Spring is Springing in Santa Barbara!

by Posted On

I posted the very beginning of Spring a while ago.  Some people say we have no “seasons” in Southern California!”

Yes we do!!  Spring is in full swing!!



We have a handsome new deer trophy!  (wrought iron)  in a proud position!

The house is fully cloaked with ivy!  (People ask me why I bothered to pick a color of the plaster!)

You can see the plaster in the winter;  all the leaves turn colors and fall off!

I found a wonderful “dovecote” from the estate of the wonderful artist, Jack Baker!  I’m hoping doves will make nests!

The arbors are covered with different roses!

This giant azalea is as old as I am!  There are pictures of me as a child next to it!  It is in a big pot!

These roses all came from the wonderful place “Rose Story Farm” in Carpinteria!  They only have old roses;  and roses that have fragrance!!

(I learned there  that you have to leave your nose smelling for a full ten seconds to get the fragrance!)

This is the stupendous  (I think!) view from the window by my husband’s desk in his office!!

“The maternity ward” has a hen with five chicks!

They are so fast!

Can you see the wisteria in the tree?

Our grandchildren’s clay art works are displayed on this table!  It’s their “Art Gallery”!

This is the “olive allee” with its focal point of an Anduze pot we bought in Provence!

and our lovely “faux bois” bench from my friend Janice who owns “Janus et Cie”!

 Our proud “trophy “!


at night….I learned from Tara Dillard!!  Pretty to see in the windows!!!

Another angle!

The roosters are so happy to have their tails back!

I love the damp and mossy stuff on the pots!  and the other rooster!  (I AM SO SO lucky to inherit pots !!)

Tara says to buy pots and garden accessories that people will “fight over, at your estate sale!”

A happy rooster!

We really do have Spring , Summer and fall in Santa Barbara!

The only thing we really don’t have is “Winter”!  I must admit!

I almost forgot!  Here are the “Spring slipcovers”  They go on the first day of Spring!!!

A lovely little bird took a tuft of our cat’s fur (I put it on the bushes when I brush her) and flew off to put it in her nest!

I’ll do another post  about the garden when it’s Summer!

And we have a mallard sitting on at least 8 eggs in the floating duck house!  I will show you right away when they hatch!!!


28 thoughts on “Spring is Springing in Santa Barbara!

  1. Lynn @thevintagenest

    I love it all. We have doves and I wish with all my might that I might find an old dovecote like yours. wish wish 🙂

  2. Tara Dillard

    Felt like I was looking into Howard’s End, where you’ve hung the new antlers.

    Is the ancient azalea a ‘George Tabor’?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    1. penelopebi

      Thank you, Tara!!!
      I’m thrilled you like the deer!
      I have no idea about the azalea???? It is 60 years old! How would I find out?

  3. Victoria Athens

    Everything looks so beautiful in your garden right now. I am going to try to grow some roses in my garden this year, but here in SW Florida they are not very vigorous. Cannot wait to see the mallard’s babies.

  4. Kathy Avakian

    Penny, your property is a beautiful slice of heaven!! Its always so rejuvenating to walk the grounds and to see your ducks who are probably going to be proud parents any day now! I can’t believe they managed to get the kids from last season to go find their own ponds!!

  5. Tracey Jackson


  6. Heather in Arles

    Such joy, Penelope. Merci beaucoup, it is infectious!!!

  7. Kathy

    Thank you for the lovely tour of springtime in Santa Barbara. I miss southern California so much, especially this time of year. I used to tell people that you could smell spring in the air. I could always feel the change of seasons and they were lovely.

  8. pgt "little augury"

    So SO pretty & full of magic, mood & mystery while the doggies sleep on-pgt

    1. penelopebi

      Oh thank you so much……PGT! The doggies are allowed on everything! and all 7 grandchildren! That is the joy of life!
      I really cannot tell you how much I loved meeting you!

      So glad you enjoyed this! Come to California again soon!!!

  9. penelopebi

    via email:

    Penny, it’s SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    Actually, any season!
    I forwarded these to Mary in NYC again! She loves your garden and, of course, the house too!!
    I’d love for you to meet her and she’d love to meet YOU!

