A Jewel of a Setting for a Splendid House: Estate Garden by Kikuchi + Kankel

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You can start at what they call the “auto court,” a nice expanse leading to the front door of this elegant estate home — multi-colored manufactured cobble and concrete — but that’s only the beginning of this lavish California landscape, garden, and entertaining area brought to life by Kikuchi and Kankel Design Group. Move through the white gate (and stately white fencing) and you’ll have a visual feast: manicured lawn, carefully sculpted beds, terraced plantings, and even humble potted plants up the steps. In the crisp light of fall, a red maple holds pride of place, while other mature trees drop dappled shade over the walkway leading out from the deck toward the “play areas.”

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And those are worth the trip: at the end of a lighted walk — or, down the steps from one wing of the mansion — you’ll see a deep blue pool and spa edged in white and natural stone; on one side is a spacious pool house with plenty of changing area, while to its left is a stone mini-patio for leisurely sitting. Facing the pool house is a slatted white pergola with arbors and potted plants that thrive in the sunlight. Around one curve of the walk is a white gazebo, a shady spot to pause and reflect — just steps away from a full-size tennis court useful for a good workout. Walkways connect one outdoor “room” to another for effortless entertaining in this space big enough for a crowd. Fine details of natural stone, elegant shaped shrubbery, and well-trimmed lawns are a fitting setting for this “jewel” of a home — and beautiful in their own right.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).