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1996 Eastman Ave., Ste. 101
Ventura, CA 93003

Rancho Santa Clara del Norte

The history of Rancho Santa Clara Del Norte dates back 9,000 years when it was part of a Chumash settlement. It became a Mexican Land Grant in 1837 and has been in the hands of the Lloyd-Butler family since 1864. Today the 1250-acre ranch remains a thriving farming operation, consisting of orchards, fields, pastures, and 6 acres of landscaped grounds and gardens. The ranch land is replenished by using nutrients drawn from habitat and stumpery gardens, lots of mulch and other regenerative farming techniques. The results are healthy soils, balanced insect populations and lower requirements of chemical inputs. Eucalyptus and citrus line the long stately private drive that leads to the statuesque white home. Stand on the extensive porch and look out to intimate gardens featuring a fountain and a footbridge and then beyond to the huge palm garden that has hosted both private and community events.  Let the numerous pathways guide you through the lush gardens. Visit the pool, the quaint chapel, an enchanted forest, the cactus garden, and unique arches made of tree trunks.  Enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade, participate in the raffle and imagine what life was like at the turn of the century on this tranquil estate.

Hardy Garden

It was seven years ago when Linda and Gary Hardy moved to what they called, “Controlled Chaos”. The home was built in 1965, has had 5 owners, and each had their own vision of the landscaping. The Hardys have modified many of these visions to create a garden that is great for entertaining and just relaxing under an umbrella of pink bougainvillea, they enjoy sitting on their front porch and chatting with their neighbors who frequently walk by. Your tour will take you through their home to the back garden that is divided into two levels. The upper area is devoted to outdoor cooking, dining, and lounging. The expansive lawn slopes down to a second area anchored by a gazebo. The highlight of their renovation is a cascading waterfall that flows into a pond teaming with koi and Chinese black high fins. The perimeter of the garden is lined with roses, contains two large Magnolias that were planted by a previous owner and two avocado trees that Gary and Linda added. A delicate Japanese Maple was discovered when they removed a large patch of Pampas grass and three Jacarandas add a splash of purple when they bloom in the spring. The property borders the Saticoy golf course and guests can  wander through the gate at the end of the garden for a peek of the 5th hole. With a special vision of their own, Linda and Gary have certainly created a functional and beautiful landscape. Not only is it enjoyed by family and friends, they also graciously provide it for events that benefit our community.

Kuehnel Garden

Julie and Tim Kuehnel purchased their fixer upper home in 1979. Though they renovated the interior and worked on the exterior, it was when they decided to install a pavered patio in the back garden 5 years ago that the major improvements took place. Now the front garden is full of interesting textures and colors. A Salvia shrub that was trimmed as a tree sets the stage. Mexican sage, lantana, lavender, hibiscus, and juniper provide a colorful backdrop for meticulously groomed bonsaied ferns. A gravel pathway connects the gardens through the side yard that is planted with a variety of citrus including orange, grapefruit, tangerine, kumquat and lemon. The backyard garden opens to a beautiful view of the valley below. Colorful planters and artificial turf border the covered patio, fire pit, and dining area.  Umbrellas provide shade and Julie has collected a number of stone frogs to adorn the landscape. This garden is perfect for lounging at sunset with a glass of wine.

Naumann Garden

Susan Naumann bought the home 5 years ago and put her touch on many of the structures as well as the gardens. With low maintenance in mind, the shingles are concrete and rather than grass she chose pavers and decomposed granite. Walking through the wisteria ladened arbor and into a secluded courtyard gives just a hint of what lies beyond. Susan believes in paying attention to details and she credits Tricia Worman of Living Designs for inspiring her. They bounced ideas off each other with delightful results. Their collaboration is evident in the array of colorful flowers that burst from unexpected niches, the wooden shutters with cutouts of flowering pots, and even the small rustic house that hides the irrigation controls. The table and chairs invite you to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the local newspaper, but it isn’t until you walk to the back of the home that you are caught breathless as you scan this garden of texture and color and take in the view of green fields below. Stand on the covered porch furnished with a braided rug, stone planters packed with annuals, and comfortable wicker furniture. The outdoor kitchen, fountain and dining area promise a good meal and beyond that a covered living area, complete with a fireplace, will be ready for the cool evening ahead. Walk the DG pathways that take you through the wooden planters that bloom with flowers, herbs and vegetables and check out Susan’s studio. Her love of design is reflected in her garden by the immense variety of plants and furniture. Just imagine at the end of the day sitting on the red wrought-iron benches with a friend and having a cup of home-grown herbal tea while watching the sunset.

Hipp Family Garden

The home was built in 1987, then in 2022, Jennifer joined her mother Carolyn to care for her father.  When Jennifer turned her eye to update the landscaping, her father suggested that she get some professional assistance from landscape designer David Snow. A special collaboration between them led to a complete renovation, creating a casual and natural environment, reminiscent of San Ysidro Ranch and the Loire Valley. Grass was removed from the front and replaced with beds of flowers including Polygala Sweet Pea, Pittosporum Crème de Mint, and Variegated Lavenders to name a few, that are lush as well as low-water friendly. In the backyard, Earl Saulet Masonry collaborated with David to create the design for the flagstone patio, including a gorgeous flagstone seat wall which encircles a firepit area. David designed the pink Utah Sunrise stone pathways and stairs to compliment the patio, lining them with low boulder rocks and colorful flowers, such as African Daisies and petunias. The walkways connect the home’s large viewing deck to the firepit, then continue through a pedestrian gate to a dining destination featuring a wrought-iron table and chairs that date to Jennifer’s childhood. Down another inviting walkway, in the orchard, there’s another area for contemplating the property, with a simple wooden swing on a rope that hangs from a large Pepper Tree. From there, you can see the basketball court that is a training ground for Jennifer’s teenage son who is a serious player. Jennifer enjoys walking through the extensive orchard where she harvests apples, citrus, figs, and pears, often sharing her bounty with neighbors and friends. Beyond the crisp, white fencing of the back garden, the overlooking views of the distant countryside and awe-inspiring sunsets are prominent. They definitely call for hot chocolate and s’mores around the firepit.