The Southwest Interprets English Romantic
by Vonn-Marie May
“Friend of his fellowmen, lover of all growing things” reads the plaque placed at the Junipero Serra Museum in 1950 to honor San Diego’s most endearing and respected city father, George White Marston. He was, among many titles, a businessman, city planner, civic visionary, husband and father, and gentleman who loved and cultivated beauty that was expressed in all growing things.
During his lifetime Marston was responsible for greening and protecting significant numbers of acres. His most noted concerns include the early development of Balboa Park and the Monument to Father Serra on Presidio Hill, the two projects in which he was intimately and generously involved. Other interests also included the restoration of Mission San Diego, the protection of Torrey Pines and Anza-Borrego state parks, the preservation of the Pacific Highway from San Diego to Santa Ana, and the early urban plans for San Diego in both 1908 and 1926. He responded to the needs of a newly shaping city while he managed a very successful business, travelled frequently and maintained a genteel family life.1
Determined and knowledgeable, Marston sought out the most capable designers and craftspeople for his projects and transformed flat mesas and hillsides of dusty chaparral into world class park environments. He envisioned and worked toward a far-sighted and well planned San Diego and in his lifetime became acquainted with and formed lasting friendships with some of the most revered professionals in the country. As the history of his personal garden on Seventh Avenue is revealed it is difficult to separate this intimate project from his large scale involvements. Many of the same designers who helped shape the garden were peers and friends of his participating in several of his projects. What we see throughout his life is how the love for his family, his city, and his affinity for the aesthetic created San Diego’s First Citizen and as John Nolen wrote, “The Pioneer of City Planning for San Diego.”2
In the fall of 1905 the family moved from their downtown residence on Ash Street into their beautiful new home on Seventh Avenue designed by the architectural firm of William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill. The house was originally situated on ten acres of gently sloping land immediately adjacent to the City Park, now known as Balboa Park, and overlooking Cabrillo Canyon. Soon after the home was completed the property was parceled out to family members which left a little over four acres for the house and gardens and retained the area that was contiguous to park land.
Running concurrently with the planning and construction of his home was the movement to address the unplanned and fallow City Park. The park had suffered from municipal and private enroachments, arbitrary tree planting programs, and exhibited an overwhelming need for some sort of a master plan. George Marston and pioneer horticulturist Kate Sessions had been the leading personalities in understanding the plight of the park and with their collective sensitivities persuaded the Chamber of Commerce to establish a park improvement board in which Marston subsequently chaired the park plans committee.3 At his own expense Marston commissioned landscape architect Samual Parsons, Jr. from New York to initiate the first master plan in 1903.4 Parsons came to San Diego in December of 1902 and was followed by his partner George Cooke in July of 1903. Cooke would eventually become the first designer of the Marston family garden.
Park improvements were a reality by 1905 and it became necessary for Kate Sessions to move her thirty acre growing grounds from the northwest section of the park, adjacent to the Marston property, to make way for new roads. She left in her wake a partially landscaped frontispiece to the Marston home that potentially enhanced the viewshed both in and out of the home. Remnant plantings from her nursery site such as Cypresses Cupressus spp., stands of Sugar Gum Eucalyptus cladocalyx, and a stunning variety of Coral tree Erythrina falcata as well as other species are still standing today.5
Marston’s relationship with Kate was one of lifelong mutual admiration. On many occasions in paying tribute to her he remarked, “Botanically speaking, I would call Miss Sessions as perennial, evergreen and everblooming,” and “Queen Mother of the Whole Floral Kingdom,” and he added, “Let the state have its (Luther) Burbank, we have our Sessions.”6 Since Kate was the word in all horticultural matters in San Diego she struck an immediate professional relationship with both Parsons and Cooke and became an important and vital resource to them.7
George Cooke took up residence in San Diego by 1907. Having an engineering background as well as being trained as a gardener, his primary tasks were to implement landscape designs and roadways through City Park and in several areas within San Diego County as well. In Mary Marston’s family chronicle she writes that things began to happen when Cooke was on the job. “George Cooke came [and] the dirt began to fly!”8 Having the expertise of Cooke so readily available and personally underwritten, Marston requested his services on the family garden. An outline was drawn which delineated roadways, paths, and initial tree plantings. The first trees were planted in 1906 after having to blast holes in the hardpan of the mesa top.9
Cooke’s preliminary design of the garden was in accordance with what Parsons was designing for the western edge of the park along Sixth Avenue. Both men were practitioners of the English Romantic school of landscape design that had become the nineteenth century American model for most major city parks in the northeast and was demonstrated in the works of Frederick Law Olmsted and A. J. Downing.l0
The picturesque design began to take shape as a large expanse of curvilinear sloping lawn surrounding the house on the west, south and eastern sides was installed. Long swaths of mufti-layered shrub massing delineated the edges of the lawn with single-species tree clusters arching toward and framing the architecture. The lawn at first was a South American substitute called Lippia repens which was far more drought tolerant and easier tomaintain than conventional grasses being used.11 The Lippia grass, however, was removed by 1912 and replaced with bluegrass later dominated by bermuda. Records are not readily available on most of the garden elements but this was probably the year that Marston installed an underground cistern to ensure water availability for nearly two acres of thirsty lawn as well as the rest of the grounds. A long drought period had swept through the Southwest until late 1915 and desperate measures by individuals with resources may have been necessary.
