Support the Gardens

Learn more about becoming a VBG Member, or donate to protect biodiversity today!

Illustration of green and yellow long, pointed leaves with some brown accents, perfect for adding a touch of nature to your home.

Current Career Opportunities

HOURS

Tuesdays — Sundays 9am to 5pm, closed Mondays.
$7 admission for the general public.

Members, children 18 and under and EBT cardholders are free. Fridays are FREE. Check out our Facebook page for holiday FREE days as well. We are CLOSED on rainy days.

Leashed dogs are welcome Wednesdays, Fridays and monthly FREE days.

Disabled parking is available at the Welcome Center. Guests can request parking   closer to the pathways above the nurseries if desired.

Upcoming Events

A close-up of an animal paw print in the sand. Text at the bottom reads "Wildlife Tracking Workshop, Saturday, July 20 | 9am, led by Wyatt Harris.

Wildlife Tracking Workshop with Wyatt Harris (Event Full)

Saturday, July 20 @ 9am - 10am

Join our resident animal tracker and member of the Ventura County Wildlife Trackers, Wyatt Harris, to learn how to recognize what wildlife has been prowling through the gardens. Great program…

Read More
A cheese and charcuterie board with assorted cheeses, figs, cured meats, and a glass of red wine. Event text: "Flavors Inspired by the Garden. Curated Tastings. Thursday, July 25 | Sunday, August 4.

Curated Tastings in the Garden

Thursday, July 25 @ 5pm - 7pm

Thursday, July 25 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm: Mediterranean Olive Grove Sunday, August 4 @ 5:00 – 7:00 pm: California Garden Enjoy an evening of alfresco tastings inspired by the…

Read More
Two bonsai trees are displayed side by side with text at the bottom advertising the Annual Bonsai Exhibit and Demonstration on Saturday, August 3, from 10am to 4pm.

3rd Annual Bonsai Exhibit & Demonstration

Saturday, August 3 @ 10am - 4pm

The 3rd Annual Bonsai Exhibit and Demonstration by the Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara and other bonsai artists will be held at the Welcome Centre trailhead from 10-4. There will…

Read More

Membership

NEW! Preferred memberships now include a 'Buddy Pass'. When you visit the Gardens, bring a friend for free!

Members also receive reciprocal admissions to other gardens like the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. To learn more about which Gardens are covered in your membership: ahsgardening.org

Visiting the Ventura Botanical Gardens

The Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) is a 107-acre world-class site with spectacular views of the California coastline, verdant agricultural vistas, the Channel Islands and Ojai’s Topa Topa peak.

With over 120,000 plants in the ground, the Gardens represent the five Mediterranean climate zones of the world; Chile, the Cape of South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean Basin and California. These low water climate zones, like Ventura, allow for long-term sustainability and are designed to replicate plant communities as they occur in nature.

Your visit to the Gardens will begin at the Merewether Welcome Center. You will notice a charming gift shop, full of artisan gifts, pottery, and plants.

A flower pathway takes you past our olive trees and through our nursery where we have dedicated spaces to welcome students on field trips. Here we prepare and propagate plants before we add them to our collection.

As you enter the first walkway of the Chilean Gardens, you will see a Chilean Soapbark Tree on your right. The Soapbark Tree provides the adjuvant, a chemical compound affecting immunity, as a part of the shingles and COVID-19 vaccines.

Further along the way, you will note our large Chilean Wine Palms, part of our collection of endangered species. The work we do at the Gardens includes protecting and propagating endangered species and creating a library of plants and seeds.

As you continue toward the top, check out our cheerful ribbed barrel cactus or take a meditation moment at one of our sponsored benches and enjoy the brightly-colored cistanthe grandiflora along the way.

When you reach Rotary Plaza, shaded by old-growth Eucalyptus trees, notice the California Ramble to your left left and right. The Ramble, our largest garden, contains native species like ceanothus, lemonade berry and California oak, and in the springtime, colorful poppy and lupine blooms.

Upward in our Mediterranean Garden, there are 200 olive tree saplings. With 50 different cultivars, these plants will provide conservation and research opportunities for an agricultural resource that humans have developed over millennia. This grove will enable us to examine what cultivars do well in regional agriculture as our climate changes.

To your right and up the hill is the South African Fynbos Gardens, abundant with protea, ericas, bulbs and geraniums, a dry creek bed, and a charming bridge. Looking back toward the entrance, enjoy a spectacular view of the Channel Islands.

Continue to Summit Plateau, lined with California pepper trees, where many of our events occur. Then on to the Karoo Gardens... abundant with Aloe. Here you will feel like you’re at the top of the world.

As a 40-year project, VBG will continue to grow and create new outdoor opportunities for training, research, and educational programs ranging from horticulture and botany to sustainability. Garden expansion will be ongoing for decades to come.

Come back soon, there is always something new to see. 

Conservation

The foundation for all botanical gardens is to maintain a collection of plants for scientific research, display, education and conservation. We take this role to heart, protecting endangered and threatened species to insure their long term survival. Some of the plants under our stewardship include the Chilean Wine Palm, the California Tecate cypress, mariposa lilies, and numerous native wildflowers threatened by habitat.

DONATE

Support the gardens today!

PLANNED GIVING

Support the future of the gardens.

MEMBERSHIP

Become a member!

Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsors!