Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rose Society of Saddleback Mountain Elegant and Enchanting- Part 1

"Peace Begins with a Smile"

  What a lovely thought to begin our tour with. When life feels out of control- turn those outer corners of the lips upwards: feel the calm roll outwards, like a fog pleasantly cooling cooling hot temperatures. 

Welcome to the home of architect Ed Bilezikjian and designer Dawn Saunders.  They literally set the table to welcome the multitude of guests.

In honor of the Southern California indoor-outdoor lifestyle, this home tour  stands out as one where the gracious owners allowed the garden tourists to experience the actual transition between home and garden.

Modest in size and modern in approach, the spacial flow between spaces gives plenty to appreciate in Dawn and Ed's carefully curated collections as you stroll on through to the outdoor living spaces.

The sound of water flowing over the glass and slate mosaic tile fountain called its invitation to venture outside.

Close- up, the warm tone of the rose sharing the stage shows the attention to detail so seamlessly woven in the garden.

Off to the side is a lovely table to take a meal at. Notice the jewel tone votive cups dangling from the umbrella. Imagine them lit at dusk.  Dinner served under the moon's gaze- let the magic begin.

New Zealand flax. If there is a plant I have a love-hate relationship with, it is these floppy spiked Zulu headdress- looking thingies. Such beautiful color and inimitable structure- set out in commercial plantings all by their lonely selves, they scream for attention; the horticultural equivalent of a narcissist.

What the homeowners brilliantly did was to place the divas amongst a chorus of softer plant forms.

Still the star of the show, her attributes are much better appreciated when pops of equally intense colors join her to fill in among abundance of chlorophyll-rich leaves.

Bringing the comforts of home out to the garden is exemplified in this plumply cushioned chair. Design note: the furniture not being matchy-matchy is charmingly sophisticated. DO try this in your garden. 

The English-like style setting took advantage of hydro-zoning.  By grouping roses and higher water need plants together - then broadly brushing the landscape with drought tolerant selections of California, New Zealand and Australia, the garden proves lush garden and low water usage are not always antonyms. 

Relaxing is my companion for the day, Marilyn Bowery. I've known this amazing woman since children's choir in Whittier. 
Don't you love this fire ring?  The careful curve of cement is surprisingly snooze inducing.

 Pomegranate trees deserve more use in the landscape. Equally tough and beautiful, the fiery blossoms are a perfect foil to the chartreuse server pieces for miniature flying guests.

Even as  a Christian, I can appreciate how appropriate relics of other faiths can be in the garden.

Speaking of bringing the indoors out- those are exterior walls you see in this showering area.
With a feature such as this- solid fences  and a good security system- make for good teenage neighbors):- .

Water. This knee high bubbler  proves a delightful marker to the transition back to the front.

Design note- when choosing plants and pottery for the same area- think how they visually respond to one another.  As in choosing whom to marry- you don't have to be the same- you do not have to be the same color- but you do need to work together.

Until we meet again- thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful. 


  1. Thank you Lydia for sharing this lovely tour with us. Absolutely love the curved seating around the fire pit.
    Lovely garden. Now tell me, are the owners present during the tour? Who is there to watch as strangers tour thru the homes?

    Also please explain about that shower. Is it outside or inside? Can't tell from the photo.

    XO Trisha

  2. Lovely garden. Like the outdoor shower! Especially liked the blackboard door in the kitchen! How cool is that. xo

  3. Such a very special Garden---So Welcoming. Everything about it is Perfection! That Flax is not one of my favorites, at all, but used the way it is here, it is better than when one usually sees it. LOVE that Fire Bench, too!

  4. Ah, the combination of architect and designer is the way to an interesting garden indeed! I'm with you when it comes to flax -- and this is a wonderful setting for it with echos of its highlights in the surrounding plants.

    Pomegranates are such charming small trees. I just want mine to grow faster!

    Regarding your comment on the camera... looks like this particular model is known to blow its little computer chip right about now and repair costs about as much as a used replacement. So I'm saving my pennies and considering an upgrade.

  5. Truly beautiful, Lydia. You find the greatest garden treasure on your outings! Keep up the great work.

    Judy in Seal Beach.

  6. Hi Trisha- Areas "off limits" are taped off. There is always someone present to protect the owner's interests and answer questions on tours. It is the homeowners decision how much they wish to participate, what friends to call in or if they wish the sponsoring organization to handle.

    Sue, Naomi, Nikki and Judy- Thank you for writing in. The acknowledgement is sooooo apreciated.

  7. Trisha- I apologize for not answering the last part of the question- that is an outside shower. Very lovely accoutrement for those who have pools, dogs or have a hobby like gardening.


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