    Incidentally, the ivy cloaking your house, I believe, is Virginia Creeper. It looks like what we had when I was a kid. I know it loses leaves in winter and ivy doesn’t.
    These Pictures go into my PHOTOS section. It’s my ideal garden!!
    & to Adam!!

  10. penelopebi

    I was always told it was Virginia Creeper……and I am no botanist!! (of that you can be sure)
    Recently; I have been told “Boston Ivy” is the right description!

    Maybe the “Civil war” had to do with it!

    My Grandmother was a “Daughter of the Confederacy!!!” Shall I show up and join?


  11. Greet

    Your house and your garden are just wonderful!! I love that long table with the beautiful French iron chairs around! What a gorgeous place to sit! Everything around is so beautiful!
    I love your house interior too!! So very charming!!
    Your house would be a perfect place to take movie shoots!
    Happy new week!

    1. penelopebi

      Greet! Thank you so much! Brooke and Steve have told me about visiting you and how lovely your heavenly place is!

      My granddaughter; and my mother have both told me their favorite city in the world is Bruges……in Belgium, of course!

      Thank you so much for your compliments! I hope to visit your country soon!!!!

  12. velvet and linen

    Your garden is in full bloom!

    Patina Farm needs to be covered in Virginia Creeper! It’s so romantic.
    I have no doubt that your dovecote will be filled with chirping babies as soon as the doves find it. Your property is animal paradise. They all flock to you.



  13. Bettina

    Dear Penelope, thank you for sharing these impressions about spring time from the beautiful places where you live… no worth living without notice these details. An azalea growing up with your life… so full of love, and poetry. As you are, always.

  14. Karen

    As a SoCal gal I agree! The only season we miss is winter. I love your house, inside and out and your grounds always reflect the beauty of any season. The iron trophy is wonderful. Thanks for the tour. Love the dogs on the chairs!

  15. Jennings & Gates

    Penelope, Absolutely Glorious! Thank you so much for the tour. Just what I needed today! Happy Monday! N.G.

  16. Sandra Jonas

    Penny, absolutely gorgeous!! Love the deer head and the gardens…are beyond description…. so beautiful!

    Tara is right about quality accessories for the garden, If they are not fabulous, they are not worthy of a space. No worries with you, however, your taste is flawless.


  17. home before dark

    So glad for the update on “chick lit”! Spring has, indeed, sprung. Strangely all at once. Love the new addition of the deer. Can already see him decorated for Christmas! Hope all goes well with all that life popping up all over! I think your climate is the most perfect in America.

  18. Thoughts on Design

    What a glorious riot of color and texture! So rich and warm and friendly and welcoming! Sally and I picture ourselves sitting at your long wood table having a nice chat with you over a glass of wine! (We’d probably se the sun come up…)


    1. penelopebi

      I wish you could! We are coming to your neck of the woods September 17th! for a week! I hope you will be there!

  19. penelopebi

    via email:

    BEAUTIFUL ….. makes me want to come visit NOW.
    Having 3 of the 4 seasons and missing out on winter isn’t a bad deal AT ALL!
    Where did the deer trophy come from?
    Your roses look MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!! I remember and love the farm in Carp …… you took me there …
    Love, Alessandra

    (my stepdaughter in Marblehead Mass.!

  20. Karena

    Penelope, your home and gardens remind me of an enchanted home in a fairy tale. I love it all. You find the most wonderful pieces to add such interest to your plantings and home.

    Art by Karena

  21. Southern Sassie Girls

    I do love the look looking from the outside in, makes it look intriguing, great idea. Actually, everything looks very intriguing, thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to see your summer view.

    Cindy Sue

  22. Tara Dillard

    Of course I’ll speak!

    Let’s talk this weekend.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    Discovered KellyHarmonDesigns.com this morning. I’m slow to the party sometimes!

  23. home before dark

    Just following back to say how much I enjoyed your comments on Tara’s blog about the “poverty cycle.” When I decided my hillside garden was too precarious for my dotage, my neighbor across the street took all of my plants and replanted them in his back garden. When I excavated the clay soil to put in stone walls and terraces, he took all of my crud soil and he used it to build up a pond area. We both are happy and nothing went to the land fill.

  24. Pamela

    And the fragrance!
    Don’t you just love the fragrance?

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