Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alice's Garden

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

Alice Keck Park donated this gorgeous property to the City Santa Barbara to be used as a public garden.
I remember it originally as the site of the El Mirasol Hotel where I attended several weddings many years ago.  The Park takes up an entire block from Michetorena to Santa Barbara Streets from Garden to Arrellaga Streets.



 the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens acts as landscape consultant for this beautiful park.


 Grant Castleberg, A.S.I.A. was selected to design the Park in 1976. Grant is a well known local Landscape Architect who also designed the City's gorgeous Shoreline Park.

Alice's Garden offers many nooks and crannies, including this lovely display of water lillies. Alice "intended for her garden to be a place for ordinary people  to take a nature-break for the soul, a brown bag picnic lunch, or a few moments of solitude."*

 "This enchanting garden has no playgrounds, no athletic fields, and none of the busyness of most city parks, yet year after year it is voted Santa Barbara's favorite".*


The landscape of Alice's Garden includes a Demonstration Garden for low-water using plants

There are wonderful pathways to explore the many secrets of Alice's Garden

Plants are labeled and there is a free 'take away' list on the property of over 250 species as a field guide for the casual visitor and a valuable tool for gardeners and horticulturalists 


A bench under a shade tree offers a respite from busy days...

a waterfall adds a magical element to the gardens bucolic pond...


The Pond filled with large Koi is an amazing magnet for birds, turtles, toddlers, and children of all ages...

Large tree specimens provide shelter for all....

can you just hear the frogs....?


Magical...


Lucky Ducks....!


The Garden offers a master plan along with a "take one" plant list and brochure outlining the many low water using plants which thrive at Alice's Garden.  Whenever we need to do some replanting in our garden...we take a walk in Alice's garden for inspiration.  Thank YOU Alice, Grant and the City of Santa Barbara for this Magical place!

By the way...many a birthday party, wedding and graduation photo op has taken place in this wonderful park.  Contact the City of Santa Barbara Parks Department for more information.

Alice's Garden, a gorgeous book written by Ann Castleberg, wife of the Landscape Architect, explores the Garden's History featuring Ralph Clevenger's magical photography of the Garden. Available at bookstores or http://www.sbbg.org/
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