Wednesday, May 21, 2014

South Pasadena is Beautiful ~ Part III ~ A Hillside Family Garden

 Welcome to Southern California. The day this picture was taken, half the country was shoveling snow.  Here: we were touring gardens and taking pictures to send to our relatives in upper latitudes. 

Surrounding the mid-century traditional home built in 1948 on the crest of of a .34 acre lot, Stella Binns, proprietress of Barristers Nursery  conjured up a soft landscape palette of muted greens and purples. Accents of contrasting bursts of precocious California poppies and roses dressed in pastels provide visual oomph. 

Nearly to the summit, a bit of a flagstone landing juts through the sea of plantings, providing a place for garden tourists to  safely dock. If I had clippers, I might have (with the owner's permission) fished for flowers to fill a vase. 

The Marengo area of South Pasadena is noted for mature trees 
I caught my breath, admiring the picturesque hillside garden of Jenny Hertz- Newman and Brian Newman.  A few more steps up the steep incline, and I would be behind the main garden gate. 

A rule of all design: practical items should be equally useful
When there are small children living on a hillside, a strong gate which can be locked closed is a safety must.  

Cross-fencing a playard  close to the house makes this an outdoor playroom. 

Strolling past from the house,  the playful lightness of the front gives way to tell a slightly different story. One where darker, richer colors encrust a forested garden, appearing as if fine gemstones  surrounding a giant Mother Nature's eternity ring. 

Ferns, low hedges and a fountain add definition

Paths of decomposed granite meander to where the real magic begins.  Under the shade of an old oak. 

 Can't you hear the laughter of little children, their imagination soaring on the arc of a disk swing? If you have a big tree- there are no excuses not to have one now. The are everywhere. Even Walmart  carries a similar model.  Check the weight limit- I've seen some which are rated to carry up to 250 lbs- even us bigger kids can come out to play):- 

Both red and lime green outdoor furnishings are hot fashion trends 

When setting up a child's area- don't forget your own adult comfort.  Placing the lime and red seating at the back corner, the parents elevates the the enjoyment of supervising children at play.  

One of the best features of the garden may be how it demonstrates that moderate water needs does not have to mute an aura of lush retreat.Once established, roses and begonias are more drought resistant than most people imagine.  How the giant flax punctuate the boundaries- simply masterful.  

Farewell, fine garden. We hate to leave. But there are more gardens to see. 

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


  1. That is really a beautiful home and garden. Good pictures. xo

  2. Lovely pictures Lydia as usual. Your descriptions are fun. I have never seen a disc swing so learn something new.
    I always enjoy seeing homes and gardens where small children live. Seems to make it real. Guess it's the mom and grandma in me! :)

    XO Trisha

  3. Naomi Caryl wrote in- and I hit the wrong button- so here it is copied from the email the computer no longer wants to post

    'This is so very Beautiful, yet simple and "real".....and Comfortable...I love a Garden that looks like people actually live there.'

  4. Quite quite beautiful, Lydia. I do love the bigger plants suitable to the bigger scale of the garden. Well-proportioned for people and plants and children.


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