Lockwood de Forest in Buffalo car, c. 1933. Photo courtesy of Kellam de Forest




Please join the California Garden and Landscape History Society in Santa Barbara for our 2014 Conference. We will be celebrating Lockwood de Forest Jr. (1896-1949), an innovative and influential landscape architect, and his remarkable family—his wife and partner, Elizabeth Kellam de Forest (1898-1984), and his father, Lockwood de Forest II (1850-1932), a masterful landscape painter and decorator.

Plan to come early and explore Santa Barbara. Check our list of places to visit during the conference and Susan Chamberlin’s annotated conference reading list for more information.


The three-day conference will include:

Optional Tour of Two Spectacular Gardens: Lotusland and Casa del Herrero
REGISTER NOW Online registration is closed. To inquire about available space contact events@cglhs.org

Opening Reception at Sullivan Goss –
An American Gallery
: Frank Goss will introduce us to the life and work of artist Lockwood de Forest Sr.


Talks at Antioch University in downtown Santa Barbara

  • David Streatfield, Lockwood de Forest Jr.: In ardent pursuit of the “New”
  • Susan Chamberlin, Santa Barbara Before Lockwood de Forest Jr.
  • Sydney Baumgartner, Santa Barbara landscape architect and current owner of the Buffalo car, will introduce us to her Aunt Libby, Elizabeth de Forest
  • Douglas & Regula Campbell will acquaint us with the de Forest’s public work
  • Self-guided walking tour of downtown Santa Barbara with de Forest highlights


meadow santa barbara botanic garden
Tour of private gardens with lunch at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

  • De Forest Family Gardens on Todos Santos Lane
  • Lockwood and Elizabeth Kellam de Forest Garden
  • Kellam House & Garden
  • Garden surrounding the de Forest Guesthouse
  • Sydney Baumgartner’s Garden
  • My Garden Homestead
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Frog Hollow
  • Coyote House





12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Optional Tour of Two Spectacular Gardens:
Lotusland www.lotusland.org and Casa del Herrero casadelherrero.com
$60 per person
Step back in time to into the Golden Age of American Gardens (1895-1940) with Virginia Hayes, curator of Lotusland & Molly Barker, director of Casa del Herrero, who will help us understand what was in place on these estates when Lockwood de Forest came on the scene and what his contribution was to the landscape design of these two magnificent estates.

“When I look back on the golden age of Santa Barbara gardens…I see that…first came the into this area the horticultural importations, the wealth of new plants from countries of like climates—from the Middle East, from Mediterranean lands, from Australia and South Africa—and later came an appreciation of the garden plans of those countries and how they could be adapted to Santa Barbara surroundings.“ ~Elizabeth de Forest c1980

Images Above: Lotusland (left) and Casa del Herrero (right)

5:30 p.m. Opening Reception at Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery:
Frank Goss will introduce us to the life and work of artist Lockwood de Forest Sr.



Lockwood de Forest: In Ardent Pursuit of the New
Lockwood de Forest marched to a different drummer from the very beginning. A witty, charismatic man de Forest embraced many aspects of the modern world. He was acknowledged as a designer willing to accept any challenge. While his designs were progressive in spirit he was not an avant-garde modernist. This lecture will explore the character and origins of his ‘new’ solutions for the design of landscapes and small houses that were rooted in a sensitive understanding of Santa Barbara’s unusual physical landscape and the goal of meeting the needs of his clients.

David C. Streatfield Bio.:
Noted California garden historian, David Streatfield is Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. He was educated as an architect and landscape architect in England and studied landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught landscape architecture and urban design at several universities for almost 48 years. A founding member of CGLHS he has published widely on garden history in California and is the author of California Gardens: Creating A New Eden (1994).

