a Mission Revival garden

I wasn’t exactly lost in Beverly Hills today, but traffic was terrible enough that I left the main arteries like San Vicente and dove into surrounding neighborhood streets, looking for a less congested way home. Around Sweetzer I found this small Mission Revival home with what looked to be a fairly new front landscape.


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Although it may sometimes seem so, I’m really not stalking Mission Revival homes, but this architectural style does seem to inspire its share of spare, elegant gardens.
This one is dominated by the lacy shade of a mature California Pepper Tree, Schinus molle (from the Peruvian Andes).

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A blue jar, possibly Bauer, pennisetum grasses and agaves surrounding a central area of decomposed granite
(formerly place of honor for lawns but not anymore, now that it’s drought o’clock)

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The agaves are mainly the common americana and attenuata, with salmon-colored Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii.
The blue flowers might be the Ground Morning Glory, Convolvulus sabatius.

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A form of Opuntia erinacea possibly?
Those look to be young bougainvilleas struggling up stakes against the low wall, a wall which I personally would hate to see smothered in vine. The cactus itself is presence enough.

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A sweet house, with its thick walls and deep-set casement windows.
The surrounding mansions in various architectural guises, and their gardens, could learn a lot about stylishly coping with heat and drought from this modest little beauty.


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9 Responses to a Mission Revival garden

  1. Lisa says:

    A beautiful little garden. I love Schinus molle and see it all the time here in Peru. It looks great in that drought tolerant garden.

  2. Denise says:

    Hi Lisa — I’ve really enjoyed seeing Peru through your photos. What a beautiful country!

  3. Kris P says:

    It doesn’t look at all like the gardens I remember from the days I worked in Beverly Hills – how refreshing! I love the garden’s relative simplicity, something I need to keep in mind as I begin work on my own front garden. (It’s hard not to get carried away in the excitement of having lots of new space to put plants but I’m trying to keep reins on the collector in me.)

  4. Hoov says:

    Love the jar. Nice, though I don’t think those particular Agaves and grasses will mature well. To-the-lot-lines McMansion next door?

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A great house and gardens! The blue jar is perfect for the setting and I’m really liking the combination of agaves/cacti and grasses lately. There’s something about the strong still forms of the succulents and the movement of the grasses that makes me smile. You find the coolest places by accident!

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, there’s such a diversity of styles in BH. So very excited about the Big Dig at your home.
    @Hoov, there were some nice, older Spanish Revival homes on this street but nothing in the front garden to tempt me to stop for photos.
    @Peter, I love grasses with succulents. It’s always dicey jumping out of the car with a camera and running over to a property, esp. in a security-nervous town like Beverly Hills. You gotta be fast! So a lot of times a garden to photograph is chosen because there’s nobody around, which was the case here.

  7. What Lisa said. I love both this style of house and Schinus molle. I saw a nice specimen just the other day not far from my house and thought, wow, this is a beautiful tree.

  8. A better way to spend time than stuck in grid lock! Good find, I know some like this in the 1930-1940’s hood <1 mile from me…ours are more sparse, with mesquite instead of a pepper tree (similar texture). The mini courtyard wall is perfect. Their grasses-agaves look is effective, but it seems they are going to miss by having an immediate effect on the agaves that may overgrow. But very typical…a hard balance to do as a designer, when clients' standard on landscaping is usually instant sod roll-out and a big specimen tree…thanks for helping that, HGTV.

    Always a chuckle when I hear about your drought, like your average rainfall is remotely as wet as how too many landscapes in So Cal / the west act!

  9. Jess says:

    Always a pleasure to see succulents stealing the show and taking pride of place in a front garden!

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