The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum (SYVHM) has announced that it will host “Hidden Gardens: A Study in Contrasts,” an exclusive tour of two of the Valley’s most exquisite gardens on Saturday, May 11. Against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez mountain range and Lake Cachuma, the private garden event is limited to 100 Museum members, their guests and the public.

Attendees will gather at the Museum and board two chartered buses at 12:30 p.m. sharp for their trip to the countryside to see two horticultural wonders in full spring blossom as a result of the region’s plentiful winter rains.

historical museum

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House. 

The tour, led by garden owners and designers, will allow guests to step back in time and discover two contrasting styles of landscape design.

The first stop will be at an estate featuring a beautifully appointed late 19th Century English garden. Garden enthusiasts will be able to learn the secrets of successfully cultivating flowering plants and trees that are common in the United Kingdom yet flourish in the Valley’s warm Mediterranean climate.

Wonder and whimsy await visitors at the tour’s second stop, which boasts a succulent paradise overlooking a glittering Lake Cachuma. While the plants found in this garden are in stark contrast to those found in the English garden, they offer visitors creative ideas for beautiful, unique landscape design using vegetation that thrives during rainy and dry seasons.

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According to Brian Stenfors, Ph.D., SYVHM executive director, the Valley is alive and full of color this year as the result of much needed winter rains. He said this exciting field experience catering to the local community is a great introduction to the Museum's expanded offerings of educational and cultural programs.

At the end of the day, participants will return to the Museum for refreshments, appetizers and an exciting post-tour program.

The event cost is $95 for members, $100 for non-members; proceeds benefit Museum exhibits and programs. To RSVP, contact (805) 688-7889 or visit the Museum's website at www.santaynezmuseum.org. Please note that private cars or late entrance to the tour are not allowed.

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Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.