The Garden Club of Santa Barbara has recently collaborated with Casa del Herrero on the renovation of the Casa’s Arizona (cactus) Garden. Thanks to funding from the club’s Civic Project Grant Program, as well as time and effort from club members, the garden is now restored, creating a beautiful, contemplative space in which to view unique cactus specimens.

The Garden Club of Santa Barbara gathered for the unveiling of the newly renovated garden space on June 17, 2019, admiring the beautiful plant specimens as they strolled along the newly refurbished gravel trail. Many of the cacti, new aloe and agave were in bloom, with one bromeliad “Sapphire Tower” Puya alpestris garnering unanimous admiration for its gorgeous rare bloom of midnight blue flowers.

“I am so grateful to my co-chair Sharon Bradford, and our volunteer committee members for their hard work over the last year,” said GCSB Horticulture chair Amy Mayfield. “Historical restoration is a passion and we have thoughtfully preserved and revitalized the Arizona Garden. I was thrilled to be a part of this hands-on project in our community.”

No aspect of Casa del Herrero was reworked more vigorously than the garden spaces. The original owner, George Fox Steedman, was a perfectionist, and he made many changes to Landscape Architect Ralph Stevens’ garden designs. The result of Steedman’s intervention is an eclectic mix of Country Place Era and Moorish-inspired garden spaces. The Arizona Garden is a distinct highlight of the estate, and a spectacular stand-out for the Casa’s guided tours.

“Collaborating with the Garden Club of Santa Barbara has been such a joy,” said Casa Executive Director Jessica Tade. “I am grateful for their support, and the knowledge and expertise they brought to this project. Because of their efforts, the Arizona Garden has returned to its original splendor.”