Archive for the ‘Visit’ Category


Happy Friday! My camping trip to the Eastern Sierras was a success and I can’t believe summer has come and gone!

Next, 2 projects that have to be completely gutted and I can’t wait to start sharing the progress with you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Happy Friday! If you’re looking for a place to unplug, unwind & get healthy in a gorgeous setting then the The Ranch Malibu is the place to go. I came across it several years ago because I love the work of Scott Shrader who did the landscape design for the The Ranch. However, as you’ll see in the photos below the interior design is just as beautiful!

Have a great Weekend!

~ Shannon


All photos via The Ranch Malibu

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Situated high on a cliff with gorgeous views of the sea is the botanical garden, Santa Clotilde. It was designed by Nicolau Rubio i Tuduri in 1919 and was claimed to be the most important private garden of 20th century Spain.


The garden is reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance style with manicured shrubs, statues and beautiful fountains.

It’s a gorgeous garden with Italian cyprus, agaves, cactus, purple & white Agapanthus, ivy, oleander and many more lovely plants.

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Settled in a gorgeous residential neighborhood in Santa Barbara, Lotusland is a 37-acre garden that was once the private residence of Ganna Walska, an eccentric opera singer turned plantswoman. The garden is full of subtropical and tropical plants from around the world, as well as more than 130 varieties of aloe, rare species of cycads, Chilean Wine Palms and massive amounts of cactus. unnamed-2

 The main house (now offices), was built in 1919 by architect Reginald Johnson and is a gorgeous example of Mediterranean style architecture.


The famous Lotus pond, which was once a pool.


An old Euphorbia drooping from weight and old age.


A fountain near the Olive Allee and Cactus Garden.

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Old Man Cactus


A beautiful old Euphorbia in the background with barrel cactus and purple aeonium in the stone planters.

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One of my favorite agaves, and one that is extremely popular here in Southern California –the Fox Tail Agave or Agave Attenuataunnamed-47 A group of striking colored Euphorbia


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An idea any garden lover can take home — an interesting planter potted with one type of succulent — left alone to grow into a little gem like the one above.


A 130 year old Dragon Tree

Ganna Walska’s reflective pool with giant clam shells and tons of abalone shells


She lined her entire reflective pool with abalone shells.

The Cactus Gardenunnamed-1

The work that went into this garden is amazing. The dedication in growing many of these species from seed, or as small pups, must have taken an extreme amount of patience and vision. It’s definitely worth a visit. For more information on Lotusland, click here.

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unnamed-8The Palihouse is a boutique hotel in Santa Monica, that some are calling, “The Chateau Marmount by the sea”.  It has great style, a lovely garden, a bocce court and is just minutes from the beach. Plus, you’re in a wonderful residential neighborhood (not a hotel zone) and only several blocks from 3rd Street Promenade and shopping on Montana Ave.


PalihouseSM_LobbyThe Lobby


The lobby

2631759-Palihouse-Santa-Monica-Hotel-Exterior-1-DEFOne of the guest suitesPaliHouse-santa-monica-traveller-7-4jun13-pr_b_646x430A kitchen in one of the guest suitesPaliHouseSM_Bedroom_Dylan_Jeniunnamed-8unnamed-10

unnamed-6 My husband, daughter and friend enjoying a game of bocceunnamed-11 The back patio


A gorgeous Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe

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Click here for more info about the Palihouse in Santa Monica.

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One of my favorite places to visit is the Huntington Botanical Gardens, especially the Desert Garden. For those of you who love cactus and succulents, below are several photos from my last visit.


parry’s agave, barrel cactus and more


one of my favorite’s – the agave attenuata


one up closeIMG_1532

one of the pathways in the desert garden

a sea of aeonium succulents


torch aloe


I believe another torch aloe (I don’t know what the tree is to the right but it was incredible – very dr. suess like)


blue agave


more barrel cactus and parry’s agave


a saguaro cactus surrounded by barrel cactus and parry’s agave


barrel cactus with little ones


could this be an organ pipe cactus? I’ll have to check the tags next time I go.

Happy Weekend!

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A little garden inspiration heading into the weekend is Nicole de Vesian’s garden, La Louve (The She-Wolf). It’s located in Bonniuex, Provence France.

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After having a fashion career in Paris, Nicole de Vesian moved to Provence and designed the garden at age 69.

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The pool was later added by the current owner, Judith Pillsbury.

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This garden is one of my favorites, absolutely beautiful. One reason I adore it is that it feels very organized, as well as soft and calming. The green shades of the Rosemary, Boxwoods and Cypress’ mixed with the silver hues of the Sage, Santolina and Lavender work perfectly together.

Some of these photos are from Garden Design Magazine’s website, but if you have the chance to pick up Provence Interiors (by Angelika Muthesius) you will see many more that show the beauty of this garden.

Or you can click here, to check out more photos by Clive Nichols.

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My recent hotel obsession is Hotel Fasano Las Piedras in Uruguay. This is another one by the Fasano Group. Known for their luxurious hotels in Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, the Hotel Fasano Las Piedras is their first venture outside of Brazil. Designed by the Brazilian architect, Isay Weinfeld (who also designed the Fasano Sao Paulo), Las Piedras is situated on over 1100 acres. The amenities include an equestrian center, polo fields, boathouse, private beach and an incredible spa.

The reception lounge

The reception lounge

One of the suites

The bungalows

The spa

The pool area

The entrance to the Fasano restaurant

The Fasano restaurant

The surrounding landscape.

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