SANTA CRUZ: LAND OF 1001 WONDERS
Annual Conference of the California Garden and Landscape History Society
October 15-17, 2010, Santa Cruz County, California
This year’s conference is being held in Santa Cruz to celebrate our 15th anniversary at the place where our organization began. We will focus on the region’s extraordinary natural and cultural landscape, draw attention to the importance of the living collections at the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum, and honor our founder, Bill Grant. Marlea Graham, founding editor of our journal, Eden, and Phoebe Cutler are the conveners.
Friday afternoon is devoted to tours in the Watsonville/Pajaro Valley area. The day concludes with a reception in Aptos at the Sesnon House on the Cabrillo College campus, where stately trees are the only remnants of a landscape designed by the San Francisco firm MacRorie-McLaren Company in 1909. Saturday begins at the UCSC Arboretum with lectures and our annual meeting, followed by a luncheon honoring Bill Grant. Tours of the Arboretum (with its unparalleled collection of Australian and South African plants) and the Alan Chadwick Garden (where organic gardening practices were pioneered in the United States) fill the afternoon. Sunday tours include a visit to the home (designed by William Wurster) and garden of landscape architect Thomas D. Church in Pasatiempo, a residential golf club development that Wurster and Church designed as a total environment in the early twentieth century. The day ends in a stunning private garden near Davenport, which was designed in part by ornamental grass guru John Greenlee.This conference will also provide an opportunity for optional visits to:
- The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which celebrated its 100th anniversary as a cultural landscape in 2007.
- Pacific Garden Mall, one of America’s first adaptive reuse projects for a nineteenth-century Main Street. Virtually destroyed by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and subsequent demolitions of quake-damaged buildings, it is now redeveloped in contemporary style.
- Local State Parks: Henry Cowell Redwoods, Big Basin Redwoods, the Forest of Nisene Marks, Natural Bridges State Beach, Wilder Ranch State Historic Park (with preserved 19th century dairy farm buildings).
- Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad.
- The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.
- Santa Cruz County wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms.
- The Roses of Yesterday and Today nursery of heirloom varieties in Watsonville, which fans of Katherine White’s classic book, Onward and Upward in the Garden, will remember as Will Tillotson’s Roses.
- Seymour Marine Discovery Center.
12:30 – 4:50 pm
Tours: Watsonville/Pajaro ValleyGather in the parking lot at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds’, Codiga Center and Agricultural Museum, 2601 East Lake Street, Watsonville. You must be at the Fairgrounds no later than 12:45 to participate. Carpools can be arranged, and maps and directions will be provided to the following sites:Suncrest Nurseries
Horticultural Director Nevin “Mike” Smith will conduct our tour of this important wholesale nursery specializing in Mediterranean climate zone plants. He is the author of Native Treasures: Garden with the Plants of California (2006) and a frequent contributor to Pacific Horticulture magazine and Fremontia, the journal of the California Native Plant Society. He was also a contributor to The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. Smith grew up working in his father’s Northern California nursery. After earning degrees in political science at UCB and Johns Hopkins University, he managed the Leonard Coates Nurseries from 1975-78 (see Eden 8, no. 1, Spring 2005 for more about Leonard Coates) before going into business for himself. He started Wintergreen Nursery at Watsonville with his brother Tim in 1978, later running it alone until 1991, when he merged with Suncrest. Smith has introduced many of his own selections to commerce during his career and Suncrest also introduces selections from botanic collections such as those at UCSC. www.suncrestnurseries.com Agricultural Museum at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
Archivist Pat Johns will be our guide. It was 25 years ago that concerned citizens of the Pajaro Valley got together and developed plans to preserve and promote the history of agriculture on the Central Coast. Today the Agricultural History Project provides educational displays at the Codiga Center and Museum (which also houses their archival records). Visitors may also tour the Porter Implement Shed, with its collection of horse drawn equipment, including plows, binders, reapers and planters, and an extensive collection of hand tools. www.aghistoryproject.org
Bockius-Orr House & Garden