The plant palette chosen was one to equal the subtle yet masterful architecture of the emerging style of Irving J. Gill. Stately Deodar Cedars Cedrus deodar, vertical and lush Canary Island Pines Pinus canariensis, and the canopy of native Live Oaks (2uercus agrifolia complemented the home and grounds and created a composite scene of tranquil elegance. Seeing a photograph of the Marston garden for the first time one might not believe it to be a southern California landscape. The large dark wood members of estate style architecture, Boston ivy climbing the detailed red brick, and the entire image embraced by cool climate, majestic, evergreen trees conjured a picture from quite a different region. However, a second glance would reveal the Eucalyptus in the skyline, the splash of intensely flowering Bougainvillea, and many other exotic fair weather semi-tropicals that display a botanical eclecticism that is possible in San Diego.12 Conspicuously absent from the garden today are palm trees. During California’s late nineteenth century horticultural boom, of which palms were a major contributor, it was very common to see these unique accent trees everywhere. Queen palms Arecastrum romanzoffianum or Cocos Plumosa had a very brief role in the northeast part of the garden, while juvenile fan palms Washingtonia spp. near the porte cochere, seen in an early photo, had all been removed. Perhaps in this setting they seemed somehow inappropriate. Too soon after the first efforts of landscape construction on the garden began George Cooke was accidently killed on a mountain grade while working for the county highway commission. He was laid to rest in his newly adopted home town in which he had only resided one year. Cooke’s widow requested that Marston speak at the funeral and he eloquently eulogized:
“Our city has recently awakened to the need of preserving its beautiful gifts of nature and of developing higher forms of civic comfort and well-being. And this was the man to whom we looked for counsel and service. He had come to us at the right time, he had secured our confidence and had decided to cast his lot with us. By natural ability, long training and experience, practical sagacity, and tireless industry he was preeminently fitted for the public service to which he was called.”13
Work on the garden continued with the balance of the design and plant selection being accomplished by Marston, his wife Anna, and always with the assistance of Kate. In the north garden a vegetable patch with citrus trees was planted. A perimeter brick wall, turfed paths, and a rose arbor that extended north to the gate between the properties were also built. Functional elements for a relatively self-sufficient estate such as an incinerator, tool shed, and hot house were situated outside the garden wall to the west concentrating the maintenance tasks in one area. On the eastern edge of the property a network of cobble paths with low retaining walls and a play area down the slope were constructed. The range of landscape treatment went all the way down to the streambed in the canyon, which is now the Cabrillo Freeway. The transition from the more refined garden to the chaparralled canyon was enhanced by Marston as he planted more ornamental native species of sumac Rhus spp. and Toyon Heteromeles spp. and broadcasted wildflower seed, further demonstrating his innate sense and respect for what we now know as biotic plant communities or native habitat.14
During this early time of home construction and garden planning, Marston was also very involved both personally and financially in the first urban plan for San Diego generated in 1908 by John Nolen of Cambridge, Massachusetts.15 An extremely progressive goal at the time, the plan addressed public plazas, a civic center, a planned bay front, streetscaping, and a system of parks and open space. Unfortunately for San Diego other issues prevailed compromising some of the basic principles of Nolen’s vision; however, the events produced a strong civic minded relationship between Marston and Nolen that would later surface in significant projects.
