Another quick trip to Santa Barbara

I just got back from Santa Barbara, just three months after my previous trip. I gave a talk on mangaves at the Santa Barbara Cactus and Succulent Society (a great club!) and added a few extra days to do some exploring.

Here’s a quick overview of what I did and saw. I’ll have more detailed posts in the weeks to come.

The motel I stayed at in Santa Barbara, the Lemon Tree Inn, had the kind of succulent-centric landscaping I love:

Massive Agave guiengola

Hundreds of Agave attenuata, this one right outside my patio

I was able to explore Lotusland on my own – a very special experience I won’t soon forget:

Japanese Garden at Lotusland

Tree ferns

Echinopsis flowers

Euphorbia ammak

Cactus forest outside the main residence

Agave grower extraordinaire Tony Krock showed me how he cuts agaves for propagation. As a Succulents and More exclusive, I’ll share a video of his demonstration.

Tony Krock with his miniature machete

Tony demonstrating how he cuts agaves in half to trigger the production of offsets (still from my video)

I also made a return visit to Taft Gardens outside Ojai – a spectacular private garden off the beaten path:

Taft Gardens has hundreds of mature Aloe ferox

South African shrubs, bulbs, and perennials in full flower

Leucospermum (left) and Leucadendron discolor (right)

Leucadendron discolor flowers

Leucospermum flower

I spent some time with Nick Deinhart in San Luis Obispo. He creates amazing aloe hybrids and mangaves:

And I got the opportunity to see Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina in habitat. This native succulent is only found in San Luis Obispo County where it grows on serpentine outcrops:

I saw many hundreds of healthy Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina, but development is moving ever closer

Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina and a fern

Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina in a bed of lichen

Here’s a map showing the places I visited:

Look for detailed posts soon!

© Gerhard Bock, 2024. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. As usual, you make the most of even your quickest trips. Thanks for sharing the highlights. I look forward to your more detailed posts, especially the agave propagation video.

  2. What a splendid trip, I'm looking forward to the upcoming posts!

  3. Two of my favorite garden destinations. Look forward to seeing that video of the knife man!

  4. Those Agaves sure are impressive, and the Echinopsis flowers, too! Thanks for sharing some of the highlights!

  5. This trip must have done your gardener's soul well. Yay!


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