United States of America, California, Los Angeles County, San Marino
Kully Garden (San Marino, California)
The garden and house were first designed in 1939 on a flat acre property in San Marino, a small suburb of Los Angeles 30 miles from the coast. The area has a Mediterranean-like climate that receives approximately 14 inches of rain per year, in the winter only. Original to the front is a large lawn with Viburnum suspensum hedges on each side. Past the driveway, original concrete blocks surround the courtyard, and continue around both sides of the house and the perimeter of the rear garden. The original rear garden was mostly lawn, edged by a narrow path, hedges of Viburnum suspensum and an assortment of trees, including three large Quercus agrifolia, the coast live oak most common to this area. Still in existence from 1939 are the mature Plantanus ramosa (California sycamore) at the courtyard entrance. The second owners, in the 1960s turned part of the back lawn into lathe houses for their camellia collection, replacing some of the Viburnum suspensum with camellia specimens, which still exist.
After the original owners sold the property in 1960, it was owned by a second family for nearly a decade before being sold a third time to the present owners in 1969. Since the present owners bought the property, the gardens have undergone multiple revisions by four landscape architects, including the notable Robert Fletcher, who worked intermittently with the owners between 1985-1995. In every revision to this estate's gardens, every effort was made to preserve and incorporate the very mature trees and shrubs which provide form, color and shade. While the estate has plantings in the front lawn and flanking the east and west sides of their home, the most impressive landscape features are in the rear of the property, particularly the borders surrounding the central lawn and the plantings along the 'Bouquet Canyon' stone path to the pool. In the 1970s landscape architect Chuck Hoffman designed the rear garden, emphasizing the desire for informal and naturalistic garden spaces for outdoor living around the French colonial-style house. He designed the swimming pool, two terraces, and created curving borders around the lawn, and added four Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip trees). In the 1980s landscape designer Robert Fletcher built on Hoffman's footprint, adding more distinctive plant material, installing six bullet-shaped Syzygium paniculatum to anchor the borders, and turned one terrace into a small stone patio after an addition to the house. Nurseryman Frank Burkard added Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax), roses and other shrubs in the 1990s.
Garden features at the entrance of the courtyard include an espalier Magnolia grandiflora, a four-part sculpture, "Kyoto Protocol" by Ray Meeker, which is surrounded by Ophiopogon (mondo grass), with an overhanging Olea europaea (olive) and Plantanus racemosa and a large collection of potted succulent varieties on the terrace selected by landscape architect John Caitlin in 1970 for their heat tolerance.
Persons associated with the property include: Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Schatzman (former owners, 1939-1960); Carla Barker Hind and William O. Hind (former owners; 1960-1969); H. Roy Kelley (architect, 1939); John Caitlin (landscape architect, 1970); Charles Hoffman (landscape architect, 1972); Robert M. Fletcher (landscape architect and photographer, 1985-1995); Frank Burkard (nurseryman, 1990); Mark Bartos (landscape architect, 1999); Peter Lodato (sculptor, 1991); Ray Meeker (ceramic artist, 2005).
The folders include photocopies of articles and other information.