Sunday D. and I went to look at the gardens and grounds at Villa Montalvo in nearby Saratoga, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Villa Montalvo was the summer home of James Duval Phelan, mayor of San Francisco and California's first popularly-elected Senator. It was built in 1912 - 1914, and he used to entertain guests such as Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford and Douglass Fairbanks. After his death he donated the estate to the public for the purpose of encouraging the development of art, literature, music, and architecture. D. and I certainly enjoy art, literature, music, and architecture, so we went to have a little look-see.
A gallery on the grounds had a show on censorship.
The villa's exterior.
Part of the villa's courtyard.
A little fountain in the courtyard.
Vine and balustrade in the courtyard.
Faun? Satyr? Gnarly little dude? I think they only turn on the fountains during special events. They were all dry.
This poor lady took a header off her perch and needed a nose job. It's hard to see the patch on her nose, but you can see the break around the base of her throat.
But her sister is okay. (That is, until the next really big earthquake.)
One of two cheeky Steller's Jays, perched atop an obelisk.
A coolio little sphinx guarding a walkway.
Pond with mermaid.
Cool colors and textures: maples and palms.
We thought these were just another pair of lovers until we took a closer look and saw the huge serpent with an apple in its jaws coiling around in the back.
The focal point of the Arboretum at Montalvo.
Another fountain figure.
Do I blend in?
A peaceful garden path through the Arboretum at Montalvo.