As the family settled into their home and watched the grounds refine and mature, San Diego was about to go through one of its most historic events with the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. Marston was preoccupied for quite a few years with the phenomena spawned from this event and the afterglow that California went through from two international expositions in both San Francisco and San Diego. Afterward, as the interests of a growing city accelerated, particularly downtown and on the waterfront, the need for a comprehensive urban plan became apparent once again. Marston and others re-commissioned Nolen in 1926 to generate another study which would later become the model for San Diego planning.
As Nolen visited San Diego during this time Marston also engaged his firm to provide design services for a memorial park and museum on Presidio Hill honoring Father Junipero Serra’s first mission site, another significant contribution to the City later becoming a major regional landmark. During a flurry of planning, land acquisition, and negotiations on both the Serra Museum and the urban plan, George and Anna Marston felt the need for an upgrade of their private grounds, especially in the north garden, and asked Nolen to generate preliminary sketches for its improvement.
At first Nolen, who at the time commanded a national reputation and a full schedule based in Cambridge,l6 dispatched a young 24 year old landscape architect from California named Thomas D. Church to visit, photograph, and sketch a beginning plan for the garden.17 The first plan was well received but in need of critical review by Nolen. Correspondence between Church, Nolen, and Marston continued for a short time and then Church seems to leave the picture. He went on to become one of the country’s most innovative landscape architects practicing mostly in California from the 1930s through the 1950s.18
Nolen maintained a very busy schedule at this time in his career and was making plans to sail to Vienna, Austria, for the International Town Planning Conference. Following a more concentrated review of Church’s conceptual plan, Nolen assigned his associates Hale J. Walker, as project designer for the garden, and Justin Hartzog as assistant.19 Walker took charge of the project and generated many sketches and details for the family to consider. Walker wrote to Marston with his first design narrative:
“The garden as a whole should express the feeling of an outdoor living room, and as in a living room one usually has two especial points of interest-the hearth with places to sit grouped about it, and, if one is fortunate enough, a view from windows . . . The hearth in the living room becomes the wall fountain in the garden.”20
At this time Miss Mary, the eldest daughter of George and Anna, expressed a strong desire to become involved with the garden planning. During the design process her father often deferred to her and stated in his letters to Nolen and Walker that decisions should include her.2l
What becomes apparent throughout the correspondence is that designing a garden in southern California from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was every bit as difficult as it would seem. In the midst of the two year period from concept to construction completion the major players in this scenario had travelled extensively. Nolen journeyed to Europe twice and in between had come to San Diego, Miss Mary had sailed to Spain after visiting Chicago and New York, Hale Walker came to San Diego and then went on to Europe, and George Marston travelled to New York and Cambridge. During the construction implementation phase and the selection of actual garden ornamentation Miss Mary, who by this time was taking the lead in the planning, was corresponding with Walker from Chicago, the S. S. Olympic, and an address in Madrid, Spain.22
The correspondence between George and Miss Mary and Nolen and Walker was continuous, supportive, and very friendly. Many letters were status reports on the Presidio Hill project and political strategies in presenting and defending the 1926 urban plan, which was at the heart of the matter for Nolen. Yet, the garden discussions would tend to change the tone of the reports becoming more intimate and full of imagery during concept and quite specific during construction. Side issues and other projects of Nolen’s were shared, as well as passing along book titles on social and land planning issues that Marston and Nolen enjoyed exchanging.
Walker worked diligently on the garden’s architectural elements, the Tea house, garden walls, gates, the pergola/ overlook, and the wall fountain (the hearth). He frequently coordinated through correspondence with Kenneth Gardner, Marston’s on-site supervising landscape architect. Mary returned from Spain with iron trimmed hanging pots, tall metal candelabras and other garden ornaments, and, following her arrival home, the garden began to manifest an even more distinct image. She was able to locate tile topped soft green metal furniture through Caprom’s of Boston, a company that traded with the Marston Department Store, instead of the French Deauville style recommended by Walker.
