1 folder+ 15 35 mm. slides (photographs), 11 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Texas, Bexar County, San Antonio
Monte Vista Garden (San Antonio, Texas)
Located on two plus acres in a historic district which is both on the local and the National Register of Historic Places in San Antonio, Texas, Monte Vista Garden is in many respects a tribute to the past.The genteel Southern character home, with its graceful garden design, is in the neighborhood in which the current owners spent their childhoods. It was renewed in 1999 to echo and highlight the region, culture and personal tastes that influence the site.Through the use of terracing, low stone retaining walls, and concentrations of trees and plants in rectilinear beds, the area was divided into five gracious and well-defined rectangular gardens.
The front garden greets people with a variety of naturally occurring oak, laurel and elm trees of native species scattered throughout the large rectangular front lawn that is screened from the street by a wall of local limestone. Beds of redbud, nandina and liriope have been planted near the front entrance while large Italian jardinières planted with annuals stand on either side of the front door. On the home's east side is a screened veranda opening onto a long walkway bordered by groupings of plants massed together to create splashes of color and texture. A runnel that separates two of the gardens, begins at a gently splashing fountain at the back of the house then travels across Texas limestone the width of the garden to a rectangular pond. It expresses the precious, subtle qualities of water in the arid South Texas landscape and provides a welcome and peaceful respite from the sunny, hot climate. On the west side of the house loquat trees line the property and provide a shady intimate area containing a fountain constructed from an antique terracotta jar.
The long garden at the back of the house is a symmetrical grove of honey locusts as well as loquats and elephant ears. A limestone retaining wall creates a division between the gardens. An arbor has been constructed at the end of the Long garden providing a convenient place to park with a crushed Texas granite path leading to the house. A brick path leads from the Long garden to the pool garden completed in 2008. A bathhouse rehabilitated from an older limestone structure, greenhouse and working zone for garden prep and storage were added here along with a limestone-edged salt water swimming pool bordered by antique oil jars containing ferns, irises and agapanthus. Also added to the new pool garden was an adjacent terrace and rustic columned pergola.
The owners note that the garden is a work in progress and plan to further reduce turf in the future to support water conservation.
Persons associated with the garden include: R.L. White (former owner, 1916-1956), John Bitter (former owner, 1956-1999), Reed Hilderbrand Associates (landscape architects, 1999-present), Lake/Flato (main house renovation architect, 1999), Don B. McDonald (outbuildings renovation architect, 2000).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, flyer, and other information.