Tuesday, May 14, 2013

O!-livenhain: Beautiful Gardens, Both Large And Small

                     Although this might appear to be the entrance to an Italian villa,

 with a centered pond surrounded on each side with a wall of Cypress trees,
and the home covered in Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila), it is not.

This is Olivenhain, a neighborhood on the eastern edge of coastal Encinitas, California, just north of San Diego. It is another community here I've heard of but never had a reason to visit until the Encinitas Garden Walk on April 20, 2013,

which featured this neighborhood. The name, Olivenhain, is German and means 'olive grove;' Germans settled in this area in the 1890s, according to Wikipedia. Homes in this rural community apparently have a minimal size lot and usually range from one half to five acres. There were more than a dozen gardens on this tour, and the estates were both large and small. But when it comes to beautiful gardens at least, size doesn't matter.

I love gardens of all sizes and on this tour, I found one large garden and one small that I absolutely adored and wanted to blog about. This first garden is sprawling and had several features to discover while strolling through, including this pool with a waterfall from an over-sized pot, a terraced garden, a small secret garden off one room of the house, a koi pond

and even a grotto--yes, a grotto--with waterfall.

Don't get me wrong, I loved all that; but sometimes the simplest design elements are the most pleasing to me.

There are beautiful views of the canyon and even some horses from the vantage point of this rustic chair. A nice spot for my morning cuppa Joe.

And just when I thought I saw all there is to see in this garden,
I stumbled into a most stunning rose collection.

'Honey Perfume'

'Living Easy'

It seemed as though every rose was a perfect specimen.

Another favorite garden of mine on this tour wasn't a large estate at all,
 but a much smaller property with a lovely pool and manicured borders on a lower level,

and the most charming side yard with outdoor fireplace and cushioned chairs under the shade of a pepper tree. There is an outside dining area here as well. The only thing missing in this picture is my favorite evening cocktail, a margarita on the rocks.

Because at the end of the day, I knew I fell in love at first sight with this cozy side yard and perhaps even with Fred, the resident dog, too. Cheers to Olivenhain!

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