What is a weed?
The Hess Collection Winery and Art Museum
View looking down on the courtyard from the visitor center.
The garden features a design by acclaimed landscape architect Peter Walker, with plantings by John Greenlee, noted expert in grass ecology.
"The Hess Collection Courtyard is designed as an integral part of our mountain landscape and a commitment to care for the land we farm. Our vineyards are rimmed by meadows and redwood forests, and although our garden aesthetic is wild and natural, it is well-tended to maintain the experience of a lushly undulating alpine meadow. Native and exotic grasses and ornamentals are chosen for variation in height and seasonal interest. Volunteer plants surprise us in Spring, seedheads are allowed to dry and drop their contents in Fall. Thus, the garden is allowed to propagate itself and actively evolve.
Because the Eastern-most boundary of the naturally occurring redwoods is here in the Mayacamas Mountains, we incorporated these trees with Western sword ferns to echo the nearby woods."
Plantings encourage beneficial insects, taking in native species of common yarrow, Western columbine, bush anemone, creeping ceanothus and blue beach aster.
To add further color, Mimulus 'Pumpkin,' Purdy's Foothill penstemon, Salvia cleavlandii & S. spathacea were selected, along with yellow-eyes grass and Zauschneria californica.
On a recent summer day I made my way to Napa wine country to revisit the artfully arranged, Modernist landscape at The Hess Collection Winery.
A rectilinear pool and wisteria-draped pergola wrap around the garden's central layout of pristine decomposed gravel pathways: Their angular, dynamic pattern extends an invitation to enjoy the spirited plantings where butterflies hover and dragonflies dart overhead.
The garden holds a special place in my memory, having first encountered it while researching the Winery Gardens chapter for West Coast Gardenwalks - before the pieces fell into place for my move from Chicago to California.
(The Hess Collection garden also features in Gardenwalks in California, INSIDERS' Guide, 2005.)
Milky bellflower / Campanula lactiflora
As the Hess Collection celebrates 20 years,
the courtyard setting has matured into a relaxing oasis.
Link to Andy Goldsworthy Installation:
at Hess Collection Winery