name of the plant; he wants to get acquainted with the plant by knowing what the source of its name is, where it comes from, what its range is, what its habitat is, what it attracts, and much more. “Once you learn all that, it’s like sitting down and getting to know somebody,” Rich said. “That’s the beauty of the Garden. It puts it all in one place so you can truly get to know the plants.” Dida’s great joy is the ability to introduce people to this world by bringing them to the Garden; an accessible, hike-able place no matter what age they are. “I love watching their eyes light up, watching it maybe even change their lives,” Dida said. “I can share this gorgeous place with others and awaken them to the wonders. It opens them to a whole new world.” Self-proclaimed plant evangelists and “plantaholics,” you can find Rich and Dida eager to learn something new on a garden trail or bickering over plant placement in their home garden. If you happen to scan their garden and mention that it looks like a lot of work, Rich will politely respond: “No, it’s my play." O

Nurture Nature

Become a Member

Join us as we build a community of native plant advocates and lead a movement towards a healthier planet — one native seed at a time. Become a member today by contacting us at

Babs the Botany Truck in the Sierra Nevada

Other Ways To Give

List h is W n io t Conserva r the

fo e containers g ra o t s d e ($100) o U pgrad Seed Bank n io t a rv e s n eds Co r drying se fo t e in b a c ator ervation o Desicc in the Cons g in z e e fr before ($500) Seed Bank and lves to exp e h s l a n io it pacity o A dd ed Bank ca e S n io t a Conserv , up ($200) ($75 each s e v ie s g in lean o Seed c sted) to 5 reque ler for vacuum sea y t u -d y v a e ed o H ervation se s n o c g in g a pack ($200) collections Bank ation Seed rv e s n o C a r 300) o Sponso ility test ($ b ia v n io t c colle eed servation S n o C a r o s 00) o Spon ction ($2,5 e ll o c k n a B m imaging for herbariu s n g of le ro c a tion imagin o M lu o s e -r h ig hens rh such as lic system (fo , s t c je b o l siona three-dimen 800) ork) or cones) ($ barcoding w A N D r o (f rilizer o UV ste DNAs ($800) centrating n o c r o (f e centrifug o Vacuum ($9,000) ystem in solution) filtration s r e t a w e d lar-gra 00) o Molecu ork) ($15,0 w b la ll a hput DNA (for use in high-throug in e s u r o (f tor o Sonica 0) ) ($25,00 sequencing scope ctron micro le e g in n n a o New sc 0) ($250,00



There are many ways to support the Garden. Whatever route you take and whatever size your contribution, your donation helps us continue to foster a greater awareness of the regenerative power of native plants and the role they play to support biodiversity and our way of life — for generations to come. Thank you. •

Donate Through Your Donor Advised Fund You can make a big impact through a donor advised fund. Please contact your advisor directly to make your recommendation.

Blaksley Bliss Society Make a lasting impact and leave a legacy to be remembered. Include the Garden in your will or estate plans and you’ll be invited to join your peers in the Blaksley Bliss Society.

• Gift of Stock and Securities Giving appreciated securities is a fast and easy way to make a difference while deriving considerable tax benefits. •

Donate Your Car Have an unwanted car you would like to donate? Our partner, Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS), will handle the pick-up and sale of your vehicle, plus all the associated paperwork. You’ll receive a tax deduction, and the Garden receives a check for 80% of the net sale proceeds. For more information call CARS toll free at 855.500.RIDE (855.500.7433).

• Plant Sponsorships Honor your loved one by sponsoring a plant in the Garden in their honor and we will include their name on a plant label. For more information on these programs or other ways to support Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, please contact our Development team at (805) 682-4726, ext. 103.

Plant It


Welcome, Seniors We invite those 60 and better to enjoy a day in theGarden — for free — thanks to our generous sponsor. Join us in 2022 on one of our three remaining days. Reservations are required.

