Thursday, February 28, 2013

Romancing The Home: Garden, Courtyard And The Ocean In San Clemente, California

The key to a romantic home--in my book--often starts with a garden. 

Cup of Gold vine

Lush vines clamoring across the white stucco entrance to this Spanish inspired home is a case in point. A peek through the door

reveals a courtyard, originally featuring a reflecting pool in the middle when the home was built. I love courtyards--very romantic.

 As I walk through here, I imagine the outdoor dinners and cocktail parties I could host in a courtyard--

especially with an outdoor living room and fireplace.

And, of course, if a house ends with the Pacific ocean in its backyard then without a doubt--extremely romantic. 

So this is the Casa Romantica. 
 Built in 1927, this Spanish Colonial Revival home with white stucco walls and a red tile roof, sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean in San Clemente, California.  It was the Southern California home of Ole Hanson, founder of the city of San Clemente, and was designed by Carl Lindbom, who is also the architect of former President Richard M. Nixon's home, Casa Pacifica, also in San Clemente.

There are gorgeous views of the ocean rolling up on the beach, looking to the north, over a beautiful planting of this African Daisy hybrid. The silvery leaves and pink blooms of this drought tolerant plant look stunning here against the gray sand and blue ocean.

Looking to the south is a gorgeous view of the city's pier.

Lots of drought tolerant and native California plants fill the back gardens and hillside, including sages, salvias, manzanitas and euphorbias,

trailing rosemary,

Mountain lilac (ceanothus, above),
succulents, cacti and white Matilija Poppies that will bloom in early summer.

The strawberry tree (arbutus unedo) in front of the house was in bloom during my visit in mid-February.

Archways are a ubiquitous architectural feature on the house both outdoor

and indoor. Casa Romantica is on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for the public to tour and rent, naturally, for weddings.

Saying "I do" at the Casa Romantica--with the ocean as a backdrop--sounds like a piece of cake.

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