This restored cottage and gardens are managed by the Pajaro Valley Historical Association. The house holds the area’s largest collection of historic clothing, furniture and textiles. The gardens have two periods of significance: the 1870s-80s farmhouse era encompassing the front garden, and the 1940s-60s era for the back and side gardens. PVHA stores special collections including those of local historian and author Betty Lewis (1925-2008), architect William Weeks (1813-1900), and female stagecoach driver Charley Parkhurst (1812-1879, who is buried in the local pioneer cemetery) as well as a considerable collection of archival records on the Bockius-Orr property, ephemera, oral histories, genealogies, and historic materials related to local agriculture, schools, organizations, and families. www.pajarovalleyhistory.org
Rancho San Andres Castro Adobe
This site is not currently open to the general public due to damage sustained during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The Castro Adobe was saved thanks to a long line of private stewards, ending with local historian and mission specialist Edna Kimbro, who held the property until the State Parks system could take over its ownership. This adobe is an outstanding example of the Monterey Colonial architectural style. The one-acre property contains an orchard and the remnant of a small courtyard garden design by Thomas Church during the 1960s—the only plan being one of his famous “napkin” drawings. Several of his recommended cork oaks remain. www.castroadobe.org
5 – 7 pm
‘Piño Alto’ Sesnon House on the Cabrillo College campus
View historic photographs and tour the grounds to envision how the gardens looked when first designed by the firm of MacRorie-McLaren back in 1909-11. (See Eden Summer 2010 for more about MacRorie-McLaren Company and the landscape at Sesnon House.) www.cabrillo.edu/services/sesnon/
Saturday, October 16
8:30 – 8:55 am
Registration: Horticulture Building II
Arboretum at the University of California, Santa Cruz
A continental breakfast will be provided, and Judith Taylor will be signing copies of her books for sale. At 8:55 the conference will begin with introductory remarks..
9 am – 12 noon
Lectures: Horticulture Building II
9 am: Brett Hall, “History of the UCSC Arboretum”
10 am: Judith Taylor, “Begonia Breeders of Santa Cruz County”
11 am: Pam-Anela Messenger, “Thomas Church, Early & Late: Pasatiempo to UCSC”
12 noon – 12:30 pm
Annual cglhs Membership Meeting
Annual business including election of Officers and Board Members.
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Luncheon Honoring our Founder, William A. “Bill” Grant
In 1995, Bill Grant launched the California Garden & Landscape History Society with an announcement posted in Pacific Horticulture of its first meeting to be held 23 September at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. For our 15th anniversary, we wish to establish the William A. Grant Founder’s Award, and the first recipient of this award, naturally, will be the Founder himself.
1:30 – 6 pm
Tours: UCSC Campus
The Arboretum at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Guided Tours of the South Africa, New Zealand, & California collections.
The Arboretum promotes education, conservation, research, and horticultural displays of plants of the world and boasts the largest living collection of Australian and South African plants outside of their own countries. There is also an extensive collection of native California flora. For Brett Hall’s description of the California native plant collection, see Fremontia 36, no. 2/3 (Spring/Summer 2008) or to read it online, visit www.cnps.org/publications/
Guided tour of the Alan Chadwick Garden, east side of the UCSC Campus
In 1967 English master gardener Alan Chadwick (1909-1980) arrived at the new UCSC campus and initiated the Student Garden Project, where organic and sustainable gardening practices were pioneered in the United States. With his students and volunteers, Chadwick created a garden bursting with fruits, flowers, and vegetables that would influence the entire community, help inspire the California Cuisine movement, and lead to the foundation of the 25-acre farm on the campus. The Farm and Garden are the forerunners of today’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems: www.casfs.ucsc.edu/.
Garden Manager Orin Martin will be our guide. Raised in the eastern states, with no particular interest in gardening, Martin came to Santa Cruz in 1969 and fell in love with the Student Garden Project. Shortly after Chadwick left in 1972, Martin began volunteer work at both the Farm and the Garden. After completing the apprenticeship program in 1975, Martin received a grant to start a community gardening program in Santa Cruz County. In 1977 he was hired (along with “Big” Jim Nelson) to oversee the Farm and Garden and has continued this work to the present day. Martin is the author of Rose Primer: an Organic Approach to Rose Selection and Care (2005). For links to Martin’s complete oral history, videos on the garden, and more, visit www.library.ucsc.edu/reg-hist/cultiv/martin.
5 – 6 pm
Self-guided Tours of other Campus Landscapes: UCSC
Maps will be provided, and sites within walking distance of the Chadwick Garden include Adlai Stevenson College (Lawrence Halprin, 1966); Quarry Amphitheater (Robert Royston, c. 1965); Cowell College (Lawrence Halprin, 1966); Provost’s House (Thomas Church, 1966).