Santa Barbara Before Lockwood de Forest Jr.
The landscape architect, Lockwood de Forest Jr., was a child when his parents began wintering in Santa Barbara, which at that time was in transition from a 19th-century Victorian town to the “American Mentone.” This reference to Menton, located on the French Riviera between Monaco and the Italian border, was found in articles, ads, and guidebooks because both towns were situated on a south-facing coast between mountains and a bay, and both enjoyed a mild, Mediterranean climate. The focus of this short talk will be on Santa Barbara’s cultural landscape before de Forest began to practice landscape architecture and some of the people who made the region so appealing as a place to escape the Eastern winters or to live year-round, including Charles Frederick Eaton and Ralph Stevens (de Forest’s first employer.)

Susan Chamberlin Bio.:
Landscape historian Susan Chamberlin has a landscape architect’s license (CA 2001) and an MA in architectural history from UC Santa Barbara. A founding member of CGLHS, she is a former adjunct faculty member of Santa Barbara City College, where she taught garden history. She has contributed to publications ranging from the book, Shaping the American Landscape, to journals such as Site Lines, Arts and Architecture, Eden, and Pacific Horticulture. She co-wrote the successful National Historic Landmark Nomination for the Casa del Herrero in Santa Barbara.

The author of a how-to book, Hedges, Screens & Espaliers (1981), and a cartoon, Gardening with Gertrude (1986-1989), Chamberlin has also been involved with numerous campaigns to save historic properties. She considers herself lucky to have experienced J.B. Jackson’s classes at UC Berkeley, Russ Beatty’s plant walks, a 1976 lecture by David Streatfield, the many insights of David Gebhard, and her grandfather’s Felton garden, which was redolent with the fragrance of redwood trees, Cecile Brunner roses, lavender, and rosemary.

Great Estates, Beautiful Gardens: Elizabeth de Forest and Me
Sydney Baumgartner, well known Santa Barbara landscape architect, will talk about the life and work of her close friend and mentor Elizabeth de Forest, her aunt by marriage. Using vintage glass lantern slides donated by the Garden Club of America to the Smithsonian Institute and Elizabeth’s own words from a talk she gave in 1982, Sydney will recreate for us the world of the de Forests and describe the evolution of Santa Barbara’s historic gardens. The hand-colored slides that illustrate this lecture are from the famous trip to Santa Barbara that the Garden Club of America made in 1926.

Sydney Baumgartner Bio.:
Sydney Baumgartner has been practicing landscape architecture in the Santa Barbara area for more than 30 years. She began her career as the protégé, niece-in-law, and friend of Elizabeth de Forest. Sydney worked with Elizabeth on the Mount Vernon grounds in Virginia, and many private gardens in Santa Barbara. Her firm was established in Santa Barbara in 1983. She has become an authority on Lockwood de Forest gardens and their restoration, including the Casa del Herrero. She has restored and created new gardens for the Covarrubias Adobe, the Solana Estate, several parts of the original Knapp Estate, and the Bacon Estate. She specializes in historic estate gardens in Montecito, San Francisco, Carmel, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, San Marino and Pasadena, as well as beach gardens, California ranches, and California/Mediterranean gardens.

Regula and Douglas Campbell Bio.:
Douglas A. Campbell ASLA and Regula F. Campbell AIA, husband and wife partners of Campbell & Campbell, are noted for their landmark works in the landscape as new and re-visioned engagements with nature. Their projects range in scale from private gardens to central civic places to cities and regions in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and China.

The Campbells’ work includes many iconic cultural and civic projects, notably the architecture and landscapes of Audubon Center and the gardens of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Central Library, Haskell Plaza at Western Washington University, and the Creative Planet Regenerative Centre Wroughton Campus for the National Museum of Science and Industry in London. Private projects include the regeneration of historic estate gardens from San Marino to Montecito. Their works of Public Art include collaborations with sculptors Newton Harrison and Alan Kaprow, painter Robert Irwin and United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. In addition, throughout their careers they have been engaged in research and teaching, and are the authors of numerous publications.

