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The Life of Dr Francesco Franceschi and his Park

Articles: The Life of Dr Francesco Franceschi and his Park

Dr Francesco Franceschi was an internationally respected horticulturist responsible for the introduction of an astounding list of plants to Santa Barbara and the West. Any garden designer in the region who seeks to create an everblooming scene today owes a debt to Franceschi. This is the first of a two-part article on his life, his work, and his legacy. A bibliography will appear in the next installment.
Dr Francesco Franceschi standing by his lath house at Montarioso, his forty-acre botanic garden, nursery, and home in Santa Barbara, California, at Christmas 1912, not long before he returned to Italy in 1913. Photographs courtesy of Warren Fenzi collection, except as noted.

More than one hundred years ago, Dr Francesco Franceschi wrote of his desire to establish an acclimatizing garden not far from the city of Santa Barbara, California, where he lived with his wife, Cristina, and three of their six children. Here he could pursue his passion for testing the suitability of plants from around the world to the mediterranean climate conditions of California. Acclimatizing was a relatively new kind of horticult...

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