January 21, 2009

Garden at Santa Barbara Zoo

Come along for another garden tour, this time to the gardens surrounding the Santa Barbara Zoo in California. Imagine my delight to tour the zoo a couple of weeks ago in 70 degree F weather, while snow continued to accumulate back home in Spokane. Whenever I visit other gardens, I keep my eyes out for ideas that I can transfer to my own yard. The photo above shows the path alongside the Palm Garden. Our backyard plan includes a path around the perimeter of the yard so we can better enjoy the plantings.

This shot shows some of the trees in the palm garden. Unfortunately I can't name any of them. I love the lush, tropical look. Although palms won't survive the winters in my garden, I am striving for a similar full look in my backyard.

Here's an upward view in the palm garden. Probably my favorite plant shape is a fountain, as in agapanthus, daylilies and the tops of these palms. Perhaps firework-shaped is a good descriptor as well.

This waterfall is part of a bird enclosure. The black-leaved plant is very striking. Water features are such a lovely addition to gardens; I need to think of one for my yard.

You'll notice that this waterfall is very similar to the previous one, except the focal plant has green leaves instead of black. These waterfalls are nearly side by side.

The succulents along the rocky ridge add a nice touch of green. Succulents don't mesh with the vision for my garden, but I enjoy them in other places.

I didn't take this shot near the elephant enclosure, but don't these plants remind you of trunks? Whimsy certainly has its place in the garden.

The colors in this photo came out a little strange, but it captures the dramatic landscape around the stream. The alligator area is nearby, so swimming probably isn't recommended.

I LOVE vine-covered pergolas like this one. The project list for my yard includes replacing our tacky aluminum awning with a white pergola covered with wisteria vines.

Here's the view from the giraffe area. My yard is lacking in breathtaking views like this one, so we planted trees all around to keep our eyes focused on the beauty within. Make that the hoped-for beauty within, as we have a lot of work ahead to make our yard beautiful.

Well, it is a zoo. I have to include at least one picture of the animals! I hope you enjoyed the tour and were inspired with some new ideas for your garden.

You're welcome to use any of the pictures from this post if you'll list vwgarden.blogspot.com as the source.


  1. Very nice tour. Sounds like you have lots of great plans for your own yard. Did you get to feed the giraffes? :)

  2. Thanks so much for the "tour" of the warm gardens! Santa Barbara is on our list of places to visit. Been north and south of there, but never managed to get to SB!


  3. Excellent pictures of a most beautiful zoo. And I definitely agree-how can one garden without some fun and whimsy?

  4. Just stoppin' in to say hi;) Have been to the wildlife center (forget the name!! it's large) near San Diego but never got up to Santa Barbara. I hear it's beautiful wine country--I mean--Grapevine country'...!
    Hope you had a nice trip!!

  5. Well, that was a great zoo garden tour. Travel costs were zero and greenhouse emissions also zero. Thank you, loved it. Also enjoyed your sharing your garden dreaming.

  6. Nice photos.

    I like that pic of the palm garden area. It reminds me of some forest tree photos I've seen of New Zealand with tree ferns. Bit different, but reminded me of that.

    The leaning succulents are almost Dr. Suess-like.

    M. D. Vaden near Portland

    (Beaverton, Oregon)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I have comment moderation turned on to catch spam, so your comment will show up as soon as I can read and approve it.