Their work has been placed by art critic Christopher Knight at the intersection of “poetry and civic purpose.” This work has ranged from public projects noted for design processes involving large numbers of participants, through collaborations with individual painters, sculptors and poets, and constituencies of cultural, academic and research institutions, faith communities and environmental organizations, and individuals. The results are recognized as works of healing and landscape art.

The Campbells’ current projects include design for the regeneration of Santa Barbara’s Central Library and Art Museum’s Plazas and Paseos and the design of the Hollywood Central Park in Hollywood, California.

Douglas Campbell is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of California at Berkeley.

Regula, a graduate of Scripps College and UCLA, has the good fortune to have been raised in Santa Barbara, where she and Doug were married, and where they in turn have raised their sons Xander and Will. Regula has the added good fortune of having grown up on the Santa Barbara Riviera, in a garden designed by Lockwood de Forest.

TOWN-CLUB6pm for 7pm Dinner
The Little Town Club | 27 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara
$110 per person
Please join us for a private dinner on Saturday night at The Little Town Club in downtown Santa Barbara. This women’s club has been the gathering place for “women with similar tastes and backgrounds” since its founding one hundred years ago. Originally planned for its members as a convenient location to meet for lunch, check shopping parcels, pick up or leave messages, or bring children in case they had appointments, it also provided rooms in which members could play cards, read or write.

Our special evening will begin with a wine reception during which you may wander through all the rooms of this Spanish-Colonial masterpiece, redesigned in 1923 by the renowned architect, George Washington Smith. A fabulous autumnal feast in the club’s exquisitely appointed dining room will follow.

Ladies, Cocktail Attire | Gentlemen, Coat & Tie



How appropriate that this year’s CGLHS garden tour takes place during one of California’s most severe multi-year droughts! Our honoree, Lockwood de Forest, would not have been surprised by the drought. In fact, he might have expected it. As expressed by our keynote speaker, David Streatfield, “Subtle, almost painterly references to historical styles, the use of drought-tolerant plants, and a concern for water conservation were the hallmarks of Lockwood de Forest’s memorable design.” California Gardens: Creating a New Eden. pp. 275-76

He was clearly ahead of his time. The gardens we visit will demonstrate his vision and his thoughtfulness…incorporating and integrating native plants and landscapes into personal gardens.

His influence, impact and inspiration is his continuing legacy in garden design in southern California and beyond. For many it was not “in your face” but more subtle because it embraced the incorporation of the native landscape and plants, not popular at the time, and encouraged the inclusion of views from inside homes and the “borrowing” of adjacent landscape.

One of the designers of a home on the tour admitted that although she hadn’t studied landscape architecture or garden history she was shocked to discover how identical her thoughts have been to his…that she felt she had actually walked in his footsteps. Others were pleased to think he would have loved the homes and gardens they built which melded into their hillsides. Now is the time for you decide what you think.

These three properties are united by the driveway Lockwood de Forest originally laid out from Todos Santos Lane. It defines the separation between the property owned by his in-laws, the Kellams, and the property given to him by them.

The driveway is planted with his signature grey olive trees and a hedge of grey pineapple guava (Feijoa or Acca sellowiana.) This long, curving driveway ends at the de Forest house’s motor court and original garage (converted to a studio by a subsequent owner. Another owner built a garage in what had been a play area for the children.)


(Left) Meridith Brooks Abbott (1938 – ) Painting of Fish in Pond; (Right) Lockwood de Forest Jr. watercolor of house and garden plan. Photos: Courtesy of Sydney Baumgartner.


Lockwood and Elizabeth Kellam de Forest Garden
Date: c. 1926
When Lockwood and Elizabeth were married, her parents gave them this property and the money to build on it. Lockwood designed the house as well as the garden.

