United States of America, California, Santa Barbara, Montecito
Frog Hollow (Montecito, California)
This 2009 contemporary glass and steel house on a one-acre site was designed to blend into its southern California hillside location of chaparral and massive sandstone outcroppings, with plantings and hardscaping incorporating native materials. Garden areas include a kitchen and cutting garden sheltered by a sandstone boulder that was left in place, terraces for dining and entertaining, small courtyards inset between the walls of the many-sided house, and a lap pool terrace. Clipped hedges of boxwood, coastal rosemary and privet add green to the muted palette, along with native live oak trees and field grown olive trees that have irregular shapes. Other drought tolerant plants on the property include agave, spurge and pincushion protea, which add yellow to the mostly green outdoor palette. Initially an ecologically appropriate sedge lawn was installed but it was replaced by gravel in 2013. The hardscape is locally quarried sandstone and gravel on a sand base with planting pockets for ground covers such as silver carpet, the feathery texture mimicking the native plants of the chaparral. Patches of color are provided by native Douglas iris and sweet peas grown in the kitchen garden.
Persons associated with the garden include: Barton Myers (FAIA) (house architect, 2005-2009); Mark Rios (FASLA/FAIA) (landscape architect, 2006-present); Debbie Shaw (landscape contractor, 2005- ); Andy Newmann (guest house architect, 2003).