The proposed wall fountain figurine was one of the most frustrating aspects of ornament acquisition. Since the Nolen staff was familiar with their suppliers on the Eastern seaboard, ordering and shipping became a monumental task especially with the small lead dolphin that both Nolen and Walker had selected. It took nearly six months, due to miscommunication and manufacturing delays, to take delivery of the piece while a gapping hole in the north garden wall awaited its arrival for months. Mary had also made a modification in the paving for the walks fearing the possibility of a poor installation. Elaborate details and specifications called for a textured, colored concrete walk with irregular sized stonelike pavers.23 She chose to substitute the payers with local Ramona granite flagstone and planted turf in between the joints, which resulted in a more natural and regional refinement.
During this time the Presidio Hill project was under construction and project architect William Templeton Johnson, a master of Mission Revival architecture,24 became involved in designing some of the wood detailing on the capitals of the garden Tea House, the matching benches, and the corbels over the wall fountain.25 The design that repeated on each piece was a carving of the sickle-shaped leaves and pods of the Blue Gum Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus. Probably the most widely planted Eucalypt in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in California, this significant tree was, oddly enough, not planted in the garden. Other modifications to the plan were made. The pergola originally was to have neo-classic round pillars but were changed to square brick columns, and local tile payers were used for the floor of the Tea House as well as decorative tile inlays from Mexico installed vertically in the back wall.
Generic plant treatments such as hedges or shrubbery and accents were part of the layout but most of the horticulture element was handled from the San Diego end applying a modified Sessions plant palette. Creeping Fig Ficus repens, False Acacia Robinia pseudoacacia, Jacaranda Jacaranda acutifolia, Cup of Gold Vine Solandra guttata, and Bignonia spp, were some of the signature plantings Kate used frequently. An unusual and rare tree was planted on the west side of the new garden called a Moreton Bay Chestnut Castanosermum australe. The seedling was brought back from Australia by Marston’s son-in-law Will Bade, a naturalist and early Sierra Club member, who was married to his daughter Elizabeth. The garden became a botanical collection as well as a visual pleasure for the family.
Reminiscing and walking the site with John Gallo, a gardener for the Marston’s during the early thirties, made it possible to imagine how much the gardens and the grounds must have meant to the family. He remembered working for very warm and caring people and making top wages of $.50 per hour. The head gardener at the time was a man named Jim Cowie, originally from Scotland, who managed a full time staff of five men six days a week, and, as Gallo said, “we did everything from scratch.” That meant generating their own mulch, raising plants from seed (in the new lath house), producing their own flatted stock for seasonal revolving color, and many other prudent garden practices. He remembered covering some particularly vulnerable plants with burlap during a cold spell, and eating lunch in the shed when it rained. The garden always maintained an area for cut flowers for bouquets in the house; Cowie supposedly grew 14″ diameter Dahlias and planted the Queen Elizabeth roses, which became Miss Mary’s favorite. Gallo recalled the family having to discontinue placing bouquets in the dining room looking out over the south terrace because of the birds hitting the glass.26 Under the expert care of Mr. Cowie the garden won the honor of “Best Large Garden” in both 1930 and 1931 given by the San Diego Floral Association, one of the oldest continually run garden organizations in the country.
