Sunday, March 9, 2014

Santa Barbara GWA Tour 5- Seaside Gardens~ Carpinteria ~What Love and Gardens have in common

Gardens and love have this in common. In the beginning, there is a basic concept of what is wanted, but only with patience (including trial and error) is there the possibility of creating something breathtaking. 

Because our wants evolve through experience- that something may not look anything like our original vision. 

We followed the direction the sheep pointed from the parking lot
Following  the curve of the ocean south towards Ventura lies  the incorporated town of Carpinteria. This would be our last stop before home. Rounding that last turn off the freeway, rain pounded the car's roof with jackhammer ferocity.

We were so thankful that on Super Bowl Sunday in the pouring rain, the gates were kept open for our merry band of writers. 

When the Spaniards explored this coastal town, they named it for the carpenter shop. The industrious Chumash tribe took advantage of local tar deposits, mixing with pine pitch to construct sea-worthy canoes. 

Gerry listens to Sam's accent- he was born not far from where she went to college in the UK
 Greeting us with cookies and hot beverages where an overhang gave us a shot of staying momentarily dry , Sam Mayberry explained how the retail area is surrounded by 12 demonstration gardens. Each vignette is designed to show what a little plant will look in maturity; how it will relate to the landscape as a whole. 

Umbrellas up, we fanned out across 3 walkable acres of shops, nooks and gardens. Ideas everywhere. 

A patchwork of succulents sleeping under lath. 

Books to educate and inspire (some of these authors I've met at GWA events- how cool is that!) 

A gift shop chock full of garden and garden-them accouterments.  A cricket for the hearth- stained glass stepping stones for outside- a carved stone own as at home with contemporary and craftsman settings. 

This is what Seaside Gardens is famous for. Breathtaking moments more commonly associated with arboretums and botanical gardens than retail nurseries.  The white blossom-laden bush in the foreground- meet Michelia doltstopa. An evergreen cousin to magnolias- to discover its fragrance alone was worth the trip. 

I loved this spot where visual texture in juxtaposed paving materials added interest to a simply planted pathway. 

If you have loved ones slow to understand the high-color potential of a low water landscape-  share these pictures- 

Hot pink dwarf euphorbia 

Cast metal salmon- time and temp artfully told.
Darkness was now descending faster than the rain. My notes and camera were tucked under my jacket for protection. We have a list- of wishes from Seaside and measurements from our garden.  We're planning to return north with an empty truck and full wallets.

I never knew my grandparents. My vision of  Eden was what I thought the garden of a grandmother I never knew  have been. The purpose of the vision- a grandmother's garden- this never changed, but how it is articulated is authentic to the people we grew to be, not of people only imagined. 

Until we meet again, Thank YOU for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful.  

 Lydia E Plunk


Oregon Sue said...

Nice. xo

OldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, my dear Lydia.....I love all these glorious pictures---the colors and the shapes...I am a true lover of Succulents and this was a real treat, in every way!

nikkipolani said...

It was a magical place. Even in the rain -- imagine what it looked like the day after! Well, I already know you and your beloved plan to return properly equipped for hauling things home.