The view from Vancouver: on English Bay, two designers create a Mediterranean atmosphere

“SUNSET BOULEVARD!” I remember thinking when I first saw the house back in 1976. Sadly neglected and half-buried in scraggly trees and vines, the Mission Revival structure drew me many times with its sagging “Hollywood” awnings and never a sign of life or change. I monitored it for three years, waiting for a “For Sale” sign. Finally, I wrote a letter to the owner saying that if he ever wanted to sell the house, I would be interested in preserving it and saving it from the massive redevelopment that was sweeping the area of Vancouver on which it was perched. Ten years after that I received a phone call from the original and only owner and the deal was done.

That was five years ago. Today my partner, Brent Beattie, and I have created a Mediterranean-style garden to go with the house’s architecture, complete with pockets of woodland and a large terrace from which to enjoy the spectacular views of Vancouver’s harbor and backdrop of mountains. Because we live in a temperate rain forest where lumber has always been plentiful, most of the larger homes in Vancouver are Tudor style, combining shingles or wooden siding with stucco. Gardens favor rhododendrons and the English border look. Moving into this type of house gave us the opportunity to create an atypical Vancouver garden and to experiment with many plants hailing from warmer climes. Read more about The view from Vancouver: on English Bay, two designers create a Mediterranean atmosphere