Many people visited the Marston home and many garden events took place over the decades (two of the daughters were married in the garden) until Miss Mary’s death in 1987 at the age of 107. Yet, no event was as spon= taneously perfect as George and Anna’s 50th Golden Anniversary held after the completion of the formal garden. Marston wrote to Nolen, “We felt so well pleased with the appearance of the garden that we had our fiftieth wedding celebration there May 3rd. ”27 Nolen replied,”…congratulations to you and Mrs. Marston for what you have accomplished in building up such a splendid family, all of which has been so well balanced by work and success outside the home.”28
Mary’s account of that day reads like a christening:
“On May 2, 1928 we celebrated father’s and mother’s golden wedding anniversary. The day was so beautiful it seemed to have been made for a garden party. The new formal garden, where the reception was held, was gay with spring borders and with fabulous quantities of yellow roses in pots and baskets sent by friends. East of the garden the canyon slope was carpeted with golden California poppies. No formal invitations were sent, but it was made known that we would be at home that afternoon in the garden. Between three and four hundred guests came, among them eighteen persons whom father and mother had known for fifty years …All day, letters, telegrams, and even cablegrams poured in. A beautifully printed testimonial of regard from the five hundred members of the staff of the Marston store was received. Perhaps the greatest satisfaction of the day to father and mother was in having all of their children and grandchildren with them. Writing to a friend, father said: “It was one of the happiest days of our lifetime.”29
The landscape design and choice of particular species of plant material is as much an interpretation of the times and style as is the architecture. This site is a successful and well preserved composite of the Marston legacy and we are fortunate now to experience the gardens in their full maturity and design vision. As is the phenomenon, in landscapes the ‘filling-in’ or plant maturity takes time and what we plainly see now is what was in the minds of George Cooke, Kate Sessions, John Nolen, Hale J. Walker, Miss Mary, and, of course, George White and Anna Gunn Marston.
A PARTIAL LIST OF THE MARSTON GARDEN PLANTS 1989
Compiled by Ernest B. Chew and Vonn-Marie May ASLA
Botanical Name / Common Name TREES Acacia baileyana / Golden Mimosa Acacia longifolia / Golden Wattle Acacia melanoxylon / Black Acacia Castanospermum australe / Moreton Bay Chestnut Cedrus deodara / Deodar Cedar Citrus spp. / no common name Eriobotrya japonica / Loquat Eucalyptus camaldulensis / Murray Red Gum Eucalyptus citriodora / Lemon Scented Gum Eucalyptus cladocalyx / Sugar Gum Eucalyptus cornuta / Yate Tree Eucalyptus lehmannii / Bushy Yate Eucalyptus polyanthemos / Silver Dollar Gum Jacaranda acutifolia / Jacaranda Leptospermum laevigatum / Australian Tea Tree Olea Europea / Olive Pinus halepensis / Aleppo Pine Pinus canariensis / Canary Island Pine Quercus agrifolia / California Live Oak Robinia pseudoacacia / False Acacia Schinus molle / California (Peruvian) Pepper Ulmus parvifolia / Chinese Evergreen Elm Yucca aloefolia / Spanish Bayonet SHRUBS Abelia grandiflora / Glossy Abelia Agapanthus africanus / African Lily Arbutus unedo / Strawberry Tree Azalea spp. / Azalea Bougainvillea 'San Diego Red' / Bougainvillea Brunfelsia calycina / no common name Buxus japonica / Japanese Boxwood Camellia japonica / Camellia Chaenomeles spp. / Flowering Quince Clivia miniata / Kaffir Lily Cotoneaster spp. / no common name Dietes irioides / Fortnight Lily Duranta repens / Golden Dewdrop Escallonia spp. / no common name Eugenia paniculata / no common name Fatshedera japonica / Aralia Ivy Hemerocallis spp. / Day Lily Hibiscus 'Crown of Bohemia' / no common name Ilex aquifolium / English Holly Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii / Chinese Holly Jasminum mesnyi / Japanese primrose Jasminum spp. / no common name Laurus nobilis / Cape Myrtle Myrtus communis / Myrtle Nandina domestica / Heavenly Bamboo Nephrolepis cordifolia / Sword Fern Oleander spp. / no common name Osmanthus spp. / no common name Pittosporum tobira / Tobira Pittosporum undulatum / Mock Orange Pittosporum virdiflorum / Cape Tobira Plumbago capensis / Cape Plumbago Prunus lyonii / Catalina Cherry Psidium littorale / Strawberry Guava Pteris spp. / Brake Fern Pyracantha spp. / Fire Thorn Raphiolepis indica 'Springtime' / Indian Hawthorn Rhus integrifolia / Lemonade Berry Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth' / Rose Spirea spp. / no common name Stenolobium stans / Tecoma/Yellowbells Tecomaria capensis / Cape Honeysuckle Viburnum suspensum / Sandankwa Viburnum VINES Distictus buccinatoria / Blood Red Trumpet Vine Ficus pumila / Creeping Fig Hedera spp. / Ivy Hoya carnosa / Wax Plant Ipomea spp. / Morning Glory Lonicera halliana / Honeysuckle Parthenocissus tricuspidata / Boston Ivy Rosmarinus officinalis / Rosemary Solandra guttata / Cup of Gold Wisteria japonica / WisteriaMiss Mary G. Marston’s Botanical ReflectionsSource: "A Garden Bright with Flowers", California Garden (August-September 1964), 10. White Diosma Yellow Tecoma Hypericum Coreopsis Red Florabundas Plumbago Pink Ivy Geranium Blue Delphineums Zinnias Chrysanthemums Pink Raphiolepis Lantana Gladioli Marguerites Heliotrope Queen Elizabeth Rose Pink/White/Blue Petunias Cosmos Dahlias
Local architect William Templeton Johnson created the eucalyptus leaf and pod design used on the fountain corbels, the capitals of the garden house, and as decorative panels on a suite of garden furniture (1928).
