The Brittingham family--Poppy, 12, with Tallulah, Tommy, 8, Scott, and Ella holding Digby--loves entertaining and spending time together in their Montecito garden overlooking the Channel Islands and coastal plain.
Scott and Ella were drawn to their 1930s-style Californian home because it reminded them of their grandparents' homes.
Roses, miniature roses, and Peruvian lilies fill pots beneath the lion-head plaque.
As in the original garden, potted lemon trees define the four corners of the lawn.
An example of the old-fashioned roses that Ella loves.
Steps to nowhere but the view: Landscape designer Margie Grace made the most of these original garden remnants by topping them with gnarled, century-old junipers.
A sturdy agapanthus is pretty as well enduring.
Flowering maple (Abutilon) was chosen by landscape designer Margie Grace because the profuse bloomer "plays well with the other old-timey flowers in the garden."
Topiary--a form of living sculpture--acts here as an exclamation point, announcing, "Behold the spectacular view!"
Statuesque acanthus stands out with its height, deep color, and complex texture.
With fluttery blossoms, intense colors, and heady perfume, romantic sweet peas evoke an earlier age.
Wide, imposing walkways were handy in the garden's heyday, because its owner often hosted large political gatherings on the grounds.
"In the back, the garden is a little devil-may-care," Margie Grace says. "Inside boxwood hedges are masses of cottagey roses."
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Romantic Garden for a Young Family
Topiaries, terraces, and arbors lend charm to this garden