Santa Ynez Valley

Los Olivos, CA

Project Description

The landscape design was crucial to the renovation of an existing ranch house and the development of a new vineyard on this property in the Santa Ynez Valley, north of Santa Barbara.  Due to local water restrictions and the ongoing drought at the time of this design, we utilized a limited palette of drought-tolerant plants and reduced the existing planted area by the addition of expanses of pea stone around the house. Since the plan also included the establishment of a new vineyard, we were able to work with the vineyard consulting team on how the site plan might integrate with the layout of the rows.


We embraced some of the quirky aspects of the landscape existing on the site.  The prior owner was peace activist and farmer, who raised garlic and jojoba crops on the 8 acre parcel.  As a nod to this history, we retained the graphic peace sign and incorporated many of the sizable jojoba shrubs within the new planting design.  The jojoba shrubs were transplanted out of the crop area where the new vineyard was planned, and into the main landscape surrounding the dwelling.  The massive jojoba shrubs contribute to helping establish a privatized zone for the living areas adjacent to the home.  Additionally, an existing cacti garden was reinvigorated by transplanting and infilling with new cacti, and now is a highlighted garden that helps define the entrance way into the property.


Near the house, a new weathered steel arbor was designed to span the back of the house and shade new seating areas that overlook the new vineyard, as well as provide shaded dining off of the house.  The existing pool was refurbished as part of the overall plan, and a new bocce court added as a visual foreground to the vistas beyond the vineyard.


At the rear of the property , vintage trailers were utilized to establish a guest compound.  The trailers were sited to have views back to the house as well as the mountain vistas off site, and their spacing creates a garden courtyard, shielded in between the trailers.