Gardens of Santana Row

Cyclamens at the RowA decade ago, a sleepy San Jose shopping center called Town and Country Village morphed into a mixed-use, upscale complex known as Santana Row. In this era of indoor malls, it’s a treat to walk “The Row” where European-influenced architecture compliments the beautiful greens.  Gorgeous pots brimming with blooms line the sidewalks year round.  Several outdoor restaurants sit under graceful trees.  Even the sidewalk strips brim with life.  Santana Row earned two major design awards including:

“the CELSOC Engineering Excellence Award in 2004, and Builder Magazine’s Project of the Year in 2003.

Judges from Builder Magazine noted the street’s European atmosphere that was achieved by employing a variety of architectural designs for the structures as well as sophisticated landscaping details. These details focused on the use of mature oak and palm trees, shaded grassy plazas, courtyards, and fountains, intimate public seating areas, extra-wide sidewalks and street medians, and mixed-use destinations such as Park Valencia, which hosts live music, a farmer’s market, and other public gatherings.” (Sources: Wikipedia and Builder Magazine)

I lunched with my sister today at Santana Row’s The Left Bank. The grounds were newly planted for the holidays.  I love the liberal use of whites and purples throughout, along with the more traditional reds. I’m dying to go back to see more. Here’s what’s in bloom at The Row.

Red and white pots
Paper White Narcissus
Succulents and Annuals
Planters full of PurpleRed and Green pots

Christmas at Santana Row

Tree branches painted red look like birds nest ornaments

The Gardens of San Jose: Come Take the Tour

Hey Bay Area friends!  Come join me this Sunday, June 3rd for a tour of several private gardens in the beautiful and historic Rose Garden neighborhood.  San José Parks Foundation presents The Gardens of San Jose 2012 tour.

My friend and colleague Jim Reber is the Founding Executive Director with deep roots in our community.  Many will know him as the founder of San José Repertory Theater in the early eighties.  San Jose Parks Foundation vision is:

Founding Executive Director, Jim Reber

To establish innovative vibrant parks, trails, and recreation programs by building a permanent charitable endowment that will provide sustainable resources in perpetuity for San José.

Their Mission

To enhance the recreational, educational, and cultural life of the San José community by encouraging and soliciting support for our City’s parks system.

The San José Parks Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization that:

  • Inspires passion and community involvement in our parks, trails and recreational programs.
  • Helps build and develop a world-class parks system by providing private funding for park programs, as well as acquisition, capital improvements and beautification and landscape enhancements.
  • Collaborates with the City of San José Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, and other community partners.
  • Provides a planned giving vehicle for residents to leave a lasting legacy for future generations

To learn more about the garden tour or order tickets in advance, click here.