Sunday, October 17
9:15 am – 3 pm
Tours: Santa Cruz and Davenport
Pasatiempo: Pasatiempo Golf Club clubhouse parking lot
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz
Clubhouse Road is off Pasatiempo Drive: www.pasatiempo.com. Gather in the Clubhouse parking lot for the distribution of maps, which will indicate locations of original houses that have retained the signature vernacular style of the development (William Wurster and Clarence Tantau, architects) as well as the locations of significant properties with landscape designs by Thomas Church including his own home.
9:30 – 10:30 am
Pasatiempo: Thomas Church’s Home, Studio and Gardens
The current owners have graciously granted us permission to visit. The house is one of eight in Pasatiempo designed by William Wurster.
10:30 – 11:30 am
Pasatiempo: Self-guided Tour of the Golf Club and Country Club Estates
NOTE: Please do not walk on the golf course. Parking is limited.
You can leave your car in the parking lot at the Clubhouse (20 Clubhouse Road) or in the one further up the hill at Hollins House.
The Pasatiempo Country Club and Estates was the brainchild of society sportswoman Marion Hollins. She had previously developed an all-woman’s golf club on Long Island. Employed at Pebble Beach, California as sports director, she soon began helping to sell real estate as well, and was actively involved with the design of the Cypress Point golf course there. Hollins conceived the Pasatiempo development as a weekend retreat for wealthy San Franciscans. Commencing in 1926 Hollins asked Berkeley real estate magnate Duncan McDuffie to evaluate the proposed site for her. He recommended that she hire the Olmsted Brothers to create a master plan for the Pasatiempo development. The Olmsted Brothers had worked on St. Francis Wood in San Francisco and the Palos Verdes Estates near Redondo Beach, and Cypress Point, Pebble Beach. Hollins commissioned the Olmsteds to create the master plan. She also hired William Wurster and Clarence Tantau as project architects, and she brought in British expert Dr. Alister MacKenzie to design the golf course as he had done at Cypress Point. The original plans for Pasatiempo Estates covered 600 acres including the 18-hole golf course, nine miles of roads, a clubhouse, tennis courts, open spaces, six miles of bridle paths, and house lots of varying sizes.
In 1930 Hollins hired landscape architect Thomas Dolliver Church (1902-1978) to implement the Olmsted plan. This commission was a landmark in Church’s career, enabling him to leave Floyd Mick’s employment and open his own office in San Francisco. Church designed the landscapes of individual residences for several clients at Pasatiempo, as well as the clubhouse. Hardly any of his plantings survive. Hollins and Church were trying to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible in this development. The former home of famous golf course architect, MacKenzie, is at the edge of the 6th fairway. Step into the Clarence Tantau-designed Hollins House (now a restaurant) to compare today’s view of the golf course as seen from the terrace with photographs of the original landscape that will be on display. A framed copy of the Olmsted Brothers’ plan hangs on the wall of an inside corridor.
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch on your own
Options for lunch in Pasatiempo include the Hollins House restaurant, the Tap Room within the Hollins House, or the MacKenzie Bar & Grill in the clubhouse.
1 – 3 pm
The most significant owner of this altered historic garden was industrialist C.C. Moore, President of the Pan-Pacific International Exposition. Only the core of the garden remains, which was described in 1912 in the Overland Monthly: “The clear swift-flowing stream sings and calls and beckons with its rustic bridges, its cascades and waterfall…” The rustic bridges have been replaced with metal ones, but the stream, ponds, and cascades still flow through grassy meadows that once formed Moore’s nine-hole golf course. Among the towering trees could be some survivors from the thousands transferred by rail from the Expo in San Francisco. A craftsman house on the property is undergoing renovation.
Private Garden north of Santa Cruz near Davenport
The owner has worked with various professionals over the years to create this outstanding contemporary hilltop garden of Mediterranean climate plants. It is now a large, mature garden of several outdoor rooms. The owner has a Gertrude Jekyll-like eye for color and texture, and it shows in her gorgeous borders that weave together Australian, South African, California, and Mediterranean plants. Ornamental grass specialist and designer, John Greenlee, also contributed to the garden.
