In California, our architecture is young. We joined the Union in 1848 and since then have endured so many biblical calamities in the form of fires and earthquake that it’s a shock to find any building with a history that dates to 1850—much less a grand Spanish-style mansion with a pillared front porch and a terracotta tile roof, presiding over Sonoma County’s velvety green, rolling vineyards.
So you can understand how the hacienda at Scribe Winery sets the tone for the rest of the landscape. When landscape architects Alain Peauroi and David Godshall of Terremoto took on the job of creating new gardens to surround the grande dame that brothers Adam and Andrew Mariani purchased in 2007, they realized no ordinary garden would do.
The hacienda, rebuilt after an earthquake in 1906, had been abandoned for 20 years before the Mariani brothers bought the winery.
“How does one do ‘landscape architecture’ in a place where wild coast live oaks cascade down from the foothills and crash into grapevines?” wondered David Godshall. “How do you build a garden in a place where culture and wilderness physically touch?”
Here’s the answer to those questions.
Photography courtesy of Terremoto, except where noted.
“We planted a wild garden that will be a place where landscape ecologies meet,” Godshall says. “Coast live oaks are confronted by palms, artichokes run wild, native buckwheat will stumble into twining white roses, and dune grasses will sweep into the edible garden.”
“There is beauty and meaning in the provocative moments when horticultural worlds collide, and so that, in a nutshell, is what this landscape project is about,” says Godshall.
Scribe’s dreamscape of low-water plantings sacrifices nothing to sustainability. If you’re designing an environmentally friendly landscape, find design tips in our curated Garden 101 guides and inspiration from more of our favorite gardens: