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Where Art & Plants CollideSubmitted By: SDLA

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

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About This Landscape

Where Art & Plants Collide

Thursday August 5, 2010

Landscape Architects & Garden Designers: Suding Design Landscape Architects - Santa Barbara, CA

Stone & Masonry Contractors: Morse Stone & Masonry - Summerland, CA

Landscape Contractors: Verduzco Landscaping - Santa Barbara, CA

However ironic, modern Santa Barbarans reaped countless benefits from a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck in the early morning hours of June 28, 1925. 

With the majority of commercial structures heavily damaged or collapsed in the downtown core, a visionary Board of Architectural Review created a set of stringent standards that would aptly guide new construction from that point forward.  Taking cues from some promient Spanish and Mission Revival architecture, the urban landscape began to rapidly morph into a harmonius blend of architecture and garden that Santa Barbarans continue to enjoy today.

Edward Cella, an art collector and gallery owner, and Danny Scott, an avid plant enthusiast and rare plant collector, are two such Santa Barbarans.  In early 2006, they set their eyes on a derelict 70's ranch style home as the unlikely candidate for a complete residential and landscape remodel.

Guided by the aesthetic eye and extensive plant knowledge of the home owners, Suding Design Landscape Architects and Michael Patrick Porter Architect were selected to re-imagine the site and structure.  Their collective goal was to design a Spanish-style residence that would be accented by a landscape that was part sculpture garden and part botanical wonderland.

The street-front landscape adeptly deals with grade change with a series of freestanding and retaining walls.  The organic assemblage of locally quarried sandstone that make up the walls adds a warmth to the landscape that is integral to grounding the structure, defines the boundary of the garden, and emphasizes the  entry of the garden on a fairly busy corner. 

To create a dialogue between the sandstone and refined finish of the home, the stone walls transition to plaster and are suggestive of the clean, contemporary lines of the homes interior. 

The eclectic selection of plant material, chosen mainly by Danny Scott, is a successful blend of succulents and cacti, emphasizing grays, silvers, and blues.  Large drifts of single plant specimens and a re-occuring use of Senecio mandraliscae, Blue Chalksticks, subtly createss cohesion on the site.  The low-water using plants are further highlighted by a custom water wall and runnel insprired by local materials and Moorish gardens.


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