It is abstract in its reference to Spanish style and arranged around an open, central atrium courtyard. De Forest designed the house so that there would be views from every window. The main view across the lawn and the rock garden pools (originally planted with drought tolerant bulbs and ‘Lockwood de Forest’ prostrate rosemary) is to the borrowed scenery of the distant Cathedral Peak. (Note how the wall along Todos Santos Lane is designed as a ha-ha holding up the rock garden and its pools.)

A seating wall contained the invasive kikuyu grass, which went brown in the summer linking it to the color in the mountains. Views from indoors take in adjacent garden rooms. The long border on the east was planted with drought-tolerant lavenders and herbs by Elizabeth with clipped myrtles marking the cross-axis spaces.

De Forest also designed the arbor made of plumbing pipes on the west. Much of the garden is as it was originally designed, but the mountains are now full of houses. The hedge along Todos Santos was recently planted to screen out a new house across the road.


(Left) Deforest Garden Border. Photo: Susan Chamberlin, 2014; (Right) Meridith Brooks Abbott (1938 – ) Painting of Border. Photo: Courtesy of Sydney Baumgartner.


Kellam House & Garden
Date: c. 1928
Architect: William W. Wurster
Landscape Architect: Lockwood de Forest
The house was designed in a simplified Monterey style as a retirement home for Lockwood de Forest’s in-laws, Edith and Frederick Kellam (Elizabeth’s parents.) David Gebhard describes it as “an impressive early Wurster House.” The garden designed by de Forest has been greatly altered by numerous subsequent owners.

Garden surrounding the de Forest Guesthouse
Formerly a playhouse where Kellam de Forest (Lockwood and Elizabeth’s first son) kept his electric train, this little house on a separate parcel was expanded and converted to a guesthouse when Kellam’s younger brother, Lockwood IV, left for college. The rustic yard around it was dubbed the “Horse Corral”. No horses gathered here, but it was the site of parties and barbeques (something of a novelty at the time.) The remains of the outdoor fireplace can be seen near the table, which de Forest made from old sewing machines.

There are also a number of interesting old plants still on the property.


(Left) Kellam House; (Right) Garden Table. Photo: Susan Chamberlin, 2014.


Sydney Baumgartner’s Garden
Date: c. 1950s
Architect: Gerome Garny
Landscape Architect: Ralph Stevens
When Sydney Baumgartner became the owner of this house and garden in the mid-1970s she immediately began putting her own stamp on it. This is evident everywhere—from the Monet yellow walls of her living room overlooking the terrace and main garden to the spacious and elegant stone walled, blue doored work area consisting of a vegetable and flower garden, a coop for the Araucana chickens, compost enclosure, and a flower arranging outdoor room.


(Left) Flower Arranging Outdoor Room; (Right) Door to work area. Photos: Carolyn Bennett.


The strong Ralph Stevens’ axial plan has been tweaked by Sydney with the addition of water features and hidden nooks.

Sydney says that “the de Forest influence of purpose-driven outdoor room, a broad plant and hardscape vocabulary and relating the designed landscape to the surrounding natural landscape” define her style.

This is a working garden. Sydney believes “you have to be a good gardener to design a good garden”. In addition to unique garden ornaments and hundreds of interesting plants there is an owl house high up in a palm tree and low flying Monarch butterflies everywhere.


(Left) Main Garden Axis; (Right) Garden Ornament. Photos: Carolyn Bennett.


My Garden Homestead
Landscape Architect: Isabelle Greene
By her own admission, this designer’s garden is both a working and household garden. It is not for show. It is for the use and pleasure of its owners – for gazing and viewing, for experimenting, learning, harvesting, al fresco dining, and sometimes just being seen from the inside windows.


(Left) View into the garden from the house. Photo: Marion Brenner; (Right) Urginia maritima Sea Squill. Photo: Isabelle Greene.


The front garden is designed to blend with the neighborhood and remain consistent with its historical context.

