Become a Member
Learn more about becoming a VBG Member and the benefits of membership!
Current Career Opportunities
TUESDAYS — SUNDAYS 9am to 5pm, closed Mondays.
$7 admission for the general public.
Members are free; children 18 and under are free; EBT cardholders are free and every Friday is a FREE day. Check out our Facebook page for monthly 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 garden pathways above the nurseries if desired.
Annual In Bloom Photo Contest
April 1 – 26, photographers of all ages and levels are invited to enter their best images into the In Bloom Photo Contest.
The mission of the contest is to highlight the plants, blooms, and favorite activities in the Ventura Botanical Gardens.
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 a 40-year master plan and already over 100,000 plants in the ground, the Gardens represent the five Mediterranean climate zones of the world; Chile, the Cape of South Africa, Southern Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, and California. These low water climate zones, like Ventura, allow for long-term sustainability.
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 note 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 see our large Chilean Wine Palms. These are 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, you will note the California Ramble up the hill in front of you. The Ramble is full of native species like ceanothus, lemonade berry, and California oak. Upward in our Mediterranean Garden, there are 130 newly planted olive tree saplings. With 40 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, 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.
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.
Support the gardens today!
Support the future of the gardens.
Become a member!