Brett Hall was raised along the Central California coast. In the early 1970s he worked at his family’s landscaping and garden design business. Now Director of Horticulture at the Arboretum, Hall has spent 35 years working in the UCSC Arboretum, first as an undergraduate student in biology. He began working full time in October 1975 and was appointed garden manager the following year. He has played an active role in the development of many of the Arboretum’s collections, traveling overseas and throughout the West to accomplish his work. Brett is also currently serving as President of the Board of Directors, California Native Plant Society. For “A History of the Arboretum” visit www.arboretum.ucsc.edu/hist_exhibit/index.php. Full text of the Arboretum’s oral history may be found by searching online for The UCSC Arboretum: a Grand Experiment. The section on Brett Hall contains information about the various arboretum collections.Pam-Anela Messenger received her Master’s in Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley. Thomas D. Church was the subject of her master’s thesis. She has published a number of articles on Church and been consulted for the restoration and remodeling of many of his gardens. Messenger was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to prepare a manuscript on Church’s life and career. She has been practicing landscape architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1980 and serves on the Fay Park (San Francisco) Advisory Board (see Eden 8, no. 3, Fall 2005 pages 1-3 for more about Fay Park.) In 2005 Messenger spoke on Church at our Annual Conference in Napa.Judith Taylor was born in London and educated at Oxford University. For many years she practiced neurology in New York before retiring to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994, where she now “practices history without a license.” She wrote The Olive in California: History of an Immigrant Tree in 2000. She is co-author of Tangible Memories: Californians and Their Gardens, 1800-1950, published in 2003. The Global Migration of Ornamental Plants: How the World Got into Your Garden came out in 2009. Judith’s fourth book (still in preparation) is titled Visions of Loveliness: the Work of Forgotten Flower Breeders and includes many California subjects. www.horthistoria.com.
John Leighton Chase, Third Edition, 2005.
Maps that accompany each chapter make it easy to plan walking tours. Contains a section on Pasatiempo by Daniel P. Gregory, as well as information about the notable remnants of the Victorian districts, UCSC, changes to downtown since the Loma Prieta earthquake, and more.Gardens are for People
Thomas D. Church, Preface by Michael Laurie, Forward by Grace Hall, Third Edition, 1995.
The author of this classic book (who will be a focus of our 2010 conference) is discussed in the preface and forward and is the subject of two essays by Dorothée Imbert: “Of Gardens and Houses as Places to Live: Thomas Church and William Wurster” in An Everyday Modernism: the Houses of William Wurster (Marc Treib, ed., 1999) and “Byways to Modernism: the Early Landscapes of Thomas Church” in Thomas Church Landscape Architect, Designing a Modern California Landscape (Marc Treib, ed., 2003.)The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: A Century by the Sea
The Santa Cruz Seaside Company, 2007.
Written to mark the centennial birthday of the Boardwalk, this book is filled with historical photographs and covers the history from 1866, when the first public bathhouse was built on the beach at Santa Cruz, to the present. The Santa Cruz Seaside Company has owned the Boardwalk since 1915. Visit www.beachboardwalk.com.Pogonip: Jewel of Santa Cruz
Joan Gilbert Martin and Colleen McInerney-Meagher, 2007.
Pogonip is the open space on the north side of town that connects Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to UCSC and the Harvey West district. Once the site of Native American activities, lime kilns, lumbering, a world-class golf course, an auto camp, and the only U.S. Women’s Polo Association, its forests and meadows now attract hikers and nature lovers. The authors explore Pogonip’s rich history and the long struggle to make it a city park.
The Natural History of the UC Santa Cruz Campus
Tonya M. Haff, Martha T. Brown, and W. Breck Tyler, eds., Second Edition, 2008.
Covers Native American occupation of the site to its current use as a University of California campus with chapters on geology, plants, animals, birds, bugs, and that infamous school mascot, the banana slug.
The Unnatural History of UCSC
Jeff Arnett,ed., Second Edition, 2008.
The result of a writing course to document the many unnatural (or human-made) creations on the UCSC campus, some of the sites are ephemeral and have disappeared or have been demolished by University construction. As many of the sites are student creations unauthorized by the University, the locations are not always revealed for fear a map would fall into the wrong hands and lead to instant eradication. Therefore this book serves only to provide clues to what you might find if you look – or may contain the explanation of something you’ve already come across in your travels, such as the totem pole placed in a courtyard at Porter College. An exception is ‘Elfland,’ which was destroyed by the construction of Colleges Nine and Ten in the early 1990s and extensively documented and mapped in this book. Quarry Amphitheater (designed by landscape architect, Robert Royston, and closed now for safety reasons) is briefly mentioned, as is the Arboretum and the Alan Chadwick Garden.
