Garden update on the Monterey Colonial in Montecito!

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The gardens have  been worked on extensively for the past few  months!

Huge improvements!!!

Not too much has changed in the front;


Things are starting to bloom!


The real changes are on the side….


what was a shady mess where nothing much would grow


To a charming space!  Bricks (hand-made ones…that is key!!) are laid in sand…..not mortar….that is key also!

So elegant and slim lines between….and easily moved here and there!!!!  No mortar!!!  (then it becomes “hardscape”;  an anathema to me!)

This is so lovely!  They added the old brick steps…..and two stone benches.


Looking toward the pool.


They changed the terrace from terra cotta tile to brick;  added the steps and replaced the lawn on either side of the pool with brick.  (Old, hand-made brick much of which was elsewhere on the property!)


The lawn was too shaded to grow or thrive;  so this made a beautiful and comfortable poolside.


Another view.  I love it!!!!  Simple and elegant!


The hedge used to completely hide the pool ;  now  it is sheltered  and private;  but welcoming!


Boxwood and white roses surround the lawn.  Just planted!!!


The back terrace now has a path from the pool (the path used to “dead end”!)


This is the back terrace.


The eating area off the family room and kitchen.  The barbecue is cleverly disguised on the right!

( I spend my entire life disguising barbecues and televisions and screens!  Most men

love how they look!  EEEK!  I make sure they function well…….and then I disguise them!!)


What an improvement!


The view from the back terrace!

I will post the interior changes soon!  It is a process!

12 thoughts on “Garden update on the Monterey Colonial in Montecito!

  1. Cheryl

    Stunning! Can’t wait to see an update of the interior . Have a happy Mother’s Day!

  2. Rié|Portobello Design Blog

    Lovely serene backyard space; it’s the kind of outdoor space I would wonder around with a cup of coffee in the morning and listen to the birds! Looking forward to seeing the updated interiors! Have a lovely Mother’s and Grandmother’s Day! xx Rié

  3. Design Chic

    Isn’t updating the best – just love watching a space come to life! Your outdoor area is so beautiful and the perfect place for having morning coffee. Happy Friday and enjoy your Mother’s Day, Penelope!

  4. rose

    It is quite lovely, but the lawn concerns me. California is suffering such a drought. Don’t lawns require lots of watering? It seems to me there might have been a landscaping alternative when water is at such a premium. And some of us would love to see how to approach landscape design from this perspective of saving water.

    1. Penelope Bianchi

      I agree! I have had zero lawn for 18 years here! This is my daughter; she has three high school students……she has her own well…..(Oh I wish I had known the importance of that when they bought this house); and this is drought-tolerant lawn with a completely new irrigation system.

      Believe me. I am not a fan of lawn.

      See “Velvet and Linen” website… for grass that is low water usage….and no mowing!!! I have not had a lawn mower nor lawn in my life for 25 years! (remember; this is not my house! It is our daughter’s!!!)

      I am really proud of the things they have done to conserve water! And beautify and show what gravel and low maintenance and drought tolerant can do! I so appreciate your comment……and I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  5. Rose

    Thanks, Penny. I’m interested in finding out about this drought tolerant lawn merely out of curiosity. It seems you were way ahead of your time going with no lawn. You are a good role model for your neighbors! 🙂

  6. Adam Bianchi II

    Great post!!! What a beautiful house!

  7. debra @ 5th and state

    penelope what a lovely photo of you!!
    so agree; handmade bricks and sand, only please. oh to live in california, so mediterranean.
    may i vote for a post on hiding grills? my constant challenge with husbands. with your sensibility it would be fascinating to learn from you

    1. Penelope Bianchi

      I will do one! It is always a challenge!

  8. Jayne

    Very handsome! I can just imagine standing on the second floor balcony, flinging open the doors to survey all below!

  9. Taylor Greenwalt

    Penelope, I love how it looks..its gorgeous! I love your new blog..I need to up-date mine!

  10. Michele @ Portlandia Vintage

    Penny, I hope you will also feature local landscapes that are water wise and use native plants that are low-water. Every plant that I can see in this yard is very high water usage. These days most homeowners should be considering no grass lawns even if they are considered to be low-water. This drought is very serious in California and throughout the entire Western United States. It is the real thing.

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