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The Garden of Linda J. Grauer, 2014-2015

Former owner:
Miller, W.
Former owners:
Solari Family
Landscape architect:
Swan, Katsy
Woodside-Atherton Garden Club
Physical description:
1 folder+ 30 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, California, San Mateo, Atherton
The Garden of Linda J. Grauer (Atherton, California)
The native trees including coast Live oaks and 175-foot tall sequoias on this 2.9 acre property date back to the mid-19th century, planted in the area on the country estates of wealthy San Franciscans. This Tudor-style house was built in 1934 after the 420-acre Selby estate had been subdivided. These gardens were designed in consultation with Katsy Swan over a twelve year period beginning in 1992. Curving lines are evident throughout in the lawns, stone or gravel walkways, and flower borders. The only straight lines are found in the parterres that border the raised beds of the vegetable garden. Color in spring comes from vast plantings of bulbs as well as dogwoods, magnolias, strawberry tree, hydrangeas, viburnum and flowering cherries. Japanese maples add color in the fall. The color palette for the flowering trees, shrubs and perennials is predominantly white with pastels, which contrast with the dark green foliage of the oaks, redwoods, roses, rhododendrons, and camellias as well as with the bright green lawns. There is a patio near the house encircled by cedars and another patio near the tennis court bordered by rose standards. An elaborate garden bench copied from one seen in Nymanns Gardens in Sussex, England is shaded by tulip magnolias with creeping fig topiary reindeer nearby.
Cobblestone paving and wells around the coast oaks prevent soil build up and compaction around the roots of these antique trees. Nearby areas do not have the colorful flowering shrubs and trees found elsewhere on the property but are left unplanted and mulched with oak leaves, eliminating the need for watering that could damage the trees. The owners added a gatehouse, brick gazebo and dual purpose garden and pool house. They attached a greenhouse near the vegetable garden. A rectangular reflecting pool doubles as a lap pool and is the water feature on the property. The entire property is landscaped within a dark green perimeter fence designed by the owner; additional outbuildings include a garage, cottage, and storage building.
Persons associated with the garden include W. Miller (former owner); Kenneth Solari and family (former owners, -1988); Katsy Swan (landscape architect and garden designer, 1992-2004).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, maps, and additional information.
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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