Landscape designer’s book celebrates ‘Art of Outdoor Living’
For her first book, “Private Gardens of Santa Barbara” (Gibbs Smith, $50), landscape designer Margie Grace includes 18 gardens, including cozy beach bungalows, sprawling estates and seaside cottages.
What they all have in common is their perfect reflection of the book’s subtitle, “The Art of Outdoor Living.”
“It’s the Santa Barbara style. With our climate, we can live outdoors nine out of 10 days. We only have to use the house when it rains,” said Ms. Grace, founding principal of Grace Design Associates.
In the book’s introduction, she writes, “Each is a response to the unique character of the site, architecture and the larger environment adapted to fit the lifestyle, personality and practical needs of the people who live there.”
Along with the stunning photographs by Holly Lepere, Ms. Grace has lively information about the properties and the occupants, like “what things are they up to and how do they live.”
Her biggest challenge was choosing which gardens to feature in the handsome coffee table book.
“I’ve designed more than 350 gardens during my career of more than 40 years,” she told the News-Press. “It was hard to decide what to put in and what to leave out. I wanted a variety of sizes, styles and cost ranges.
“I wanted to inspire, to educate and to excite people about gardening so that they will say to themselves, ‘I can do this.’ “