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The magical gardens of Casa Del Herrero

Yesterday I visited the cutting and vegetable gardens at Casa del Herrero in Montecito, nearby Santa Barbara, and it was a complete thrill to be on these grounds. These backyard gardens are not normally on the public tour and are modest, but full of life both with plants and evidence of the gardener’s handy work. The humble garden structures in these gardens are delicate, and I bet pretty easy to put together. Nothing compares to the honesty of handmade sometimes.

the cutting garden

the tepee structure in the garden

another great trellis, maybe for tomatoes

The Casa, as it’s nicknamed, is a classically designed Spanish Colonial Revival Estate by George Washington Smith built-in 1927 by the Steedman Family. The estate turned into a public museum in 1977 and remains one of the truly magical places in these parts. Along with the main house, the estate includes acres of gardens including those of cacti, fruit trees, flowers, wide lawns, and enough plant species to rival any botanical garden. I was completely inspired here by the intensity, breadth, and variety of the plants, and many ideas come home with me to my plot. Easily, a visit here could take a few hours. It would be time very well spent.

the main house, rear facade

cacti garden

the garden has Moorish influences

one of the fountains on the estate

The estate is open to the public through guided tours by appointment. Images by Allison Warren for Modern Plum and courtesy of  Casa Del Herrero.

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