Ventura Botanical Gardens announces re-opening with new hours

With the re-opening, new COVID protocols are in play.

The Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) recently announced the COVID reopening date of Saturday, June 6. The Gardens have been closed due to both the pandemic and subsequent new construction including sponsorship sites and entrance development.

With the re-opening, new COVID protocols are in play. The Merewether Welcome Center entrance is now set up for non-contact social distancing. The exit has been moved to the back of the education structure—signs will point the way. There will be a limited entry of 50 visitors in the entirety of the Gardens. These protocols are based on National Public Gardens guidelines and are subject to change.

The Gardens are open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Mondays and temporarily on Tuesdays). Entrance is free on Fridays (formerly on Tuesdays)—the change was made in part to facilitate opportunities for long weekends. Admission is $7 per person. Visitors can same day pay online at, or pay at the door. Non-contact credit card payment is preferred over cash, but not required. Members are free. Children under 18 are free. EBT cardholders are free. The upper gardens north of Summit Drive are free and open to pedestrians when Grant Park is open. The upper gardens are accessible by walking from Summit Drive, Brakey Road, or Ferro Drive. Leashed dogs are welcome on Fridays and Wednesdays. The Gardens will also be open and free to the public on International Climate Change Day, June 21.

Aside from these public health and safety guidelines, visitors will be treated to a new entrance walkway. Local architects, Noah Greer and Martha Picciotti, designed the entrance. Halter-Encinas Landscaping did the construction.

“It was a real challenge starting with a long, steep asphalt driveway. We used redwood pickets set on stepped walls to add texture and frame the entry,” said Noah, lead designer. “Those pickets will soon enclose the new nursery, so visitors will be able to look into the heart of the gardens as they walk by.”

Additionally, both the Fynbos Garden and the Karoo Gardens, located near Summit Plateau, are showing substantial changes. In the Fynbos Garden, the protea are enjoying a full bloom of reds, yellows and oranges and in the Karoo Garden, the young aloe trees are beginning to mature.

For more information or to learn more about the Gardens, please visit our website, Facebook or Instagram pages.

The nonprofit organization has a 40-year Master Plan dedicated to creating a botanical garden celebrating the Mediterranean climate regions. The setting is a world-class site with spectacular views of the California coastline, verdant agricultural vistas, the Channel Islands and Ojai’s Topa Topa peak. VBG will continue to create new outdoor opportunities for training, research, and educational programs ranging from horticulture and botany to sustainability.

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