Harland Hand [1922-1998], inspired by the principles of fine art and rock formations in the High Sierra, designed this hillside garden with breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay.
Using concrete, curving lines and dramatic color combinations, Hand created an emotionally evocative space that houses an extraordinary plant collection.
At the bottom of the garden is the ballroom, one of Mr. Hand's favorite areas. You descend into this complex and emotionally powerful space on curving staircases, reaching a wide expanse -- indeed the widest part of the garden -- with five ponds, a cascade, the cliff wall, and benches offering panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay.
You can munch on a tangerine from a tree in the ballroom and gaze into a selvatic area below -- the woods -- which blends the cultivated garden into untended parkland. Deer graze in the park, squirrels leap through branches, birds sing. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, visible in the distance, seem far away....