Welcome to Montecito Magazine

Dorinda Blaksley Bliss reputedly picnicked in this very spot by Mission Dam. If it weren’t for her pas- sion and generosity, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden might not even exist. In 1914, Anna and her husband, William Henry Bliss, moved to Santa Barbara and built a lavish Montecito estate, Casa Dorinda. Today the estate is a retirement community, but back in the early 20th century, it was a popular meeting place for the Montecito well-to-do. No doubt many community plans—possibly the botanic garden among them— were hatched here over the clinking of cocktail glasses. A visionary and philanthropist, Anna was passionate about making a difference in her adopted community, and in 1926, she generously funded the purchase of land in Mission Canyon for a botanic garden. Patti hikes the trails in the botanic garden reg- ularly with her dogs, so it was a natural choice of location for her daily walks through the seasons of 2017. “Winter has always been my favorite season in Santa Barbara,” Patti says. “What makes winter here so extraordinary are the spectacular multicol- ored sunsets.” She also loves the different weather systems that winter brings, and after those soaking rains in February, life in the garden flourished. “Everything in the landscape looks clean, fresh and sparkling,” Patti wrote in March. Succulent lupine, meadow-foam and white layia blossomed among the apple-green spring grasses in the meadow. But of all the flowers in the garden, the California poppy is Patti’s favorite. In spring, these native blooms carpet the garden’s iconic meadow in a blaze of vibrant orange. “I feel poppies sym- bolize spring in the botanic garden,” Patti says. Art lovers can see poppies in many installations of Patti’s art, which graces the walls in various locations around Santa Barbara County, includ- ing Cottage Hospital, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and her own Creekspirit garden of art in Mission Canyon, where Patti hosts environmental groups and edu- cational programs for school children. Her art and passion for wildlife conservation is also featured in a documentary film by Jeff McLoughlin, The Artist and the Great Bear , which debuted at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Patti’s mosaics also appear in a rather unex- pected location along one of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden trails. During her walks through the garden, Patti would often relax on Grammy’s Bench, a solid stone bench high on a knoll over- looking the garden’s meadow. Bright orange California poppies, a pair of quail, monarch but- terflies and a frisky chipmunk pop from the care- fully cut splinters of Italian glass along its base in a series of Patti’s colorful mosaics. Sitting here on 56 Montecito Magazine Spring–Summer 2018 Artwork © Patti Jacquemain Artwork © Patti Jacquemain