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23rd Annual General Meeting
Pasadena, California
26 to 29 October 2017

General Assembly    Programme of Events    Post-AGM Tour   Registration    Books and Book Reviews

Santa Barbara
Optional Pre-AGM Trip
Monday 23 to Thursday 26 October

Santa Barbara Harbor

Santa Barbara (approximately 90 miles north-north-west of Pasadena)
Between the mountains to the north and the Pacific to the south, Santa Barbara, with a population of about 100,000, is a charming town with a long and complex history, a specially appealing ambience, many beautiful old houses and other buildings, some dating back to the 18th century, important cultural and educational institutions, and many wonderful gardens.

Monday evening 23 October
Arrival and Welcome Reception
We gather for a kick-off cocktail reception. 

Tuesday 24 October
Visit to Lotusland, Casa del Herrero and a Private Garden
We shall have guided tours of Lotusland and Casa del Herrero, stopping at midday for a picnic lunch. At the end of the afternoon, we shall visit a private garden and enjoy afternoon refreshments.

Lotusland is a 37-acre botanic garden and former estate situated in the foothills of Montecito, a community adjacent to Santa Barbara. The gardens now on the estate today were created by the former opera singer and socialite Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941until her death in 1984. During her ownership, Madame Walska improved upon existing gardens, which with some changes make up today’s collections, and created new landscapes that comprise the present exotic collections.


Designed by architect George Washington Smith for industrialist, engineer and amateur architect George Fox Steedman and completed in 1925, Casa del Herrero (House of the Blacksmith) is noted as one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of only a few of Montecito’s legendary estates that remains essentially unchanged. We shall tour the house, gardens and workshop.

Refreshments in a private garden

Wednesday 25 October
A full day of seeing public and private gardens, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, private gardens designed by Isabelle Greene*, Mark Rios, and Susan Van Atta, including Isabelle’s and Susan’s personal houses and gardens and other private gardens. We are fortunate to have many excellent, beautifully designed, well-maintained private gardens available to us. The gardens will offer an appealing variety and efficiency of travel. We shall have a special private tasting of good local wines. 

Garden view of mountains in Santa Barbara

Naturalistic landscapes

Thursday 26 October
Private Gardens and return to Pasadena
En route to Pasadena we shall visit a nursery and later stop for lunch or refreshments at a private 130-acre property with an award-winning, one-of-a-kind house, surrounded by thousands of oaks, massive boulders and waterfalls – a demonstration garden of native and mediterranean plants. En route we’ll experience the Southern California landscape as it might have looked 100 years ago. We plan on arriving in Pasadena by mid-afternoon.

Note: This tour is limited to 50 participants. Members from outside the United States are welcome to email Shelley Harter to request a place before 1 June. On and after 1 June, available spaces will be allocated to participants on a first come, first served basis.

* Member of the MGS Southern California Advisory Board.

Cost - Santa Barbara Optional Pre-AGM Tour
The cost not including accommodation is US $395.00 per person. The cost will cover coach travel in and around Santa Barbara, coach travel from Santa Barbara to Pasadena, welcome drinks, three lunches and garden admissions. The price of accommodation for the three nights will vary according to the hotels selected.  Selected restaurants will be suggested for no-hosts dinners. Please make you own hotel bookings and mention the Mediterranean Garden Society or MGS for a better rate. 

Please note that, as there is a limit of 50 participants for the optional pre-AGM trip to Santa Barbara, we are giving priority to those coming from outside the United States up to 31 May. On and after 1 June, any remaining spaces will be allocated to participants (including members from the US) on a first come, first served basis. Email Shelley Harter to reserve a place.

Members from outside the US register now.

Hotel Information and Prices

La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara
1601 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
+1-805-966-0807 (fax +1-805-966-6502)
Mid-century modern hotel, within easy walking distance of downtown restaurants and shops, recently remodelled rooms.
US $120 (plus approximately 15% tax) per room per night for one or two persons, continental breakfast included.
For reservations at La Quinta Inn & Suites, reference MGS when making your reservation.
E-mail directly to Brett Thomas – General Manager

Kimpton Canary Hotel Santa Barbara
31 West Carrillo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Kimpton Canary Hotel is a Santa Barbara’s luxury boutique hotel, central downtown location – just steps away from historic State Street and the downtown arts, culture and dining scene, Spanish Colonial architecture, cocktail - rooftop pool deck with 360-degree view.
Since the Kimpton Canary Hotel is in high demand and there is a limited number of rooms, book early to secure a room. The hotel has a limited number of twin rooms with two beds.
Estimated rate is $390 (plus approximately 15% tax) per room per night for one or two persons. There is no special rate for the MGS.

Transportation to Santa Barbara

Flights into Santa Barbara Airport (Goleta)
Take Taxi or Uber ride to hotels, approximately 9 miles.

Flights into LAX (Los Angeles International Airport)
Take the Santa Barbara AirBus whichleaves from the lower arrival level of LAX at 9:00, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30 and 22:00. (Bus schedule subject to change.) It takes about 2½ hours and costs US $55 one-way. Book flights to arrive early and allow time for going through customs to avoid missing the last 22:00 bus. You can book ahead on the website or you can pay on the bus by credit card or cash. From Airbus’s drop off in Santa Barbara take a taxi or Uber to hotel – approximately 3 miles.
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