Magical Eclectic California Estate by Zeterre Landscape Architecture

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Step through a custom imported gate from Bali, past dwarf red banana plants, and you’ll enter a magical place on this “eclectic estate” from Zeterre Landscape Architecture of California. “Eclectic” is actually an apt word: plantings here vary from the semi-tropical and tropical (note the bird of paradise!) to temperate-climate flora such as lilacs, lilies, and lupines. At the front of the stately home, greenery frames the house windows without blocking either light or view. But it’s the outdoors that’s the star here, a Japanese-flavored garden (note the sculpture and style of the gate and its ornaments) with a soothing ambience that starts with an inviting cobblestone path leading you through one outdoor “room” after another.

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Step off the cobblestones to a flagstone path into the woods — you’ll be tempted to leave bread crumbs as a trail! — edged by ground cover, ferns, and variegated ribbongrass. Pause in your amble across the lawn and sit awhile on the wrought-iron garden bench awash in hyacinth and phlox. Even the birds have a special spot here: note the stone birdbath on its pedestal, its shape echoed by a mini-“maze” below. Lush grasses cushion the area leading up to that gate — you can just see them swaying in a balmy breeze. And this garden is equally enjoyable whether by day or night: notice the lights placed along the path, aimed for dramatic up-lighting after dark even as they guide your steps. Eastern-influenced and unstuffy, this eclectic garden holds treasures galore in another clever treatment by Zeterre.

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