By-the-Sea: A History of the Capitola Begonia Festival
Carolyn Swift, with contributions from Margaret Koch, 1992.
The author is the archivist of the Capitola Historical Museum, and the book is well-illustrated with historic black and white and color photographs from the author’s personal collection, the museum, and other sources. Includes documentation for each show from 1954 to 1991 and begins with its precursor, the Capitola Water Fantasy (first held in 1950.) The Capitola Begonia Festival still takes place every September.
Arcadia Publishing devotes three pictorial books to Santa Cruz, which taken together are a good introduction to this cultural landscape. The first is in the Images of America series and is titled simply, Santa Cruz, California (Sheila O’Hare and Irene Barry, 2002.) It covers the county’s history from the early days of statehood and touches on the impact of the lumber, lime, and fishing industries, but the majority of the book is devoted to the tourist industry. The second book is in the Then & Now series and is titled, Santa Cruz Coast (Gary Griggs and Deepika Shrestha Ross, 2006.) This book confines itself to the coastal landscape beginning in the north at the town of Davenport and proceeding south to Natural Bridges State Park , West Cliff Drive, Cowell’s Beach, the Boardwalk, Seabright Beach to Pleasure Point, and Capitola to Rio del Mar. The third Arcadia book is titled, Surfing in Santa Cruz (Thomas Hickenbottom, et. al, 2009.) Surfing was introduced to Santa Cruz in the late 1880s, and the book provides a historical overview of the “diverse and colorful surfing culture inhabiting the area.”
Other historical resources include a reissue of an 1879 booster book: Santa Cruz County, California (W.W. Elliott & Co., Facsimile Edition, 1879); Pathways to the Past: Adventures in Santa Cruz County History, the journal of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center (www.santacruzmah.org); and “The History Dude”—retired Cabrillo College history teacher and author Sandy Lydon. His two books, Chinese Gold: the Chinese in the Monterey Bay Region (1985) and The Japanese in the Monterey Bay Region: A Brief History (1997) provide a look at the impact of these two ethnic minorities on the Monterey Bay region, including Santa Cruz County, particularly in the fishing and agricultural industries. The second book includes brief segments on local area Japanese-American gardeners and flower growers as well as farmers.
At the north end of town, the Mission Inn is close to the back entrance to the Arboretum. Go north two blocks and turn right on Western Drive. At High Street turn left, then turn right into the Arboretum entrance. Fast food and restaurants on Mission Street are within walking distance of the hotel. The Swift Street Courtyard off Mission on Swift and Ingalls is a great place to just hang out. It has wine tasting (famous Bonny Doon Vineyard and others), lunch venues (Cellar Door, Kelly’s French bakery, Santa Cruz Brew Pub), and a branch of the New Leaf Community Market. www.mission-inn.comDavenport Roadhouse: 31 Davenport Avenue at Hwy 1, is fifteen minutes north of Santa Cruz, has rooms ranging from $95 to $250 per night (these rates in effect thru 17 Oct. 2010). The restaurant serves a famous breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ocean views. Reservations: 831.426.8801 x 100. Website: www.davenportroadhouse.com.Santa Cruz Dream Inn: 175 West Cliff Drive, is the only Santa Cruz hotel that is directly on the beach. Tel: 831.426.4330. Toll-free: 800.663.1144. FAX: 831.427.2025. Website: www.jdvhotels.com. A room with two queen beds rents for $269 per night.Sea & Sand Inn: 201 West Cliff Drive. Tel: 831.427.3400. Two queen beds run $129-169 (Thurs-Fri/Sat rate difference). “Every room has an ocean view.”
Babbling Brook Inn: 1025 Laurel Street, was designed more than a century ago in the rustic style. This B&B is situated in its original setting of redwood trees and a running stream. Located not far from Mission near Bay Street (the main access road to the University). Fireplaces, featherbeds, private patios. Tel: 831.427.2437. www.babblingbrookinn.com. Rate for two queen beds is $239 a night.