Marjory Harris

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.

Following the death of Harland Hand (Pacific Horticulture, Spring ‘99), there was great concern about the future of his outstanding garden in El Cerrito, California, featured in some of the earliest issues of this journal (January ‘76 and Spring ‘78). Harland’s sister, Lou Hand-Schley, her daughters, and various landscape professionals from the community have worked hard over the past two years to maintain the garden as Harland would have wished, even as Lou and others searched for ways to assure its long-term preservation. Harland had begun preliminary negotiations with The Garden Conservancy prior to his death, but no agreements had been finalized; issues of access, financing, and governance seemed over-whelming. Most agreed that the best solution—and perhaps the most unlikely—would be for the property to be purchased by a gardener who would appreciate Harland’s accomplishments and would be dedicated to preserving and maintaining the garden.

We are happy to report that that individual has come forth and the garden is now in new and supportive hands. The new owner is Marjory Harris, long a resident of San Francisco and a devoted member of Harland’s fan club. It was not easy for Marjory to give up her home and garden in San FranciscoThe garden had been designed by Harland in the late 1980s, on a site that might be even steeper than his own garden in El Cerrito. It was a perfect setting for Marjory to play with the many rock garden plants, herbs, perennials, and fragrant shrubs that she loves. But she is even more excited about the future of the master’s garden, and will be a hands-on gardener as she works to preserve and further develop Harland’s garden in the hills across the Bay. We wish her well and thank her for taking on this formidable task.  Reprinted by permission of Pacific Horticulture, ("You May Like to Know...," Fall 2000, Vol. 61, No. 4).

After eight years of renovating the house and garden, Marjory Harris moved to Apple Valley in the High Desert of the Inland Empire. She then moved to Loma Linda, CA, where she developed a new garden.

Courtesy Marion Brenner

Courtesy Martha Mikova