Our Annual Special Issue Aimed at Improving Landscapes, Updating Interiors, and Much More

Sentiments about what constitutes a home vary and transform over time. For some, home symbolizes the simplicity of the sound of springtime bees working through a native container garden. For others, household comforts are as complex as a high-end designer makeover with storied European garden pieces. There are followers of Marie Kondo’s simplified spaces; others who perpetually add color, layer textures, and guard memories; and some who take solace only in a chemical-free environment with a great composting system.

Wherever you land on the tapestry, we hope you find something in the following pages to enhance your living space and brighten your feelings about it. While collecting and writing these stories about shop owners, designers, and environmental specialists, I was reminded of the abundance of knowledge, charity, and innovation in our community. Easy online clicks might add convenience to shopping from faceless merchants, but when we buy and participate in our neighborhood and towns, we build lasting experiences and connections, not just disposable things.

So as country roads clog with weekend tourists traveling long distances to view California’s “superbloom” ​— ​the expansive blanket of spring wildflowers that’s so vibrant this year it can be viewed from space ​— ​Santa Barbarans can skip the associated road rage and instead seek inspiration in the fruitful fields of our own backyard.