With its mild climate and diverse plant life, California has a rich tradition of garden design.  From Spanish-influenced mission gardens, to estate gardens of the 1920s and modern residential landscapes by Thomas Church and Garrett Eckbo, there is a stunning variety to study and experience.

I recently visited Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens in Long Beach which features four acres of thematic garden areas created primarily between 1920 to 1936. The gardens as they exist today were structured by Florence Bixby with the help of such notable designers as the Olmstead Brothers and Florence Yoch. Though they were developed at a time when flamboyance was the hallmark of most estate gardens, Ms. Bixby’s gardens stand apart for their low-key elegance. Take a look.

Related: I am writing a three-part series for Houzz featuring current examples of Classic, Mediterranean and Modern garden styles.

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