Set within one of the oldest Zinfandel vineyards in California, the St Helena residence floats above the surrounding vines, extending the landscape into the house and pulling life out into the garden. An olive-tree lined gravel driveway frames the entrance to the St Helena property, and culminates in the oak-lined property edge, where an existing heritage oak anchors the property. This oak orients the site, marking the central axis of the house, pool and—through the vineyard— the barn. Ancient olive trees, salvaged from a no longer viable orchard are integrated into the barn landscape, tying into the reclaimed wood of the barn siding and framing the entrances to the building. Exuberant perennial plantings frame the oak and provide seasonal interest—Nepeta flowers and Little Bunny grasses bloom in early spring followed by a flurry of summer color from Agastache, Perovskia, Lavender and Gaura.
Framing the teak porch at the entrance to the house, the Moon Garden is comprised of a series of white blooms that reflect the light of the moon and create a serene respite during the day. White Digitalis spires weave through Gardenias and Ranunculus, with light groupings of White lavender and Geyser White Gaura providing a backdrop to seasonal blooms like Anenomes and Roses.
Moving through the house, windows frame the foreground of perennial plantings and pull the eye out to the greater vineyard and the hills beyond. At the pool patio, a Valley oak anchors the patio and is accented by smaller scale Chitalpa trees that emerge from the teak deck and stone patio. Set within the patio is a smaller garden, filled with fragrant citrus and mint. The pool edge is softened by a larger perennial garden that bleeds into the vineyard and brings butterflies and hummingbirds to the edge of the pool.
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Field Architects, Dexter Estate Landscapes, Shawback Design
Photo Credit: Marion Brenner
Project location: St. Helena, CA
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2017