Museum Exhibit

Pursuing the Perfect Plum

Our colorful exhibit in the Carriage House Museum tells about Luther Burbank’s numerous introductions of plums, prunes and plumcots.


Of the over 800 new plants introduced by Burbank in his lifetime, more than 100 were plums or plum-related fruits. Using beautiful images from the LBH&G collection, the exhibit helps the visitor understand the results of Burbank’s unceasing work with hybridizing.

His large output in introducing new varieties of plums contributed enormously to California’s fruit industry, which shipped the new fruits to other states and many other countries. Burbank continued his work with plums until his death in 1926; his most famous varieties include the Santa Rosa plum, an award-winner in 1905 that is still widely grown today.

Whatnot CabinetA centerpiece for our plum exhibit is this lovely antique walnut whatnot cabinet from our LBH&G collection that has not been displayed previously for the public to see.

In response to interest on the part of our visitors, we are continuing the exhibit entitled “What Blooms In Our Garden.” It uses changing photos taken through the seasons, and includes a site map visitors can take with them to find the featured plants in their actual settings.

Visitors also can examine an unusual oversized photograph taken in 1915 when Edison, Ford and Firestone came to see Luther Burbank in Santa Rosa — a day when some of the most famous people in the early 20th Century gathered here in this small California town! We’ve expanded this display to cover the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, which was the occasion for Edison, Ford and Firestone to be in California.

Visitors to the Carriage House also will find “plummy” items in the Gift Shop such as a beautiful Plum Blossom tee-shirt, Fruit Prints from vintage paintings and plum candy.

The Carriage House Museum exhibits feature a variety of subjects, all with an underlying theme: Yesterday and Today at Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, where important things have been happening for more than a century!