The New Normal: Strategies for Successful Gardens in a State of Drought and Fire Jeff Chemnick, Denise Knapp, Paul Mills
Here in Santa Barbara where we are able to grow more plants than gardeners in other places, we still have a lot to learn. Since the Thomas Fire it is clearer than ever that drought and fire are significant factors here.
Successful gardens involve more than just buying a few cool plants and putting them where they might look good. Good soil preparation, thoughtful siting, and grouping plants together by their water needs are all necessary.
The knowledgeable people in this small panel will tell us what they have learned to help us grow healthy and resilient gardens.
Jeff Chemnick, whose home and garden burned in the Tea Fire, is a research associate at the Ganna Walska Lotusland botanical garden in Santa Barbara, and an authority on Mexican cycads having published numerous articles and described several species new to science. In addition to his field research on the cycads of Mexico, he leads botanical and ornithological ecotours throughout the Mexico with focus on the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Currently Jeff is co-authoring a book on the
cycads of Mexico which is due to be published in2018. He is a member of the IUCN’s Cycad Specialist Group which determines the status of endangered cycads worldwide. Jeff has considerable horticultural experience as owner and operator of Aloes-in-Wonderland, a specialty nursery in Santa Barbara where he has lived since 1981.
Dr. Denise Knapp, Director of Conservation & Research, SBBG. Denise oversees the Conservation program at the Garden, including all biodiversity, rare plant, restoration, and outreach/advocacy work. She has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.A. degree in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked on vegetation, fire ecology, invasive species, and rare plant projects; her current focus is plant-insect interactions. She has worked as a plant ecologist in California (particularly the Channel Islands) for nearly two decades, including the consulting, University, and nonprofit worlds.
Paul Mills, who has more than 25 years of experience working with and studying plants, is curator of Living Collections at Lotusland. Paul has served as president of the Santa Barbara Cactus and Succulent Society and was the recipient of our 2014 Bouquet of the Year award. Paul has given numerous lectures and presentations on his many plant expeditions and the species he has observed and studied.