Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1849. In California his birthday is celebrated as Arbor Day and trees are planted in his memory.
"I firmly believe, from what I have seen,
that this is the chosen spot of all this earth
as far as Nature is concerned."
Luther Burbank, 1875
The famed horticulturist made his home in Santa Rosa for more than fifty years. On this
garden site and in nearby Sebastopol, Burbank conducted the plant-breeding experiments
that brought him world renown. His objective was to improve the quality of plants and
thereby increase the world's food supply. In his working career Burbank introduced more
than 800 new varieties of plants including over 200 varieties of fruits, many vegetables,
nuts and grains, and hundreds of ornamental flowers.
Burbank died in 1926 at the age of 77. In accordance with his wishes, his grave is unmarked. He was buried under a Cedar of Lebanon tree which he planted in front of his Santa Rosa cottage in 1893. The Cedar stood as a beloved landmark until its removal due to root disease in 1989.
During Burbank's career, his four-acre garden in Santa Rosa was an outdoor laboratory where he carried out his horticultural experiments. In the decades following his death, Mrs. Burbank sold some of the land and reduced the. property to the 1.6 acres which remain today.
At his widow's request the central garden was redesigned and dedicated in 1960 as a memorial park. This tranquil area, with its stone fountain surrounded by screened wood fencing, fulfilled Mrs. Burbank's wish for a design using plants, wood. stone, and water. That theme remains unchanged today.
A revitalization project of the gardens, completed in 1992, addressed the need for featuring more Burbank-related plant material and for making significant structural repairs.
A permanent pictorial exhibit describing Luther Burbank's life and work is located in the central garden. This fifty foot outdoor display also includes information on the history of the property.
Visitors are welcome in the gardens, free of charge, every day of the year.
The Luther Burbank Property is a Registered National, State and City Historic Landmark.
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