Gardens of Eden

Posted online: June 2015

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By Gina Z. Terlinden  Photographs by Lisa Romerein

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LAS TEJAS This 26-acre fabled Montecito estate—a veritable horticultural treasure—evokes the 16th-century Italian Villa Caprarola with its nearly century-old boxwood hedges centered by agaves (a nod to Santa Barbara flora) set in planters around a reflecting pool. ABOVE: A study of symmetry, the triple-arched veranda of this Renaissance-style estate dating back to 1917 overlooks cascading terraces, pools, and vibrant lawns that lead down to a lotus pond with its own triple-arched pavilion.

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IL BROLINO Planted by influential landscape designer Florence Yoch, a topiary garden of eugenia and boxwood clipped into avian shapes punctuates the sandstone and gravel motorcourt that leads you to the historic 1923 George Washington Smith-designed Italianate villa—its name means “enclosed by hedges” in Italian—that includes features designed by pioneering female architect Lutah Maria Riggs.

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VILLA SALADINO Photographs by Luca Trovato. Designer John Saladino’s love of classical architectural elements, such as columns, come to play in many of his projects. This Roman column that dates to 50 BC pulls the eye out toward the western edge of the garden, for which Saladino handselected each plant for its hue. OPPOSITE: Eighteenth-century Spanish gates topped by Venetian statues of Moses and St. Jerome greet visitors to Saladino’s 12-acre estate, built in 1930.

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SOLANA Perched on more than 12 hilltop acres, a statue of Winged Victory sits in front of a panorama that takes the eye from Montecito to Santa Barbara. This Classical Roman villa was designed by architect Francis Underhill and built in 1915. To mirror the grandeur of the home, formal plantings share the expansive gardens with 7,000 original eucalyptus trees, 200 fruit trees, a cutting garden planted with 500 rose bushes, a lily pond, allée of palm trees, and more.

[SUMMER 2015]

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