The Lifescape Garden
EH's Outdoor Classroom
The Environmental Horticulture Department's Lifescape Garden is located on the edge of the coastal bluff above the Pacific Ocean on the east campus of Santa Barbara City College. It is the Department's outdoor classroom, where most of the experiments and hands-on laboratory exercises for EH courses take place. Lab classes utilize the hundreds of native and exotic plants, coastal soils and varied topography of the Lifescape Garden to learn a variety of landscaping tools and techniques. Each semester, students help implement the garden's themes, maintain and improve the various parts of this one-of-a-kind educational facility, and put this living art form into motion.
The Lifescape Garden is directly adjacent to Chumash Preserve in the college's public access corridor. The entire complex is used to train apprentice-students toward careers in horticulture. Through grants, endowments, and individual donations, the Lifescape and Chumash Point have become a substantial horticultural resource.
Both the Lifescape Garden and the Chumash Preserve are open to the public (no admission), from dawn to dusk. Plants, fruit and landscape projects should be respected and not tampered with or harvested without permission by the EH department. Everyone is invited to visit the gardens and a respect for the special nature of this landscape is appreciated.
Features in the Lifescape Garden
- Healing and Medicinal Plants
- Turf and Lawn Selections
- Water-Conserving Plants and Xeriphytes
- Mulching and Backyard Composting Systems
- Irrigation Systems
- Landscape Hardscape Development
Edible and Ornamental Plants in the Lifescape Garden
- Dwarf Citrus/Semi-Dwarf Avocado and other Edible Subtropical's
- Dessert Bananas and assorted Tropical-like Edibles
- Deciduous Pome Fruits and Stone Fruits
- Miscellaneous Deciduous and Worldwide Exotic Edibles
- Perennial and Seasonal Herb and Culinary Landscape Plants
- Edible Flowers and Decor Ornamentals
Truly a Community Garden
The Lifescape is an official part of the Environmental Horticulture Department at Santa Barbara City College, but this exceptional resource is also utilized by other departments on campus including Biology, Culinary Arts, English, ESL, Journalism, Drafting, Design and others. Community events are also held in the Lifescape Garden, including community plant sales, annual Earth Day celebrations, periodic Chumash festivities, and other events. The Lifescape Garden is a great community resource as well, and you may often find families and individuals taking a stroll and sampling a piece of fruit off of the ground beneath our cornucopia of tropical and subtropical ornamentals. Weekends are optimum for visiting because school activities and class scheduling are greatly reduced and parking is both free and more available.
Plug-in to Our Garden Work Days are held every Wednesday from 9am to 12pm, a time for faculty, students, and community members to show up and work on a group project in the garden. Everyone is invited to help with current horticultural projects, take an informal tour of the garden, and ask questions about the EH program. Please join us and find out how to get involved in the SBCC-EH community and its endeavors.
Part of a Bigger Picture: Both the Lifescape and Chumash Point are part of the SBCC coastal access master plan. This plan is an extensive trail network that will meander for about one and one-half miles along the perimeter of the college's coastal cliffs. Our garden section runs between Castillo Point and La Playa Stadium.
How You Can Help: The Lifescape Garden, its plant collection and landscape features, needs continued funding and support. If you wish to help support or fund on-going projects, contact Mike Gonella, EH Department Chair.
Guidelines for Harvest in Lifescape Garden
- Please... Do not pick fruit off trees
- Only fruit that has dropped to the ground naturally is game.
- Harvest only what you need from herbs.
- We would like these herbs to live year-round. They will re-grow just fine after small amounts of pruning, but if you take off too much, the plant may struggle to stay alive.
- Do not harvest any part of young, fragile plants.
- As a general rule of thumb, harvest no more than ¼ of total healthy plant.
- Contribute green waste to our compost pile.
- This is located at the east entrance to the Lifescape garden, right next to the tall bamboo cluster. Please, no non-biodegradable products (ie: plastic, metal, etc.) or fats (meat & cheeses).
- Our finished compost product is used directly on Lifescape plants and soils thereby making our plants healthier and more productive.
Thank you for visiting and enjoying our garden!