In this early view (ca. 1906), some of the first plantings can be seen around the house and in the foreground.
In 1926, the Marstons employed John Nolen to develop a formal garden north of the house. This preliminary plan shows one of the earliest manifestations of that idea. (Photo courtesy Nolen Collection, Cornell University Library)
By 1927, the maturing garden beautifully complimented the architecture.
Hale Walker drew the plans for the overlook pergola adjacent to the formal garden. (Photo courtesy Nolen Collection, Cornell University Library)
This 1927 plan by Hale Walker shows the construction details of the wall fountain in the formal garden. (Photo courtesy Nolen Collection, Cornell University Library)
Taken in the early 1930s, this photograph of the formal garden shows one of the wrought iron lamp stands Mary Marston obtained in Spain and the garden bench designed by William Templeton Johnson.
This view of the garden fountain was taken in the early 1930s.
1. “As Santa Barbara found itself in good hands, horticulturally speaking, so was San Diego also fortunate enough to count among its citizens one whose chief concern was the betterment of his community. This was George Marston, an extraordinary civic figure. Having attained considerable wealth as the owner of the city’s leading department store, Marston shared his profits with the city to which he felt indebted.” Victoria Padilla,Southern California Gardens (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1961), 96.
2. Mary Gilman Marston, comp., George White Marston: A Family Chronicle 2 (Los Angeles, 1956), 29.
3. Elizabeth Macphail, Kate Sessions: Pioneer Horticulturist (San Diego 1976), 68.
4. “Samual Parsons, Jr. had been superintendent of New York City Parks in 1885. Eventually he went on to be landscape architect to the City of New York and commissioner of parks. Primarily a defender of parks, he was for years a well known and highly respected figure in New York. In private practice he did residential projects in some thirteen states, as well as parks throughout the country. A prime mover in establishing the American Society of Landscape Architects, he was its president in 1902 and 1906-07.” Norman T. Newton, Design on the Land (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1971), 390.
5. MacPhail, Kate Sessions, 70.
6. Ibid., 115, 120.
7. In an article recounting K.O.S.’s works for Kate Sessions Day at the 1935 California Pacific Exposition a writer recalled, “When George Cooke, first park superintendent and Parson’s partner, arrived in July 1903, Miss Sessions became his warm friend and advisor.” San Diego Union, 22 September 1935, 2:1.
8. “In July,  George Cooke, Mr. Parsons’ partner came – and then the dirt began to fly! Mr. Cooke was on the grounds at six in the morning, superintending the grading at Sixth and Date. . .He studied the planting to be plotted later with Mr. Parsons in New York. He was familiar with California and semi-tropical plants, having worked with them in Kew Gardens (London) when a young man.” Marston, Family Chronicle, 2:15.
9. In an excerpt from a memorandum by G.W. Marston regarding the construction of the new home on Seventh, Marston also noted: “In March and April 1906 the first trees were planted. Pepper trees on Seventh Street from Upas to Brookes, pines at the house and stable entrances, several eucalypts in the rear of the house, the acacia near the stable, three Cedar Deodoras in front of the house, also shrubs and roses.” Marston, Family Chronicle, 2:222.
10. “The English influence of Repton emerged under the landscape architect A.J. Downing (1815-52); but it was left to Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) to initiate the sequence of public parks, of which Central Park, New York (1857) was an early example, that were to capture the imagination of the urban cities of the north.” Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe, The Landscape of Man, (London 1975), 279.
