Saturday, June 18, 2011

Contemporary and Naturalistic... Open Days Visit: The Garden Conservancy

The Garden Conservancy Open Days: Marin County

On a most unusual, rainy June day I visited a landscape designed by Studio Green: A 'Bay Friendly Certified Garden' designed with an awareness for water conservation, wildlife habitat, and the nurturing of healthy soil.

I found it enlightening to hear landscape architect John Merten talk about his approach to the project, and how he implemented the landscape design with a no-mow meadow, and native plantings that include Coyote Brush and Berkeley Sedge, California Fescue & Gray Rush (Baccharis pilularis, Carex tumulicola, Festuca californica & Juncus patens).

Had the process not been explained to me, of how the terrain of the creek bank was stabilized and reconfigured, I would have assumed the expansive site was natural and untouched.

Majestic oak trees overlook the stunning contemporary architecture of the home's horizontal design. While on the Open Day, a natural stream gurgled and sputtered as visitors climbed along a path up the hilly terrain to a bocce court and picnic area with a beautiful view over the property. The contouring of the land added the element of rainwater runoff management.

The property's sinuous concrete and dirt trail appears natural, as well, blending into the land in an unobtrusive way.

Visit The Garden Conservancy web site to learn more about the Open Days Program
and the Open Days Directory: 2011 Guide to America's Gardens


  1. Hats off to you Alice, for braving the wild weather that day ! I on the other hand wimped out and spent the day watching my garden get beat down from inside the house. However, I will drive to Wa next week for Bainbridge Island open days...onward !

  2. ks,
    Bainbridge Island Open Days ... Wowsa! Fantastic gardens, one of my favorite places.
    I did want to see other Marin gardens, but between the rain and a nasty virus I picked up on the flight home from England, all I could do was go home after this one visit and take a nap!

  3. Dear Alice, Fascinating visit to the Garden Conservancy! I hope you are now fully recovered from your virus and the bad weather! P. x

  4. It is great that the landscape was considered when designing the house....seems so interesting.

  5. I have never heard of this before. Thanks for sharing the info.

  6. It would be fun living in a house that bridges a stream! I love the way the natural landscape is preserved and managed.