(Photo: David Bazemore)

August 17 | October 19 | December 14

Sponsored By

Cheers! Save the Date for Beer Garden:

March 11, 2023



Field Notes: Poetry Inspired by Nature

2021–2023 Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emma Trelles (Photo: Andrea Russell)


anta Barbara Botanic Garden is excited to celebrate nature through the creative lens of poetry, working in partnership with David Starkey, former poet laureate of Santa Barbara (2009–2001) and the founding director of Santa Barbara City College’s Creative Writing program. Through this partnership, we’re thrilled to introduce Emma Trelles. As the ninth poet laureate of Santa Barbara (2021–2023), Trelles is the author of "Tropicalia" (University of Notre Dame Press), which is a winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she has received poetry fellowships from CantoMundo and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Currently, Trelles teaches at Santa Barbara City College and curates the Mission Poetry Series. We hope you enjoy her poem about the Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.), a California native plant known for its smooth, deep-red bark and small urn-shaped flowers. O

Manzanita Of the lacquered branches, the healing leaf. Your existence a reminder there is more To this earth than war, wherever it is It is everywhere. When I close my eyes I can dream The last of the blushed campanitas You held on to at winter’s end, they live Inside me now, persisting. –Emma Trelles



The Book Nook By: The Garden Staff

“Heartbreak” Florence Williams

“The Complete Ecotopia” Ernest Callenbach

“Heartbreak” is a universal emotion. At some point, regardless of reason, everyone is struck by its magnitude. For science writer and author Florence Williams, it came at 50 when her 25-year marriage suddenly ended. Looking for answers, she turns to what she knows best – science and nature. Traveling the globe, Williams explores the science of heartbreak in “Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey.” She uncovers many fascinating truths like the stress of heartbreak and the resulting loneliness can lead to physiological problems at the cellular level. Williams decides to do a 13-day, 120-mile solo voyage down Utah’s Green River to explore how the brain responds to risk and to nature. Not surprisingly, she learns that finding a “sense of awe” is an essential ingredient for helping to heal. (For added fun, listen to the audiobook where there are clips from Williams’s audio journal and interviews with scientists and friends.)

Brought together for the first time, “The Complete Ecotopia” is a compilation of Ernest Callenbach’s two bestselling novels, “Ecotopia” and “Ecotopia Emerging.” In the nearly 50 years since Callenbach’s first utopian novel, “Ecotopia,” was first published in 1975, his fictional look at the future has since become more reality than fantasy. “Ecotopia” follows the secession of Washington, Oregon, and northern California to create a “stable-state” ecosystem where people live in balance with the environment, as told through the lens of a fictional New York Times-Post journalist, the first sanctioned visitor to the area in 19 years. With an assignment to report back to America, the journalist is skeptical but curious at first, and his experiences leave him with a tough decision in the end. Followed in 1981 by “Ecotopia Emerging,” Callenbach’s second book is a prequel offering a look at the rise of Ecotopia and the start of its “stable-state” movement to preserve the earth.

Recommended by Jaime Eschette, Director of Marketing and Communications O “Writing Wild” Kathryn Aalto In “Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World,” Kathryn Aalto celebrates the writings of 25 influential women. Two centuries span the births of the first and last authors, during which the world has grown less wild and warmer. But Western society has become more inclusive, and women’s voices are now plentiful in nature writing. Not so in 1850, when Susan Fenimore Cooper wrote the first book about American natural history (four years before “Walden”). She published it anonymously: “By a Lady.” Aalto is a gifted essayist and keen storyteller, weaving her subjects’ writings and poems with fascinating biographical facts and lyrical insights. She goes on location, canoeing in Otsego Lake, hiking in the Cairngorm Mountains, and feeding crows in Epping Forest with contemporary “cli-fi” (climate fiction) writer Saci Lloyd. The 25 women in this book are true trailblazers. May their stories inspire others to ramble and then write. Recommended by Julia McHugh, PR Consultant O

