Garden of Earthly Delights

Posted online: March 2017

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By Amelia Fleetwood Photographs by Nancy Neil

Channon and Bianca Roe—that bohemian, trendsetting couple—have put down roots in Ojai with their family and lifestyle boutique, In The Field. Known for their lively entertaining, the couple enticed many of their far-flung friends (including designer Paul Fortune and his husband, Chris Brock; Walton Goggins and Nadia Cnners; Jason Segel and Alexis Mixter) and other artists, directors, writers, and talented locals to join in the celebration of Bianca’s 40th birthday.

For the occasion, they chose a secluded location—hotelier Eric Goode’s private residence with its rambling gardens and Spanish-style hacienda surrounded by established orange and avocado trees. Landscape architect and Ojai local (by way of South Africa) Laurence Nicklin designed the lush grounds, using shade-loving plants such as ferns and philodendrons for the east side of the house, while the rest of the garden is alight with a selection of more drought-tolerant plants: succulents, birds of paradise, jade trees, Australian rosemary, Mexican marigold, Jerusalem sage, golden breath of heaven, and sago palm.

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“Given our love of Morocco, we wanted a menu with a Mediterranean flair,” says Bianca. “All the ingredients were gathered from the Ojai farmers market and from small farms in the area.”

The sit-down dinner for 60 took place on the rock patio, where the Roes created a beautiful, long, narrow tablescape with stemware from Otis + Pearl Vintage Rentals and dinnerware by Ojai’s own Bernscott Pottery. Large centerpieces of a variety ofdahlias, eucalyptus, zinnias, artemisia, pampas plume, amaranth, and ornamental millet by florist and grower MacKenzie Curtis of TopaFlora were held in vases from Churchill Ceramics. Santa Barbara’s Potek Winery provided the remarkable wines.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 1.02.44 PM“Given our love of Morocco, we wanted a menu with a Mediterranean flair,” says Bianca. “All the ingredients were gathered from the Ojai farmers market and from small farms in the area.” The mouth-watering, three-coursefeast was prepared by chef Robin Goldstein, author of the cookbook A Taste of Ojai: A Collection of Small Plates and her upcoming A Taste of Santa Barbara: Crafting A Meal.


Attention had been paid to the seating arrangements, ensuring each guest had the opportunity to meet someone new when dinner was served, as well as a chance to catch up with an old friend. Bianca says: “It was so important to me to ring in 40 surrounded by the people I love and have the opportunity to pay homage to a favorite phase of my life, right here and now, in Ojai.”

[HOME & GARDEN 2017]

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