Red Island

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.

Harland Hand called an area in the center of the garden "the Red Island." He used red on red, dark greens and yellow greens, and gray foliage. A spit of land that spans two levels of the garden, it can be viewed from various angles and changes throughout the seasons.

In the winter a big camellia blooms, rich red on one side, a deep pink on the other. It seems a sucker intertwined with the grafted part and produced this remarkable two--tone effect. A red magnolia blooms at the same time.

Various roses from deepest red to a shocking pink grow on this island, and an old florist's rose named "Better Times." A limequat and euphorbia add lime-green contrast to the red and purple. Deep red, rose-red and orange-red azaleas contrast with spiky ferns.