United States of America, California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara
McKinley Garden (Santa Barbara, California)
Located in Santa Barbara, California, with views of both the Montecito Hills and the Pacific Ocean, McKinley Garden covers 2.2 acres of land. The property was bought by the current owners in 1988, and the garden and home were subsequently altered. The garden was changed from a tropical garden with banana and palm trees to an English-style garden complete with large grassy areas and high maintenance plantings. Over time, the English-style garden became unsustainable to maintain. Trips to France and interest in the French Provencal style became the impetus for the owners to transform their home into a Mediterranean villa-inspired house and garden between 2007 and 2012. Little remains from the English-style garden, aside from a sundial bearing the date 1661.
On-going droughts in Southern California caused the owners to replace much of the lawn with gravel. Gravel is not only drought-efficient but is also consistent with Mediterranean-style landscaping. The property has a pool on an upper level of the garden, which overlooks a lath house, tennis court, and climbing rose arbors. The garden consists of pathways, bridges, a gazebo, chicken coop, and pond. The pond is the central focus of the back garden with a bridge that was inspired by the bridge on painter Claude Monet's property in Giverny, France.
McKinley Garden includes a vegetable garden, an olive tree allee, and a rose garden. There are many types of fruit trees including oval and round Kumquat, Bearss and Kaffir Lime, and other edible plants, such as rosemary and pepper. There are other types of trees and many shrubs on the property. Garden ornamentation include large ceramic vases and a French wishing well.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mr. and Mrs. Hartley (former owner, to 1988); Sandra Devine (landscaper, 1992-1998); Mark Cline (contractor and landscaper, 2011-2012); Mario Hernandez (landscaper and head gardener, 2011- ); Sue McKinley (garden designer, 1988- ).
The folder includes worksheets, a planting list, and garden plans.