Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group  |  License #01426886  |  805-565-4014


June 21st, 2024


Gardening in Santa Barbara is more than a hobby, it's a cherished tradition, steeped in history, that’s been woven into the fabric of our community. Our Mediterranean climate allows for lush, year-round gardens that host a diverse and exotic array of global flora across both private estates and historic properties. This calming, rewarding pastime offers the perfect escape from daily stress, bringing both joy and beauty into our lives. Whether you're a green thumb ready to dig in, a host-at-heart seeking outdoor decor for your next garden party, or a history enthusiast looking to connect with the gardens of the past – our team’s curated garden guide will show you where to visit this summer to embrace the slower, sunnier side of life. 



Lotusland, a world-renowned botanical garden, is famed not only for its beauty but also for its dedication to preserving a living collection of rare and endangered plant species. Founded by opera singer turned botanical gardener Ganna Walska, who acquired the property in 1941, Lotusland has been meticulously transformed with the aid of several prominent landscape designers. Today, the garden honors Walska's vision by maintaining her unique designs and continually enhancing its impressive array of exotic plants from around the globe. 


For nearly a century, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been a haven for preserving and celebrating California's native plant life across its sprawling 78-acre property. Featuring over 1,000 species, and just a short distance from downtown Santa Barbara, it provides a tranquil escape with nearly six miles of trails, offering breathtaking views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands. Notable highlights include the historic 1807 Mission Dam and aqueduct, an authentic Japanese teahouse and tea garden, and a majestic redwood grove.


Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses at Rose Story Farm, a 15-acre paradise nestled in Carpinteria that’s home to 30,000 rose bushes across 300 varieties. This family-owned farm hosts a vibrant display of blooms rotating in six-week cycles from mid-April to late November, which visitors can enjoy in an exclusive 90-minute tour that concludes with a delightful tea and cake in the garden. With the radiant hues of European and pre-1950 American varieties, this spot is truly a flower lover’s dream come true.


Explore the timeless beauty of Casa del Herrero's gardens, a Montecito landmark steeped in history. Designed in the 1920s by architect George Washington Smith for the Steedman family, this National Historic Landmark epitomizes Spanish Colonial Revival style. Amidst the 11-acre estate, lush Moorish-style gardens showcase Carrie Steedman's passion for horticulture, boasting captivating features crafted by the homeowners themselves. From romantic open-air rooms to enchanting dragon's blood trees, each corner unveils a fusion of culture, artistry, and natural splendor, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of elegance and refinement. 


Established in 1955 with 500 rose bushes, the A.C. Postel Memorial Rose Garden is an accredited show garden of the All-America Rose Selections. Sponsored by the Santa Barbara Rose Society, it now boasts over 1,500 plants. Today, it showcases a diverse array of roses labeled with their type and introduction year against the scenic backdrop of the Santa Barbara Mission and Santa Ynez Mountains. With ocean views and ample grassy areas, it's the perfect spot for a sunset picnic or summer get together.



Westerlay Orchids, rooted in generations of horticultural expertise from Holland, specializes in producing top-quality orchids. With a sprawling 21-acre facility, they annually produce over 3.5 million orchids, maintaining a commitment to sustainable growing practices. Their Retail Showroom in Carpinteria offers visitors a glimpse into their orchid oasis, where they can shop the stunning collection and receive expert advice from an in-house design team.


Discover a curated selection of rustic and vintage garden pieces sourced from Europe, Asia, and North America at The Well in Summerland – a lifestyle concept store that offers everything from fire pits and fountains to outdoor furniture and lighting fixtures. Located on Lilly Avenue, the store's charming white cottages are filled with fountains, antique furniture, and art, while outdoor gardens invite visitors to explore and create their own succulent arrangements.


Be sure to stop by Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria, a lush 3-acre botanical wonderland where 11 meticulously designed garden vignettes will transport you around the world. From Asian-inspired tranquility to vibrant South African blooms, each corner of Seaside Gardens showcases plants that can thrive in our Mediterranean climate. Explore the garden shop for essential gardening tools and unique gifts, or enhance your outdoor oasis with pottery, fountains, and planted containers. 


Step into Botanik, a timeless treasure trove for home and garden enthusiasts. From planted arrangements to charming outdoor furniture and an assortment of delightful decor, Botanik is the go-to spot for those who enjoy elegant outdoor living. With seasonal changes and a wonderful selection of terracotta pots and cast iron urns, a visit to Botanik promises both delight and surprise, making it a must-visit for all. 


When you stop by Aloes in Wonderland, plant shopping takes on an entirely new dimension. Led by Jeff Chemnick in Sycamore Canyon, this specialty nursery boasts an impressive collection of approximately 10,000 plants spanning 500 species of succulents, palms, and agaves, all rooted in the earth for maximum size and vitality. From rare cycads to exotic specimens, customers can handpick their favorites during scheduled tours. With Chemnick's passion for unique flora and his involvement in conservation efforts, Aloes in Wonderland is a haven for plant enthusiasts seeking extraordinary treasures.

Turning Over a New Leaf 

Life in Santa Barbara and Montecito is best spent outdoors. As summer unfolds with only warmer days ahead, this season is the perfect opportunity to dive into gardening – whether you’re touring historic garden estates, shopping diverse offerings at specialty nurseries, or browsing garden decor. If you're considering putting down roots in our coastal paradise, you need a first-class team with a track record for helping clients reach their real estate goals. Contact us at 805-565-4014 or email

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