11. “Kate recommended, ‘creeping lippia’. . . as a ground cover in place of Bermuda grass. ‘It is easier to cultivate, is evergreen and especially good for terraces and slopes by the seaside. Furthermore, the more it is walked on the better.'” Macphail, Kate Sessions, 66.
12. “If the ‘bones’ and structure of the garden reflect English landscaping traditions, in contrast to many other Southern California gardens, the house and the use of plant materials are pure California electicism. Irving Gill was an independent and creative architect during the early days of the Craftsman movement. He and Kate Sessions often worked closely together, and many of their trademarks exist today in this garden: Ficus repens is used on the south terrace as plant tracery, Boston ivy is on the eastern side of the house for color, and Bougainvillea of an unusual coral pink scambles over the portcochere and the kitchen arbor.” Elinor Bade “The Marston Garden,” Typewritten, (San Diego, 1981).
13. Marston, Family Chronicle, 2:22.
14. Alice W. Heyneman, ‘Marston Garden,” California Garden (December 1961/January 1962), 10:1,2.
15. Marston, Family Chronicle, 2:28.
16. “John Nolen was a pioneering practitioner, author and educator in modern city and regional planning. The first American to identify himself exclusively as a town and city planner, he was at the forefront of the planning profession’s evolution in the first two great eras of societal reform in the newly urbanized and industrialized United States: the Progressive movement (1900-17) and the New Deal (1930’s).” John L. Hancock, “John Nolen”, in Diane Maddex, ed., American Landscape Architecture: Designers and Places (Washington D.C., 1989), 70.
17. John Nolen to G.W. Marston, 3 June 1926, John Nolen Collection, University Archives, Cornell University Libraries, Ithaca, New York.
18. “Thomas Church transformed landscape design from the manipulation of an eclectic range of styles dependent on past models to a completely modern design mode. His influence was considerable, especially in which he excelled-gardens. By the end of the thirties, Church’s designs had become completely abstract and were designed to produce a visual endlessness with a multiplicity of visual foci. His work is especially notable for the masterly way in which he drew from historic precedents without slavishly copying them and from nonrepresentational forms of modern art.” David Streatfield, ‘Thomas Church,” in Maddox ed., American Landscape Architecture, 112-114.
19. “Community planning during the Depression featured …three greenbelt towns—(1935-38) Greenbelt, Maryland (Hale Walker), Greenhills, Ohio (Justin Hartzog and William A. Strong), and Greendale, Wis. (Elbert Peets and Jacob Crane)—sponsored by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal administration. They remain among the best-known versions of garden city planning in America, although most of the greenbelt acreage in the three eventually succumbed to development pressures.” Arnold R. Alanen, ‘New Towns and Planned Communities,” in Maddox, ed., American Landscape Architecture, 179.
20. Hale J. Walker to G.W. Marston, 26 August 1926, Nolen Collection.
21. “Most of the planting has been done, but we are leaving several matters for decision until Mary arrives.”, Marston to Walker, 1 July 1927, Nolen Collection.
22. Miss Mary G. Marston to Walker, 23 March 1927, Nolen Collection.
23. “An arrangement of stepping-stones using the random rectangular pattern is shown on the accompanying plan for use on the Garden Terrace, as indicated on the general garden plan.” Walker to George Marston, 15 January 1927, Nolen Collection.
24. “San Diego Architect William Templeton Johnson has probably had more impact on the look of San Diego than any other architect.” Dirk Sutro,Los Angeles Times, 6 October 1988. ‘”The profession of architecture has been well served by Mr. Johnson. His contributions to design, research, literature, education, and public service fulfill the exacting criteria of vital architecture.” “American Institute of Architects honoring Johnson as a Fellow. Washington, D.C., 25 September 1939.
25. “I am also gratified that you have called in Templeton Johnson to execute the garden plan.”, Nolen to George Marston, 23 March 1928, Nolen Collection.
26. Site visit and interview with John Gallo, 13 October 1989 and 9 May 1990.
27. Marston to Nolen, 31 May 1928, Nolen Collection.