Clipped hedges - composed of evergreen boxwood, wax-leaf privet and rosemary - define the garden's elegant framework, and outline the decomposed gravel paths. A centrally placed fountain sets the tone for this oasis, where a sculpture of St. Jean holds sway.
Garden Plan - The Olin Partnership / At Chateau St. Jean winery in Kenwood (Sonoma County), the garden's formal layout draws inspiration from the Mediterranean-style villa, built in the 1920s: The landscape's graceful proportions and symmetry distinctively echoes traditional gardens of Italy and southern France. Cork oaks, fragrant lavender and ground-covering verbena braid together in the parking area's island beds, while the arched portals of a masonry wall beckon visitors to enter and experience beautifully framed views of the central parterre garden appearing beyond.
Italian stone pine, London plane and windmill palm trees provide order and structure in the central parterre and adjoining garden rooms. American arborvitae hug metal arches to establish transitions between spaces.
Decorative highlights include potted Citrus specimens, especially 'Dwarf Satsuma Mandarin.' The heady scents of 'Iceberg' roses and frothy 'Gourmet Popcorn' fill the air, while blue annuals, planted to evoke the alluring glaze of oil jars, harmonize with the pearly floral color.
Clytostoma callistegiodes - Photo © Alice Joyce
Many showy shrubs reach their peak bloom in summer: Hydrangea 'Lanarth White' and H. 'Mariesii Variegata' thrive in a shady haven beneath California sycamores.
The tasting room terrace offers a welcoming spot to relax, where head-turning orange trumpet vines scramble up pillars. In an inner courtyard, unusual perennials grow in pots, and a stunning red camellia many decades old grows with Fatsia japonica.
Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the gardens during open hours.