THE ALDRICH COMPANY ~ Alida Aldrich Landscape Design
Riven Rock's Historic Workshop The Stonemason's Cottage
Story By George Yatchinsin Art by Jeremy Harper
"While clearing out years of overgrowth, landscape designer Alida Aldrich discovered these carved stone corbels that she incorporated into the garden design."
"Once she and her team began, they discovered a wonderful surprise. "We really didn't know what we had until we did extensive clearing of masses of overgrown ivy," says Aldrich. That's when we found all those wonderful 'tossed-out' carved stone pieces left over from when the house was actually the stonemasons' workshop." Baumes relates, If a stonemason had made a mistake on a carving, he just tossed it out. We retrieved what we could find and set them around as part of the history of the property."
Those carvings now adorn gardens that won the 1996 Annual Montecito Beautification Award.
"Design wise, we had a true collaborative effort," Aldrich recalls. "We worked out every design detail - rerouting the driveway, screening the entry, building the new front patio, the patio off the family room, the patio on the second terrace, the fruit trees and rose garden on the third terrace, with water features throughout. I used many oak compatible plants, Mediterranean plants, but also installed perennials and bulbs for seasonal color."
Steven Gundry is particularly pleased with the results of the landscaping, and not just for aesthetic reasons. "McCormick wanted his estate to be a botanic garden," he says, "and within this couple of square miles you're in your own botanic garden. Riven Rock is a really unique area of Montecito, which is a unique area itself.
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