Harland Hand Memorial Garden

El Cerrito, California

The Harland Hand Memorial Garden in El Cerrito, California, across the bay from San Francisco, is currently not open to the public. This website is a virtual garden reflecting different eras and seasons. Harland Hand [1922-1998] designed and built his nearly- half-acre garden on a hillside with breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Inspired by the principles of fine art and rock formations in the High Sierra, he sculpted concrete steps, paths, pools, and benches to create an emotionally evocative space. His plantings were known for dramatic color combinations of foliage and flowers. The garden has been featured in various books, magazines, newspapers, and television programs.

“I have felt a growing need, indeed a longing for the West to have more special gardens created for no other reason than to be enjoyed for themselves, unusual gardens that expressed something about our place in the beauty, variety, excitement and emotional force found in nature.”

[From Mr. Hand's unpublished book, "THE COMPOSED GARDEN"]

Marjory Harris, the former owner of the garden [2000-2008], wishes to preserve Mr. Hand's memory, novel ideas for garden design, and his masterpiece, which is ever changing with the seasons and years. The website is meant to inspire visitors to create their own innovative gardens, without regard to rules and conventions.