Villa del Greco
Part 5: An Overview

Back when I first started posting about Villa del Greco, I laid it out for you: we chose to launch with this series because this garden in particular reveals the process of how we partner with clients and the kinds of results we get.

villa del greco koi pond

I can’t say enough how great it is to work with a thoughtful and caring client who really values the property they’ve got. We seek out relationships like this–and they can happen with clients who own houses both big and small–because when the client is invested in the history, ecology and design of their garden, I do my most inspired work. I’ve been designing for a long time, and at this stage, I’m interested in creating spaces that have a sense of purpose, whose existence is meaningful to the people who live in them.

Villa del Greco represents the best of what we can do, which is to extend the graciousness of a home out into its immediate surroundings.

villa del greco guest house

In case you missed any of the posts, here’s what we published:

Villa del Greco: First Steps

I delve into the history of this site, exploring a house and garden that were originally designed by the American architect and painter George Washington Smith.

remnants of villa del greco

villa del greco sunken fountain

Villa del Greco: An Inviting Entry

Navigation through a garden is more than just a practical matter, as you’ll see in this post about the pedestrian entry at Villa del Greco.

villa del greco pedestrian entry

villa del greco entry

Villa del Greco: Three Fountains Get a Facelift

We restored three fountains to their 1920s glory, painstakingly selecting the right tile for the job. We also minimized water usage so the fountains don’t waste our most precious natural resource.

villa del greco fountain

villa del greco wall fountain

Villa del Greco: A Medallion Becomes Brilliant

Find out how we arranged gorgeous Andalusian tile to achieve the final composition of the compass medallion.

villa del greco medallion

villa del greco medallion and fountain

In covering the design process in a series, we were able to get into the nitty-gritty of our work. The idea has been to give you a peek behind the curtain, and we’ll do that in upcoming posts about other gardens as well.


If you love what you’ve learned about Villa del Greco, you can get inside the house in a recent issue of California Homes magazine, which published a feature that includes photos of many of the interior spaces as well as the garden. Click here.


Sneak peak into our next blog post…

Xeriscaping: Embracing the California Native Garden

Photo credit: Don Graham
Photo credit: Don Graham


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2 thoughts on “Villa del Greco
Part 5: An Overview

  1. Hi – lovely garden and restorations.

    I’m curious if the original tile of the medallion was saved or if you have a photograph of it you could share. I wondered where it was made back in the day. In your research of the garden, was there mention of where it was made? It reminded me of the designs I’ve seen in Northern California – the colors are more muted than Spanish or Mexican tiles.

    1. Hi Kimberly,

      The medallion that we removed could not be saved. It was not original to GWS’ time. It was a product of the late 90’s, most likely. I recognized it as a product of Malibu Tile Works. They offer a matte finish on their glazes which is what you were looking at (plus a couple of decades of “patina”) on the photo of the medallion we demolished on this project.

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