VBG In Bloom
2019 Spring Photo Contest
Entries Due–April 3rd - 26th | Voting Happens–April 29th - May 3rd
Spring is here and the Gardens are in bloom! Photographers of all ages and levels are invited to enter their best images of 2019.
The mission of the contest is to highlight the spring plants, blooms and favorite activities in the Chilean, South African Fynbos and California Native garden zones of the Ventura Botanical Gardens. All photos must be taken in 2019 in the Gardens to be eligible.
TO ENTER: Send a message to the VBG Facebook page with your entry (2 entries max) using #VBGinBloom from April 1 – April 26. Be sure to note the garden zone with your entries. The Ventura Botanical Gardens will showcase the images on their Facebook page during the voting period from April 29 – May 3 when the winner will be based on likes.
Download this PDF for a complete list of Rules and Entry Agreement.
Hours & Admission
Tuesday - Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Mondays for Maintenance
The first 0.3 miles starting at the trailhead is ADA accessible.
Just a reminder that VBG will close on days with strong likelihood of rain for the safety of visitors. Since the Thomas fire, there are extremely dangerous, large, loose rocks on the slopes that slide down during and after rain events. Garden pathway surfaces can be muddy, slick, and will be blocked in places with sandbags to prevent erosion. Thank you for your understanding.
Members - $45 per person per year
Family Membership - $75 per two named adults per year (children are free)
Preferred Membership - $250 per person per year
Non-members: $7 per visit per person. The Gardens are free to the public every Tuesday and most holidays (excluding July 4). Free scheduled tours are also available. Children and school groups are free. EBT cardholders are also free.
Become a member today!
On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire burned the entirety of the Gardens. Nearly every plant was affected. During 2018, we've been hard at work, removing the burned foliage, replacing most of the plants, and repairing the damaged walkways.
While we were closed, some other wonderful changes have taken place; new features including the brand new Merewether Welcome Center.
All of this costs money, and we hope the community will embrace supporting us on a grassroots level which includes a small membership fee of $45 per year. Our intention is to keep the fee low enough for every budget, but allow for long term financial sustainability. EBT cards are welcome. For those out of town visitors, or those who aren’t members, the admission fee will be $7 per day, per person.
On Tuesdays, the Gardens are free for everyone. Monthly scheduled guided tours are also free. Additionally, many major holidays are free, with the exception of July 4.
Hours are from 9am to 5pm. (We’re hoping for possible extended hours in the future.) Dogs are welcome on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Closed Mondays for maintenance.
Why do I have to pay to access a public trail?
VBG is not a public trail built and maintained through taxpayer funds, like many of the other parks in the city. The cost of building and maintaining a public gardens is high and, unlike a city park, VBG does not receive taxpayer funds from the City's annual budget, state or federal funds. It is only through your generous donations, grants, membership and admission fees that the gardens are sustained. Thank you for your contributions.
Isn't this public land?
Prior to its genesis, the land behind city hall was a brushy, little used area. In 2015, VBG was granted a long-term lease for the land and took on the challenge of building and maintaining the Gardens through private funding, grants and donations with the understanding that part of our long term general plan included paid admission. Many cities opt to engage in public/private partnerships when they do not have taxpayer funds to develop or maintain a property or asset.
Why are dogs only allowed on Tuesday and Wednesdays?
In the interest of being inclusive, rather than exclusive, we want to ensure that anyone visiting our garden can enjoy it free of distraction. It's becoming clear that many of our visitors are not happy with dogs. Creating times for all visitors is our goal. In addition, we need to balance both environmental and conservation issues.
What are you doing until the whole project is completed?
Good question, because this is a BIG project. We have nearly 107 acres to plant. Our Master Plan includes phasing development for the next forty years. Right now, we are focused rebuilding after the fire and planting the Chilean Garden, the South African Garden and the California Garden. Over 2,000 plants have already been planted. And, while we are planting, we are also raising funds and planning for the future.
How did the Gardens fare after the devastating Thomas Fire?
The entirety of the Gardens burned and every plant was, in some way, touched by the fire. The good news is that some of the plants survived. For example, the Pepper Trees at Summit Plateau look almost untouched. Most of our plants, however, were burned and many to the ground.
Will you have to replant everything?
Because we chose to create our Gardens based on the five Mediterranean climate zones, and plants from those regions are fire-adapted, plants are already showing signs of regrowth. With care, we have hopes they will recover... given time. Areas that were cleared will also provide new planting opportunities. You can help. If you are interested in plant sponsorship, please contact Mary Kay Doubek at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-742-6758.
How do I become a member?
Click here. Under Join, you can become an annual member. You can pay online or download a form you can mail in with a check.
Membership benefits include the VBG newsletter, invitations to members only field trips and events, and a membership card good for discounts at a growing number of local businesses. Memberships make great gifts for your garden-loving friends too. If you’ve got questions about membership, ask us at email@example.com.
How do I become a volunteer?
We’re always looking for volunteers. Whether you have a specific professional or amateur skill you’d like to offer, just enjoy digging in the dirt, or fall somewhere in between, please let us know and we’ll find the right fit for you. It’s a great way to meet people and contribute to the community. If that sounds fun to you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I am not ready to be a member or volunteer yet?
Join our contact list to stay informed. We promise not to hound you. Send your name, email address, mailing address and phone number (if you’d like) to email@example.com or drop a note to Ventura Botanical Gardens, P. O. Box 3127, Ventura CA 93006.
Ways to Give
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