If you've looked up at the mountains from town lately, you may have noticed what looks like a light snowfall. How can that be? Every spring, the early-blooming ceanothus emerge, dusting our mountains with white blossoms and offering us the joy of a resplendent spring without the miseries of snow and sleet – Santa Barbara style.
Called the Christmas berry, Toyon is certainly one of California's most beautiful shrubs. Its red berries are a dazzling addition to our warm holiday season.
For most Santa Barbarians, the end of the fall heat is welcome, especially because winter is considered by many to be the finest season of all. With Santa Barbara’s south-facing coastline and the winter sun lower in the southern sky, the scene is set for salubrious days. Like a convection oven, the Santa Ynez Mountains' protective sandstone slopes reflect the southern sun, bathing the town in warm sunshine.
Bougainvillea is not a name you should say softly. Any plant with flowers as garish, brilliant, fluorescent, strident – the adjectives go on and on – should have its name shouted out. And no plant epitomizes Santa Barbara like bougainvillea.
The Tuesday Farmers Market in the 500 and 600 blocks of State Street is one of our favorite markets in the Santa Barbara area. It is quintessential Santa Barbara—where international students, tourists, families and busy office workers all end up on a Tuesday evening, gathering produce and sampling juicy fresh fruits among the shops and restaurants of downtown.