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....?


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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Favorite Santa Barbara IN TOWN Boutiques

Retail Therapy in Santa Barbara

Oooooh how we love to shop!  Property is very expensive in the Santa Barbara area... consequently so are the leases for retail stores.  It is therefore delightful to still find some local and charming boutiques!  Come shopping with me....!

1106 State Street

Named after the proprietress, Socorro.  This delightful boutique carries lovely Santa Barbara style fashion...typically for the more mature fashion conscious customer!  Located next to Anderson's Danish Bakery and Patisserie which offers a delightful stop for lunch or coffee and pastry before or after you visit Socorro's.

You will love Socorro's excellent taste in clothing, jewelry and accessories

Lewis and Clark
1116 State Street

Just like the name suggests...this shop is filled with trove of  treasures from all over the world...
including Santa Barbara.  Antiques, unusual books, jewelry, dishware, sterling, linens, giftware and more...I love this shop!

Renaissance Consignment
1118 State Street

fabulous collection of classic vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories including Channel, Louis Vuitton and all the designer delights of the present and past.  Plan to spend some time here! 

1231 State Street

another favorite boutique!  Natasha caters to the fashion conscious customer of all ages.  She and her staff are very customer friendly and helpful. A fun, upbeat stmosphere!  It is difficult to leave her fabulous shop without a terrific purchase!

Purrmission Lingerie
18 West Calle Laureles
(off the 3000 block of State Street-across CVS Pharmacy)

Proprietress Melody (aka Miss Kitty) carries the most scrumpitous lingerie you will ever own!

This truly elegant shop with its luxurious dressing rooms is a great stop for a "girls night out!"

Be sure to check the archives for some of my earlier posts of fabulous local vintage and antique shops!