Water feature, Garden structure/sculpture, Fruit/vegetables, Scenic view
The Shartsis Gardens surround the historic Sutro Mansion, built around 1910 on a five acre parcel that had been the site of writer Jack London's home. The Mansion, designed by architect Houghton Sawyer, now sits on a one-acre parcel secluded from the street below. The house has five gardens that were completely redone in the 21st century. The front garden was reconstructed into two levels, the main brick staircase was enhanced, the lawns were added, and the garden enlarged. The lower level courtyard, paved with more than 4,000 hand-placed granite stones, features a medallion fashioned from more than 2,500 hand-cut bricks. Italian cypresses stand in front of a grand balustrade, frame the house, and also form a backdrop to a fountain with a whimsical bronze sculpture by American artist Larry Shank named Colonel Mustard, an homage to artist René Magritte. Extensive plantings of jasmine and laurels provide structure on both levels and define annual planting beds. On the upper level, gravel pathways, a topiary, patterned flower parterres, and an elegant black iron fountain surrounded by 'Just Joey' rose trees are all bordered by miniature boxwoods. At the west end of the pathway is the bronze sculpture Feeling by French artist Jacques Le Bescond. The morning garden on the east side of the house features an Italianate lion wall fountain surrounded by arborvitae, ground roses, and a border of boxwood globes. The patio is surrounded by camellias and boxwood hedges that form parterres for roses. The third garden is a private walk on the west side of the house, with sculpted low hedges, arborvitae, camellias, and high pittosporum hedges. The private walk leads to the fourth garden and patio with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. On the upper lawn the monumental Caballo Nileo bronze sculpture by Spanish artist Carlos Mata stands on a two ton block of stone and looks out over the Bay. Custom brick designs tie together the walkways, the patio, the upper lawns, the citrus garden, the hydrangea garden, and the rose garden that surrounds part of the house. The back lawns are built on terraces constructed from 70 tons of rock. The cypress theme is repeated. The steep hillside below the main lawn features flowering plum trees and redwoods. The fifth garden, the Italian vegetable garden, is sheltered below the main lawn, featuring stone terraces, a travertine Italian fountain, and a row of large Italian urns.
Open Days 2022: Sunday, June 12
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Members $5 per person; General admission $10. Children 12 and under free.
- New garden or feature
- This garden allows photography
Piedmont, Alameda, CA, 94611