Middle Road


This historical home and garden were originally designed by the American architect and painter George Washington Smith in the 1920's. The core of the house was originally GWS’s artist studio, but the land was divided over time, changing the relationship of the remaining parts. A beautiful property feeling the effect of time and shall we say, showed uncoordinated ideas and disjointed landscape. We loved the spirit of the original elements, but the few remaining pieces were in dire shape. Our client wanted to honor what Smith had done, bringing those design features to the forefront and expanding on them in a re-imagined version of the garden. Our team met the challenges of clay soil, dilapidated architectural and landscape conditions while preserving the historical nature of this special property.

We developed a list of issues to address, chief among them creating a clear approach to the front door (pedestrian entry was through the driveway gate), an inviting courtyard at the front door (rather than the driveway coming smack up to the front stoop), restoring all original hardscape still existing, culling out elements that weren’t in keeping with period architecture (most notably two fountains) and a general all-round planting face lift. The residence and surrounding landscape has now been rightfully restored with refurbished historical components and rehabilitated with extensive custom tile, brick and iron work with a traditional, old world hardscape suited for modern entertaining. Tired plantings have given way to new flora and fauna becoming of a modernized GWS build. Plantings now feature low water and low maintenance needs.

One can imagine Mr. Smith relaxing beneath the canopy of the saved historical Black Acacia Tree. Restored landscape, upgraded pedestrian walkway, koi pond and wall fountain have all resulted in the honor of the garden being awarded the Silver APLD 2016 International Design Award for Specialty projects.   


Santa Barbara Contractors Association, Construction Awards 2016: Best Landscape and Hardscape Residential

Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Silver Award 2016

2016 “Best of Houzz”, Design Category