If you have not read LA cruising…terrific terraces please take a quick look at it to get details about this Los Angeles garden tour. I’m recapping these fabulous residential gardens one at a time–each one is deserving of its own post!
THE RHEINSTEIN GARDEN IN HANCOCK PARK
The garden rooms of this beautiful traditional Georgian red brick home were designed by LA garden designer Judy M. Horton. Both the home and its serene, predominantly green and white palette are reminiscent of many homes in the historic Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.
We entered the back gardens via the long driveway to the left of the front door. A wide sidewalk offers approach for visitors from the street side and they are welcomed by a pair of clipped boxwoods in beautiful traditional greenish-black planters. An almost hidden herringbone pattern brick walk is adjacent to the driveway, its opening marked by an identical pair of stately square planters bearing twin trimmed boxwoods. This walkway is shielded from street view by a tightly clipped boxwood hedge.
A Southern magnolia is loosely espaliered on the driveway end of the house–a feature very commonly seen in Atlanta landscapes. Note the working shutters on this historic home, sized and hung correctly to actually be closed and latched over each window if desired.
The view as the shaded driveway opens into the first of several garden rooms was beautifully calm and peaceful as well as welcoming.
Looking back toward the driveway reveals the true perspective of the hedge of Podocarpus gracillior which delineates the property line. Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’ rambles and scrambles the brick wall.
There are multiple varieties of climbing roses in this garden–virtually all are either white or white tinged with pale pink. While the designer provided visitors with a plant list including the rose identities most were too high up the walls for me to tell one from the other. This home had exquisite exterior woodwork and wonderful attention to detail and repetition of classic elements.
I loved this beautifully furnished porch complete with comfy sofas, a rocker and a small table with a pair of chairs. The interesting garden art piece on the wall merited a close-up photo–I have often seen old garden tools used in this way but never the entire grouping then painted out and antiqued. Its style fit perfectly with this classically clipped and planted garden room. Note that the porch ceiling is painted a pale blue which Southerners universally refer to as ‘haint blue’, believed to keep bad spirits at bay.
Yet another pale climber headed up the brick wall to the second story. These roses were magical. Even my husband who has an irrational phobia about plant material attached to any permanent surface of our home, admired them. Clusters of pots contained clipped globe boxwoods of various sizes.
On the porch steps, these massed pots of salmony hued Pelargonium stellata played off the brick work at their feet.
Looking across the geometric lawn from the porch is a petite lawn level pool with a quiet bubbler. You can see the opening to what the homeowners call the Tree Room.
Home to a huge Chinese elm, this room’s wall are formed by a Ligustrum texanum japonica (privet) hedge and its gravel floor a perfect spot for more pots with specimen plants interesting to the homeowners.
Today’s blue sky and puffy white clouds are almost art through the airy canopy of the elm.
A robust Acanthus mollis stands as a sentry to the room’s entry–possibly the best looking specimen of this plant I have ever seen.
This Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ (purple pineapple lily) stood out as a spot of color surrounded by cool greens.
Looking almost like a chessboard whose pieces were in motion, this veritable bevy of trimmed and shaped shrubs is a crossroads between the Pool Garden and the Secret Garden. Which way to go?
We chose the Pool Garden, all but hidden from sight behind beautiful painted lattice fences fronted by greenery. Much of the home’s trim and all the exterior fencework is a color at first glance appearing to be black but actually I think what we called Charleston Green in the south–a green so dark that it appears black in some light. Geometric clipped low boxwood add symmetry to a not so symmetrical entry. You can see the facade and roofline of a to die for family living area which also houses a bath for the use of pool goers.
The long rectangular pool is surrounded by bluestone paving, The back of the property has another very tall podocarpus hedge at whose base sit several lovely traditional English garden benches.
At the far end of the pool a piece of statuary depicting a young man standing on his head seems almost to act as a trunk for the ‘Gold Nugget’ loquat tree. This tree, however desirable for the fruit, was the first element of this exquisite garden which gave me pause. Sited almost overhanging the pool, its crop was mostly on the bottom of the pool!
A pineapple guava tree near the loquat was bursting with colorful blooms.
These great looking chaises lounges are the envy of any pool owner–including me.
Looking back over the pool’s leafy walls I caught sight of this retracted wide awning on the home’s upstair’s patio area–fashioned from the same fabric as the pool chaise cushions.
The well-appointed family living area was accessible to the pool through two sets of french doors and was open for us to walk through. The family had requested no photos taken to include this area but you will be able to see the back of the building from our next stop, the Secret Garden.
A ‘Black Mission’ fig is espaliered on the outside lattice of the porch and provides a leafy lane to the Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden is a courtyard created by the main house, the side of the living area off the pool (the back of which is seen here), and the property’s fence line. If you were to enter this door you would be in a tiny kitchen equipped for flower arranging and potting up indoor plants which is located directly behind the living area which opens to the pool. I suspect this building to have originally a guest house or possibly servant’s quarters.
Several kinds of germander are clipped as low hedges in the parterre style garden. The beds overflow casually with perennials, annuals and bulbs, plus a few veggies.
The frame of an old Turkish tent is covered seasonally in annual vines. Everywhere in this cheerful space you see the continuation of brick paths as flooring and simple clay pots as are used elsewhere in the garden rooms. The tall backdrop is the property line with the next home. Then sense of enclosure throughout this garden is amazing. The extremely tall screening hedges on three sides block out the view of any surrounding homes or structures and you feel as if you are out in the country rather than in downtown Los Angeles.
My Secret Garden favorite were the abundant clumps of Nicotiana sylvestris, an old fashioned annual known as flowering tobacco.
We ended our visit to this amazing garden out the small side yard where the homeowner had tucked in a variety of red clay pots, breaking up the very tall expanse of leafy wall.
This home and garden were classically beautiful and exceedingly welcoming to the eye. It must be a delight to spend time, both quiet and active, within the serenity of the garden’s high green walls, rocking on the porch or enjoying a tall, cool drink with friends. I would live here in a heartbeat–the only caveat would be the need for a full-time gardener to assist in its maintenance. The garden’s feel is casual and relaxed, not fussy or buttoned-up but I imagine the hedge trimming alone to be a career, not to mention all the shaped potted boxwoods and roses requiring ladders to tend to them. My sun hat is off to both the designer of this garden of delights and to those who keep it looking as if it takes care of itself.
One of the bonuses of tours with gardens in close proximity is strolling from one to the next and seeing what other beautiful homes and gardens are on the way…this lovely Spanish influenced home was just across the street and its very wide parking strip was bursting with succulents and color.
THE DAVIS GARDEN IN HANCOCK PARK