California Eden

California Eden:

Heritage Landscapes of the Golden State

edited by Christine Edstrom O’Hara and Susan Chamberlin

California, renowned for its diverse landscapes and cultural heritage, has long been a source of fascination and inspiration. In California Eden: Heritage Landscapes of the Golden State, editors Christine Edstrom O’Hara and Susan Chamberlin take readers on an immersive journey through the storied landscapes that have shaped the identity of the Golden State.

For many people, the concept of landscape is associated with gardens, especially estate gardens. California Eden reaches far beyond the elite circle of private estates; this book highlights a wide range of landscapes from the professional to the vernacular through exceptional essays by distinguished landscape historians. But beyond its breathtaking vistas, the book delves deep into the cultural and historical significance of these landscapes, revealing the untold stories of the people who have inhabited and shaped them over the centuries.

From grand vistas to the historic gardens of Old Monterey, each page demonstrates the unique blend of history, artistry, and ecology that characterizes these cherished places. California Eden celebrates the enduring legacy of these heritage landscapes while highlighting their importance in preserving California’s cultural heritage for future generations. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist, a history enthusiast, or simply a lover of beauty, this exquisite volume is sure to inspire awe and appreciation for the incomparable beauty of the Golden State.

Co-editors Christine Edstrom O’Hara and Susan Chamberlin bring together these voices from the landscape architecture community to discuss and present the history of both rural and urban landscapes and how they shape (and are shaped by) nature and the people who design them. Entries highlight famous and beloved estate gardens but also more frequently overlooked landscapes such as shopping malls, streetscapes, sports venues, and vernacular sites.

Covering a range of places from a military installation on the California-Mexico border, to the campus of Stanford University, and the Japanese American gardens of San Diego, the essays speak to design as well as the challenges of historic preservation of these-often ephemeral places. As elegant as it is informative, California Eden is an essential book for anyone who is passionate about plants.

Coeditor Christine Edstrom O’Hara is a professor of landscape architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She received her Bachelor of English from Stanford University, Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Washington, and PhD in Landscape Architecture from University of Edinburgh. In addition to teaching, Prof. O'Hara has had a landscape design practice for over twenty-five years. Within that practice, she consults on the restoration and preservation of historic landscapes by writing National Register nominations, Cultural Landscape Reports, as well as restoration and rehabilitation plans. She is the past president of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, trustee for the Olmsted Network, and is passionate about education and conservation of historic places.

Coeditor Susan Chamberlin, ASLA, is a landscape historian and a licensed landscape architect with a degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and master’s degree in architectural history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a founding member of the California Garden & Landscape History Society and a former adjunct faculty member of Santa Barbara City College, where she taught garden history. In addition to contributions to Shaping the American Landscape, Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Arts and Architecture magazine, the journal Site Lines, historic structures reports, and other publications, she is the author of Hedges, Screens & Espaliers and was a contributing editor of several horticulture books.

  • 224 pages
  • full color throughout
  • 200+ images
  • 9" w x 12" h
  • hardcover; ISBN 978-1-62640-115-0; $65

Publication date for this book is Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

$65.00 USD