The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has put together a truly unique version of its annual Cultivating the Wild: Native Gardens Tour. Heading out to the Santa Ynez Valley in limousine buses, the tour goes behind the scenes to explore very different approaches to sustainable landscaping. Dry farming at a vineyard, personal style at a private ranchero, and an entire neighborhood of native landscaping all challenge preconceived ideas about the limitations imposed by drought. This year’s tour includes the delicious culinary creativity of New West Catering enjoyed with dry farmed Stolpman wines at the private Montanaro Farm. Landscape Architect Puck Erickson provides the foundation of the tour at the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden. As one its founders and designers, she identifies key native plants in the area, and gives an inspiring view of how creating this garden brought a community of native plant lovers together. “After 19 harvests we’re just as obsessed with improving our wines as we were with our first vintage in 1994” according to Peter Stolpman, Managing Partner of Stolpman Vineyard. The vineyard implements sustainable viticulture techniques, including dry farming, in which the vines are not irrigated after they have matured. A personal tour from the owners will give a rare view, and taste, of dry farming.
What would it look like if everyone replaced their lawns with native landscaping? Guests will see for themselves in the tour through the gated Mission Oaks community in Solvang. The common areas are landscaped predominately in native plants that blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, while front yards show the wide variety of personal expression available using natives.
Witt Ranch is a private ranchero where historic trees establish a sense of history in a landscape that combines personal favorites and native plants. A guided tour of the gardens around the main house and the charming guest cottages will inspire your own landscape designs.
uests who wonder just how good a dry farmed vintage actually tastes, will not be disappointed as Stolpman wines will be served with a mouth-watering lunch from New West Catering. Valley insiders know that New West is owned by the same chefs as the eclectic Industrial Eats, one of the hottest dining destinations in the area. To complete this incredible insider’s experience of the Valley, this delicious meal is served at Montanaro Farm, where visitors are transported back to California’s ranching heyday in the original grocery restored to its 1887 style.
Whether you are looking for garden inspiration or a unique way to experience the Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Cultivating the Wild: Native Gardens Tour is sure to provide a unforgettable experience.
Cultivating the Wild: Native Gardens Tour is a fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a private nonprofit, and would not be possible without the generous support of Riviera Insurance, Arcadia Studios and Santa Barbara Waterwise.
Cultivating the Wild: Native Gardens Tour
Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Time: First Santa Barbara bus leaves at 9am, Buellton bus at 9:45am
Cost: Garden Members: $95, Non-members: $125
To arrange an interview or request broadcast quality B-roll or high-res photos, please contact Rebecca Mordini, Communications Coordinator, at 805-682-4726 ext. 132.
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About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:
The Garden is a 78-acre private nonprofit fostering the conservation of California’s native plants through our gardens, research and education and serves as a role model for sustainable practice in Santa Barbara, California. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among of the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants.