Santa Barbara
A Pacific Horticulture Tour
April 9-13, 2014
Escorted by Steve Gerischer, PHS President
Limited to 24 guests, this tour is sold out.   To join the Waiting
List in case of cancellations, please click

The Santa Barbara region has a rich history of great landscape
designers and nurserymen going back well over a century and
provides a nearly ideal climate for creating all types of gardens.
Join us as we explore the riches of this beautiful area. We will
explore the many different styles and types of gardens possible
in a climate perched between the mild central coast and the sunny
southland—from the use of California native plants at the Santa
Barbara Botanic Garden to the exotic splendors of Lotusland, as
well as many private gardens.

Wednesday  April 9   Make your way to the lovely seaside
town of Santa Barbara and check into the
Spanish Garden Inn,
a jewel among Santa Barbara luxury hotels and your intimate retreat in the heart of downtown. The
boutique accommodations are elegantly appointed and nestled in lush garden surroundings.  
Discover the tranquil ambiance and ever attentive service that have made the Spanish Garden Inn
the top rated hotel in Santa Barbara.  Guests who arrive
early may want to visit
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
located near the hotel. Once the site of an elegant hotel,
this block- sized green space is considered by some to
be the crown jewel of city parks.  Follow the meandering
walkway to discover a large botanical collection, koi pond,
sensory garden and low-water-use demonstration garden.
This evening we will stroll to the nearby
Wine Cask
restaurant for a welcome dinner with wine. The Wine
Cask is a locally owned restaurant with an iconic
reputation as Santa Barbara’s culinary and wine landmark.
Wine Cask Chefs shop at the farmer’s market every week
and feature local seafood, produce and wines.  

Thursday  April 10   Enjoy breakfast at the Spanish Garden Inn before we depart by private
motorcoach for Montecito and world-famous
Lotusland. Longtime home of Madame Ganna Walska,
a well-known Polish opera singer and socialite who purchased the estate in 1941 and spent the
next 43 years creating Lotusland. The spectacular collections of exotic plants throughout the 37-
acre property are a very personal expression of Walska’s penchant for the dramatic, the
unexpected, and the whimsical. After her death in 1984, Lotusland became a nonprofit botanical
garden and opened to the public in 1993. We’ll have a private docent-led tour followed by lunch in
Montecito.  After lunch we’ll proceed to another Montecito
Casa del Herrero.  Designed by architect George
Washington Smith and completed in 1925, the “House of
the Blacksmith” is noted as one of the finest examples
of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America and is
included on the National Register of Historic Places and
designated a National Historic Landmark.  Today the
entire 11-acre site is owned and operated as a historic
house museum and garden by the non-profit Casa del
Herrero Foundation, with the goal of preserving the house
and grounds as well as the family’s collection of antiques,
books, sketchbooks, drawings and horticultural records.
Return to the Spanish Garden Inn late this afternoon,
evening at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch.

Friday  April 11    After breakfast at the Inn, we’ll depart by private motorcoach for docent-led tours
of the
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.   In 1925, the Carnegie Institution suggested a cooperative
undertaking with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to administer what it envisioned as a
botanical garden "...reaching from the sea to the crest of the mountains, connected by a drive lined
with trees, shrubs and flowers from all parts of the earth.”   The garden was originally laid out in
various plant communities, such as chaparral, desert, and prairie, with an emphasis on plants from
the Pacific slope of North America.  By 1936, this emphasis had narrowed to plants native to the
state of California, and now includes northwestern Baja California and southwestern Oregon, which
are part of the California Floristic Province. We will enjoy a picnic lunch alfresco in the garden
followed by an afternoon of exclusive private garden visits.
Breakfast, Lunch

Saturday April 12   Following breakfast at
the Inn, we’ll depart by private motorcoach
for a day of private garden visits in Santa
Barbara and Montecito. We will enjoy
seeing examples of garden design ranging
from Mediterranean to contemporary
estate to classic Spanish. The exquisite
variety of gardens include one focusing
on foliage and another with an abundance
of flowers and edibles. A highlight of our day will be luncheon in El Encanto’s Fireside Room and
Terrace offering sweeping green vistas that reach down to the ocean's edge. Later, we will have a
bit of free time to explore the hotel’s seven acres of gloriously landscaped gardens with flowering
trees, lily pond, arbor and rare flora. The name
El Encanto (“the enchantment”) perfectly describes
the lush setting of this hilltop hideaway. Return to the hotel late afternoon, evening at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch

Sunday, April 13  After breakfast, the Santa Barbara
Botanic Garden has invited us to experience the
beauty and innovative design of estate gardens in
Hope Ranch, a palm-lined private community with
spectacular views of both the mountains and the sea.
The tour includes five gorgeous estates featuring
California native plants in their landscapes. This
inspirational and educational event elevates the
appreciation and use of natives in sustainable
landscape design, and allows guests to visit exclusive
gardens showcasing their beautiful and unique
features and seamless integration of outside and
inside living spaces. Some of the gardens will have homeowners and/or landscape designers
present to share stories and answer questions. Guests will be greeted by knowledgeable docents
and Master Gardeners at each garden for personalized tours. We will enjoy commentary with
guides sharing background information about each site. Refreshments will grace the outdoor living
areas.  Each home reflects sustainable building designs, and provides a wonderful backdrop to
beautiful native plant gardens.   A box lunch will be provided after the garden visits. Our tour will
conclude at the Spanish Garden Inn around 1:30PM.  Note that since hotel check out time is
12noon, guests not staying additional nights at the Spanish Garden Inn will need to check out of
their rooms before we depart for the Hope Ranch tour.  Luggage may be stored with the bellman.   
Breakfast, Lunch
Tour Price:  $1765 per person based on double occupancy for members of Pacific Horticulture
Society, $1815 for non-members.  $695 single supplement.

·         4 nights accommodation at Spanish Garden Inn, Santa Barbara
·         Welcome dinner with wine, 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches
·         Transportation by private motorcoach
·         Services of Pacific Horticulture tour escort Steve Gerischer and Sterling Tours manager
Cheryl Hedgpeth Nichols
·         All entrance fees as per itinerary
·         Gifts to private garden owners
·         $150 donation to Pacific Horticulture Society
·         Driver gratuities
·         Taxes and service charges

Not included:
·         Airfare
·         Items and events not listed in itinerary.

Additional nights at Spanish Garden Inn group rate available upon request.   

To print the Itinerary, click Here
Terms and Conditions for this tour, click Here

For more Information, Contact
Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
Sterling Tours, Ltd