Gardens Restoration

Garden restorations

Phase II is complete!

Rick Gallo and his crew from Rare Earth Landscape, Inc. returned to the Pardee Home during the winter months of 2004 and completed Phase II of our gardens restoration project. Due to the usual funding challenges and the intervention of other important projects, including the repainting of the main house, the completion of phase II came later than we had hoped, but it was worth the wait.

Phase I of the restoration was completed in 2001, some four years after discussions first began of restoring the sadly neglected gardens of the Pardee Home. For many years majestic California oaks, laurels, and redwood trees had continued to provide a notable wooded setting for the Pardee Home, but underfoot the lawns and most of the flowering plants had suffered greatly. The highly regarded Oakland landscape architecture firm of PGA Design donated a masterplan for the gardens' restoration, which aimed to restore the grounds to the spirit of a turn-of-the-century garden, with the preservation of all important historic specimens and the choice of new plantings confined to what one would have planted approximately one hundred years ago. The masterplan, which was enthusiastically endorsed by the Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board in July, 2000, called for the work to be divided into three phases: Phase I is the formal front gardens, which compliment the elegant front façade of the house and include the restoration of historic fencing on the west and east sides of the house to divide the formal gardens from the rear grounds. Phase II is the east side of the rear gardens, centering on the carriage house, and renovated this year as a private, casual garden, appropriate for weddings, dinners, receptions, picnics, and the like. Phase III, which we hope to complete in 2005, centers on the water tower on the west side of the rear gardens; it will include a demonstration garden in the northwest corner of the grounds and also utilize the refurbished gardening shed portion of the carriage house adjacent to the demonstration garden.

A key component of the gardens restoration plan is the donation by EBMUD, founded and led for many years by George Pardee, of state-of-the-art, water-efficient irrigation for all three phases of the project. EBMUD water conservation officials are delighted to be able to make this contribution to the renovation of historic gardens, and wish to show the gardens, after phase III is completed, as a demonstration site, illustration that water-efficient irrigation can be utilized with any type of landscaping, not just drought-resistant gardens, but even restored turn-of-the-century gardens.

During the first six months since the completion of phase II, six events have been held in these casual gardens, including events hosted by the museum and parties and picnics hosted by private parties who have rented the facilities from the museum. Please call us at (510) 444-2187 for more details on facilities rentals.

Garden Plan
Click on image to see garden plans in a larger format.

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Date Last Modified: 03/18/15