Shelters, Trails & Lookouts

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.

Three elements that fulfill ancient, primitive human needs: shelter, trails, and lookouts

And throughout the garden are benches, where one can sit and look out....

(c) Pam Peirce, all rights reserved

"For a garden to be more than color or form or variety -- for it to inspire and move you -- it must contain three elements that fulfill ancient, primitive human needs: shelter, trails and lookouts, not garden rooms, paths and views. These words are removed from the natural world. They do not speak directly to the feelings you might have when, having hiked all day along a high, exposed ridge trail, you come, as dusk falls, upon a ravine where a knot of trees offers shelter for the night. When you find such a place you feel good and warm and safe. Trails produce mixed emotions, a sense of expectation and a sense of direction. A lookout brings a sense of power and exhilaration. This is how primitive people saw nature and how modern people experience nature and even gardens, whether they know it or not."

Harland Hand, quoted by Gordon Hayward in Garden Paths: Inspiring Designs and Practical Projects

Gordon Hayward wrote to Marjory Harris: "I must say I was so deeply struck by my 2-3 hours with Harland back in the early1990's. He was clearly one of the most articulate people I ever interviewed about gardening."