Recommended by Kaile Katsumoto, Assistant to the Garden Directors O “Canyon Voices: The Nature of Rattlesnake Canyon” Karen Telleen-Lawton One of Santa Barbara’s most popular hikes, Rattlesnake Canyon trail offers a gentle and beautiful journey with alternating spots of shade and sunlight as you wander along. In “Canyon Voices” we hear from those who understand it best. Chapter by chapter a geologist, a monk, a botanist, a historian, a hang glider, a stream ecologist, an artist, and others share their unique love of this natural space. This book explores the sometimes complex and competitive nature of humans and their relationship with nature in contrast to the competition existing within nature itself. Through these voices of the canyon you can almost see, smell, and hear the richness of life found there. If you’re looking to better understand the synergy between our actions and the wild, “Canyon Voices” is a great source of insight. Whether new to the area or a longtime resident, this book is a joy to read. Recommended by Matt Straka, Retail Manager O Ironwood


The Budding Botanist: Journaling With Kids By: Michelle Cyr, Youth and Family Programs Manager

The Intersection of Art and Science

Prompts To Promote Deep Observation

ime in nature is a chance to have fun while thinking like a scientist. The world is filled with wonder just waiting to be discovered. While much of nature’s wonder is obvious, like the color of a flower, noticing more subtle phenomena, such as an insect’s eggs on the underside of a leaf, requires deeper observation. Often, this takes a willingness to ask some additional questions.

The goal of a journal entry isn’t to create a pretty picture but to record observations. We encourage children to create diagrams rather than drawings. A diagram is essentially a drawing with observations attached to it. These observations can be connected to the drawing with leader lines and symbols (see image at lower left).


Whether we intend to make profound observations or not, art intrinsically lends itself to picking up more details because the act of drawing or representing something requires observing it closely. Utilizing a nature journal can not only be a great place to compile findings but can also be a powerful tool that helps us better understand the world around us. Furthermore, a journal can serve as a time capsule for your whole family’s nature observations, which can carry scientific value, especially if you compare observations over time.

To provide guidance for your observations, we recommend using these three prompts: I notice ... Example: I notice this plant has leaves with pointy edges. These are the physical characteristics and interactions that you observe. This could include the color, shape, behavior, quantity, scent, etc. of the plant(s) or the animal(s). Be sure to include senses such as smell and touch to get a wide variety of observations. I wonder ... Example: I wonder if these edges make animals not want to eat this plant. These are the queries that pop into your head when you are making observations. Don’t worry about finding solutions or answers. The goal is to reflect on what you’re observing to promote critical thinking. Write down as many inquiries as you can think of. You may be able to come up with some potential responses while making your observations, or you can do the research later. It reminds me of ... Example: It reminds me of the cactus I saw when we visited the desert last summer. Connecting an observation to a past experience is an excellent way to create a more lasting memory that you’ll be able to recall much later than if you just looked at your subject. A leaf on its own may not be very memorable, but tying it to your summer trip to the desert anchors the observation to an impactful experience, making it more likely to be remembered. Furthermore, while you may not be able to recall how the underside of a leaf felt, if you note that it reminded you of how sandpaper feels, you are immediately given a clear image of how that plant felt.



Activity Search your backyard, neighborhood, or local park for a plant that you can easily check on. Begin by drawing your plant and including your “I notice; I wonder; It reminds me of” prompts. Return to this plant in one week. Do you notice any changes? Return again regularly and flip through your observations to see how much you have noticed about your plant.

Want to learn more tips for nature journaling? Check out and to learn more about this and other approaches to journaling. O

Grow Native Plants

Become a Volunteer Make Friends and Help Us Grow. Get Started Today. We will match your interests, abilities, and availability with the Garden’s current volunteer needs. By becoming a volunteer, you will be making a substantial contribution to the preservation of California’s native plants and habitats. Become a volunteer by contacting us at





1212 Mission Canyon Road Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805.682.4726

Native plants are one of the most direct solutions to our biodiversity & climate change crises.

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