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ceiling light fixtures all beautiful examples of her signature simple and light style. All the rooms are oriented to give views of the gardens which are, undoubtedly, a jewel of the estate. Flowing out from the long outdoor terrace, two broad gravel paths traverse the lawn of the Upper Garden to a large lily pond in which the entire garden façade of the house is reflected in the water. Beyond, curving stairways lead down to a rectangular Roman pool, almost the size of a football field. At its far end are a series of graceful arches made from local stone and, framing them, the green of the surrounding mountains. “It’s a truly spectacular view,” says Fleishhacker. The estate also has a free-form swimming pool—the first in California—and three bathhouses.
“This is the right time for someone else to take over and write the next chapter in the estate’s history.” Marc Fleishhacker Unsurprisingly, the decision to sell Green Gables has been a carefully considered one. “Our family has remarkable memories of the estate, and love and appreciate it,” says Fleishhacker. “However, with the coming of age of the next generation, there will be 18 family members sharing in its ownership and that simply makes stewardship of the estate challenging. We feel this is the right time for someone else to take over and write the next chapter in the estate’s history.” Surrounding the formal gardens, yet completely hidden from the main house, are the estate’s other private dwellings. The Wurster House was designed by WilliamWurster, one of California’s renowned Modernist architects, and built in 1933. The Olive Grove Home, a 1930s-era cottage, was renovated in the early 1960s. The Oak Valley Home, the last residence to be constructed, in 1972, enjoys views of the mountains and also includes a recently added upstairs suite for extra space. What was once the butler’s residence is now the estate manager’s cottage. Also found in the grounds is the Charles Greene-designed Tea and Dairy House, today the ideal place to roll out a yoga mat. “It’s a lovely arched building nestled among the Californian oak trees,” says Fleishhacker. “The upper level is where my great grandmother would take tea and the lower level is where milk was churned into butter and cream.” The milk came from the estate’s own cows when it was also a working farm, and while the cows are long gone, this tradition of farm to table continues with the large flower and vegetable garden that still provides abundantly for the estate; dahlias and roses for the many vases and a huge variety of vegetables including corn, tomatoes, and beans for the kitchen. “It’s beautiful, with meandering paths,” says Fleishhacker. While original apple and pear orchards still exist, Fleishhacker believes the land would be perfectly suited to vineyards. “Green Gables is in the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation and the world-renowned Ridge Monte Bello wine and winery hails from this same area,” he says.
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