Monday, March 21, 2011
BARBARA LAHMANN'S Texas grandfather and French grandmother, Jim and Claire Livingston, purchased this 11-acre property on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in 1936. They built their adobe home using WPA plans purchased from the federal government for 25 cents. They moved into it with their family during Christmas 1938.
CLAIRE LIVINGSTON designed her home in the French country tradition; Jim Livingston built the home. In 1998, Steve and Barbara Lahmann moved into the home, and, since then, have lovingly restored the original adobe.
IN THE GARDEN, paths meander through specimen after specimen of old-world plantings, Mediterranean plants, 60-year-old olive trees (planted by the Livingstons), stands of aloes in full bloom, fields of lavender, and dozens of potted geraniums... "because they were Grandmother's favorite flowers," says Barbara. She describes her garden as "California mission". The Lahmanns' two donkeys add authenticity to the mission design.
VISITORS will see Euonymus shrubs, flowering Quince, blooming wisteria vines, irises, and a lilac bush from Barbara's grandmother's original garden. The garden is terraced and culminates at a hill of pungent rosemary and lavender. There are more than 20 species of lavender on the property. The Spanish lavender is currently in full bloom.
IN ADDITION, Barbara has a large herb garden, a lavender display garden, a perennial garden, and stands of artichokes and succulents.
Artist on site: Jana Botkin