In the back yard, the 500 plus different species of plants provide guidance and information to the owner/designer. Speaking as the trained botanist that she is, Isabelle says, “The plants themselves are a hard-working part of the landscape architecture business, as the horticulture of each one needs be understood before specifying into someone else’s garden.” In her garden they are all catalogued, photographed, and watched carefully within a design scheme incorporating appropriate height, foliage, and color for overall cohesiveness.

Further, in her words, “the workings of this garden give me, the designer, a platform from which to plumb, in-depth, the entire network of life – from soil micro-organisms and the atmospheric-to-underground movement of water, to the workings of chlorophyll and the myriad throng of birds and creature inhabitants.”

Born and raised in California, the owner grew up hiking, camping and visiting the wilds all over the West. She loves this arid, wide-open land and its native plants that have contrived the most ingenious adaptations to a mild, sunny climate. Like Lockwood de Forest, she finds it quite natural to use these plants mixed with exotics from other Mediterranean climates in her garden commissions.


(Left) Entertaining in the garden. Photo: Isabelle Greene; (Right) Pond. Photo: Claire Takacs.


1927-1939 known as Blakesley Botanic Garden
1939 Santa Barbara Botanic Garden


Meadow Revival. Photo: Courtesy of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


From its inception, the mission of The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been to “…unite the aesthetic, educational and scientific.”

Taking advantage of its original location on 13 acres in Mission Canyon with views that spanned from the mountains to the ocean, the original layout showcased predominantly California native plants growing in their communities (chaparral, desert, prairie, for example) or in experimental gardens (climatic, roadways, relationships). The purpose, in addition to horticultural research, was to educate the public and thereby help conserve them.

Through the years the Garden has grown and changed to accommodate the divergent wishes of benefactors, boards and the public. Lockwood de Forest was originally hired by the Garden as a botanist, then as lecturer and finally as consultant and designer


(Left) Drawing of Campbell Bench; (Right) Campbell Bench designed by deForest. Photos: Courtesy of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


caption design. His involvement stretched from 1927 to 1949. His recommendations included the removal of non-natives from most areas of the garden, the use of indigenous species and better access to all parts of the garden by the public.


Lockwood de Forest Steps. Photo: Courtesy of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


The cultural importance of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been formally recognized with the naming of the Garden’s Mission Dam a State Historic and Santa Barbara County Landmark. The County of Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission has also granted County Historic Landmark status to 23 of the Garden’s 78 acres.

Date: Completed in 2009
Montecito, California
Architect: Barton Myers, Barton Myers Associates, Inc.
Landscape Architect and Interiors Designer: Mark Rios, Rios Clementi Hale Studio


(Left) Indoor/Outdoor Entertaining Area; (Right) Native chaparral, agaves, and boulders at entry steps. Photos: Victoria Pearson.


Although the drought has temporarily stilled the songs of the frogs in the creek behind this house in the hills above Montecito, the native and drought tolerant plants selected to enhance this landscape continue to thrive while blending into the surrounding natural environment.

On this one-acre parcel, which had once been a rock quarry, the design team, in sync with the owners’ wishes, kept the boulders and rock formations which could become design elements, hauled tons away, and came up with a scheme which would complement the very contemporary rectilinear house.

In addition to the addition of live oaks and field grown olives set among native chaparral, clipped hedges of Boxwood, Ligustrum and Westringia frame paths which lead the visitor throughout the garden surrounding the house and lap pool.


(Left) Yellow pincushion protea (Leucospermum cordifolia ‘Yellow Bird’) in front of native sandstone boulder; (Right) Drought tolerant plants on the side of the house. Photos: Victoria Pearson.


Locally quarried sandstone used as a permeable path surface and planting pockets strategically placed throughout the garden reduce water runoff, adding to this garden’s eco-friendly attributes.

In 2011 Frog Hollow was listed and featured in Architectural Record as one of the seven most beautiful houses in the world.

