Recently I was invited to Sunset Magazine’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. I’ve visited before but it was after the sun had gone down so I didn’t get to see much of the gardens. I’ve always heard that they were a must see, so needless to say I was excited to visit them during daylight hours. From Sunset’s website:
Sunset’s headquarters sits upon land that was originally part of a grant to Don José Arguello, governor of Spanish California in 1815. The early-California-style buildings that house our offices reflect that influence. They were designed by Cliff May, father of the California ranch-style home, to bridge indoor and outdoor living spaces. The main building opened in 1952.
The original Sunset display garden was designed by Thomas Church, the dean of Western landscape architects. It included a border that followed the contours of San Francisquito Creek, with distinct areas representing the major climate zones of the West, from the deserts of Arizona and Southern California to the cold, wet areas of the Northwest.
Many of these original trees and shrubs still stand, retaining the regional flavor of the border. But a major renovation in early spring 2000, under the direction of Chris Jacobson and Beverly Sarjeant of Garden Art, brought a fresh new look to the garden.
Trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, perennials, and ornamental grases now show how foliage textures and colors can combine for beautiful effects. Flower color comes primarily from blooming shrubs and perennials. This is truly a garden for all seasons.
The West Coast vibe of the gardens remind me of their new cookbook titled, Eating Up The West Coast. It’s a perfect blend of road trip, local eateries, and the recipes to go along with it.
I’m not sure how much longer Sunset is offering tours, but if you’re local and would like to go, you can find out more information here.