For the third straight year, the Santa Barbara Independent presents its annual Homes & Gardens special section, a roundup of profiles, advice, and insight into what makes our developed and cultivated landscapes thrive. This year’s edition looks at a tiny home built by high schoolers, the history of adobe construction, how to make your yard look like Lotusland, and much, much more.

Kira, Canine Creative Director

What's the best part about hanging at the Indy office? Snacks! Snacks are the best part of everything! There is one human at the Indy who fills me with chicken and pastries. I'm quite fond of all types of chicken — roasted, baked, boiled, braised, fried, grilled, cooked, seasoned, plain … Chicken.   

Any particularly fun smells you’ve encountered recently? I'm so glad you asked about smells! Humans don’t give smells enough credit. Really the best smell is myself! I have a blanket under my human’s desk, and it smells just like me which makes me feel really happy when I sleep on it. 

Outside of the office, what are your interests and hobbies? Besides chicken, balls are my greatest joy. It's unfortunate that I’m dependent upon my human to throw the ball, because I could chase balls all day. Seriously, dude. All. Day. 

If you could give one piece of advice to a new office pet, what would it be? Try not to bark. They don't like it when you bark …

In Print

Selected stories from our weekly newspaper.

Can Santa Barbara Cope with Climate Change?

Adaptation Is Now the Name of the Game

With the weather growing ever weirder, adaptation is now the name of the game. Read story.

Santa Barbara Struggles to Adapt to Sea-Level Rise

Can City Hall Find a Way to Save Beaches and Property Before It’s Too Late?

The City of Santa Barbara struggles to adapt to rising sea levels and save beaches and property. Read story.

Inside the Botanic Garden's Fort Knox of Pressed Plants

Flora Are the Foundation of All Habitats and Will Help Stave off Ecological Collapse

Flora are the foundation of all habitats and will help stave off ecological collapse. Read story.

What Can I Do to Help Counteract Climate Change?

Opting Out Is No Longer an Option

Opting out is no longer an option. Read story.

Cracking the Climate Change Brain Barrier

Media Psychologist Explains How Emotion, Not Data, Is the Key to Action

A media psychologist explains how emotion, not data, is the key to action. Read story.

Tough Urchins and Future Fisheries

Can UCSB Scientists Help 'Climate-Proof' Important Seafoods?

Can UCSB scientists help 'climate-proof' important seafoods? Read story.

The Great Agave Experiment

Can This Liquor-Making Plant Correct California’s Parched, Fire-Prone Landscape?

Can this liquor-making plant correct California’s parched, fire-prone landscape? Read story.

‘The West-Dressed Woman’: Women’s Garments Through Centuries

Exhibit Shows How Women’s Place in Society Expanded and Evolved

Exhibit shows how the perception of a woman’s place in society expanded and evolved. Read story.

The Year in Pictures 2018

Our Annual Photographic Review of the Year That Was

Our annual photographic review of the year that was. Read story.

Santa Barbarans Working for Peace on Earth

Our Annual Collection of Stories About Hometown Organizations Doing Global Good

Our annual collection of stories about hometown organizations doing global good. Read story.

African Women Rising Empowers Northern Uganda

Linda Cole’s Santa Barbara-Based Nonprofit Works on Education, Farming, Literacy, and More

Linda Cole’s Santa Barbara-based nonprofit works on education, farming, literacy, and more. Read story.

ShelterBox Distributes Tents and Hope to the World’s Refugees

New Summerland Office Spreads Reach Even Further

A new Summerland office is spreading the relief organization’s reach even further. Read story.

Get to Know Unite to Light’s Solar-Powered Lamp

Santa Barbara-Based Organization Distributes “Luke Lights” for Education, Global Health, and Disaster Relief

Santa Barbara-based organization distributes “Luke Lights” for education, global health, and disaster relief. Read story.

Michael Kiyoi’s Musical Successes

San Marcos Teacher Talks Job, Students, and Hopes for Future

San Marcos teacher talks job, students, and hopes for the future. Read story.

CAMA at 100

Community Arts Music Association Celebrates Centennial

Community Arts Music Association celebrates its centennial. Read story.

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