|San Diego Home/Garden Magazine, July 1996
The first time the owner of this splendid Rancho Santa Fe property laid eyes on her home-to-be was one day before she and her husband were scheduled to leave for Eastern Europe. "Our realtor called telling me the perfect property had come on the market and there was no time to waste. I literally plucked him off the driving range and within 30 minutes we had made our offer," she says.
That decisiveness, and knowing what she wants, saw this home gardener through a three-year building process. Those same qualities served her, too, when it came time to create a garden at the courtyard-heart of the house.
"I had seen Takendo's work at the Golden Door, so I was excited about working with him," she remembers. "Later when I saw his vision for this space, I knew that I could trust him to create a garden as authentic as a Japanese garden in Southern California can be."
Landscape designer Takendo Arii's vision for her garden was wonderful and his creation even more so. This is the very best of Japanese gardens; never
so formal that it excludes the visitor from participation, yet so honest in its design and execution that we emerge refreshed and enlivened by every visit.
"This is a large landscape with strong Oriental flavor. The impressive rock work and large koi ponds make you feel you are in Japan." -juror Walter Andersen, Jr.