Santa Barbara · Montecito · Ojai · Malibu · Ventura · Pasadena
Ojai Valley Inn Resort
Ojai, California
"I am thrilled to pick-up where my Grandmother, Margaret Sears, (a celebrated landscape architect in her time) left off; in the 1930’s, she created the original gardens for the Ojai Valley Inn" Leland Walmsley


We designed 6 new amazing gardens for this world-class, 5-star resort nestled in the dreamy foothills of Ojai, California.

To pamper guests, we created a tropical oasis fit for a sultan and his court by skillfully weaving together olfactory and visual Mediterranean elements throughout the new gardens.

We started with the entry court to the new Moorish Pool & Spa. Here, we incorporated large potted citrus where their soothing fragrance would waft in the gentle breezes.

As one moves on to the Olympic sized swimming pool, the warm sun fills the air with scents of lavender and sage while the eyes feast on the Moorish motifs.

We were sure to soften and shade the pool’s hardscape with flowering vine-covered pergolas.

An intimate and private healing garden adjacent to the new full-service, world-class spa facility invites guests to lose themselves in the lavish amenities.

The 12 private cabanas offer quiet moments of contemplation by the new oversized, outdoor fireplace we designed to provide a warm and romantic ambiance.

We created walkways and stairways to connect the 30 new “Herb Suite Bungalows” with the pool area.

These paths and walkways continue on meandering through a restored oak woodland habitat and 1 acre herb garden with an olive grove amidst a lavender field with pops of sage and echinacea.

The multiple buildings are linked by planted courtyards between with various and distinct water features providing gentle sounds and a place for the ear to rest.

We also created an organic vegetable garden for the Chef whose restaurant now overlooks restored native creek-side habitat and two dreamy outdoor wedding sites.

We've been getting rave reviews for these new gardens, that further punctuate the natural beauty of Ojai.

Sustainability Highlights

  • Use of on-site rocks & boulder for walls inter-planted with succulents
  • Zoned ‘smart’ irrigation for precise watering
  • Use of succulents, natives, and South African plants (low water use, yet look beautiful and lush and naturally pest and disease resistant)
  • Liberal use of mulch for weed control, retains soil moisture to reduce the drying effect of the sundowner winds, reduces maintenance costs, and revitalizes the soil as it breaks down
  • Oak trees and oak-companion native plants – low water
  • Fruit trees, orchard, and organic vegetable garden for the chef keeps food local, fresh, and low carbon footprint
  • All runoff drains to a large retention pond to percolate water into water table and native bog plants mitigate pollutants.
  • All drainage on the property now transitions into California riparian watersheds with natives to restore the creeks.
  • Wildlife habitat restoration (woodland and creek)
  • Because the drainage transitions to local watersheds, we were sure to institute the use of non-toxics – herbicides, fertilizers, soil amendments, etc.
  • Soft gravel walkways allow for rainwater percolation to feed plants and replenish the water table.
  • Addressed fire zone issues and created “defensible space” to lessen the risk of fire damage and its spread while aiding first responders for access and safety.
  • Pex-piping pre-heats pool water prior to pump & heating element (using natural solar “thermal sink” in the pool deck)
  • Warm” LED low wattage lighting uses 1/10 the energy of traditional lighting & compliant with "Dark Skies Initiative" (light pollution)
  • ADA compliant
  • Local vendors, contractors and craftsmen employed