The owner has commented that she thinks Lockwood de Forest would love this “glass lantern positioned in a beautiful and naturalistic setting.”

Date: 2010
Architect: Ken Radtkey, Blackbird Architects, Inc., Santa Barbara
Landscape Architect: Susan Van Atta, Van Atta Associates, Santa Barbara

Like Lockwood and Elizabeth de Forest, this married couple has pooled its talents to create a beautiful 3 bedroom home nestled in the hills above Montecito using native plants to purposely blend it into the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.


(Left) Exterior view of Coyote House; (Right) “Grass” terrace. Photos: Courtesy of Van Atta Associates.


In much the same way Lockwood de Forest envisioned the relationship between house and garden, Susan and Ken took advantage of their views to the natural landscape and emphasized the indoor/outdoor relationship which the Southern California climate offers.

As at the de Forest designed beach cottages at SandyLand Cove in Carpenteria, walls disappear to turn the living room into an extension of the landscape.

The versatility and flexibility of new materials and technology provided them opportunities to be even more creative. For example, solar panels become the ceiling of a pergola from which one can sit in shaded comfort overlooking a Sedum and Dudleya planted roof and look out to the ocean in the distance.


(Left) Indoor/outdoor entertaining area with framed views ; (Right) Swings overlooking roof garden. Photos: Courtesy of Van Atta Associates.


Coyote House is LEED Platinum Certified. The PV and solar panels meet all the energy needs of the house and garden. Recycled grey water, as well as rainwater stored in hidden cisterns, can be used for irrigation. Regional stone and lumber milled from onsite Eucalyptus trees were used on both exterior and interior surfaces. Food is harvested from fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs – all woven into the garden design. Bees and chickens also play their role in the circle of Nature at Coyote House.

The innovative house and garden has been recognized in articles published in newspapers, journals and magazines throughout the US and Great Britain.



Best Western Encina Lodge and Suites
2220 Bath St., Santa Barbara CA 93105
805-682-7277 or 800-526-2282
Reserve by September 9th and mention CGLHS for our discounted rate of $154/night + tax.
Franciscan Inn
109 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA. 93101
800-663-5288 or 805-963-8845
Reserve by September 24th by contacting Eric Franklin. Mention CGLHS for our discounted rate of $195-$205/night + tax.


EDEN Summer 2014-coverEDEN – SUMMER 2014 CONTENTS:

• President’s Message: 2014 CGLHS Conference in
Santa Barbara
• Lockwood de Forest ASLA and the Santa Barbara
Landscape by Susan Chamberlin
• Recollections of My Parents by Kellam de Forest
• Elizabeth Kellam de Forest by Susan Chamberlin
• Lockwood de Forest Sr.: An American Orientalist by
Susan Chamberlin
• A Classic Rosemary for California by Susan Chamberlin
• My Garden Education by William A. Grant

The Summer 2014 issue of Eden (pictured to the left) is currently available to members only. It will be sent to all non-members upon receipt of conference registration.


Registration Fees
(space permitting)
CGLHS Members (Full Conference) $270
Non-Members (Full Conference) $310
Optional Friday Tours (Lotusland and Casa del Herrero)
Guest Friday Reception
Saturday Dinner $110

Online registration is closed. To inquire about available space contact events@cglhs.org

Checkout our list of places to visit during the conference
Checkout Susan Chamberlin’s annotated conference reading list

Please join our email mailing list for future event announcements.

Browse our archive of past events.

Images: Main-top: Lockwood de Forest in Buffalo car, c. 1933. Photo courtesy of Kellam de Forest.
Above-top: Santa Barbara to the Rincon to Point Mugu, painting by Lockwood de Forest Sr., c.1915. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss–An American Gallery.

Above-center: California Gardens: Creating A New Eden by David Streatfield.
Above-bottom: Native California poppies in the Meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, spring 1940. Photo by Jack Voight Wilkes, courtesy of SBBGPhotos.org.