When David and Marti Martz bought the 1912 “Four-square” house in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood, the backyard “was a disaster,” Marti said. Concrete covered the entire area between the house and the garage and the pool was surrounded by an eight-foot tall cinder block wall. The landscape was dead.
“Our family looked at us and said, ‘Thank God you’re young.’”
And so in late 2004, they began a major project to bring back the grandeur of this estate lot. The gardens will be the setting of an elegant luncheon and tea this weekend (Oct. 18-19) as part of the Autumn in the Rose Garden Homes Tour. Three other homes will also be showcased.
Marti wanted the space to be “park-like” and simple and elegant for entertaining. She ripped out the concrete and planted grass and a flower and vegetable garden. What once had been a bank of garage doors facing the house got a new life with windows the couple salvaged from an exterior porch that once had been enclosed. Concrete walking stones were poured leading up to a graceful fountain.
To make the sprawling grounds more intimate, San Jose interior designer Paul Rokovich is taking his talents for home decor into the garden. With sustantial furnishings provided by Smith and Hawkin, he is placing sofas, lounges and ottomans around the pool and garden for the home tour. He is bringing in flowers and plants and banana trees and wrought iron trellises.
The Martzes also restored the house to nearly original condition. Their main modification was converting the rear laundry porch, with its row of windows, into an informal eating area. Now the family can enjoy their new garden over breakfast.
When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, 2008. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Tour begins at 1262 University Ave, San Jose
Tickets: $30 in advance. $35 at the door. Lunch tickets, $13.
Benefiting St. Martin of Tours School, San Jose.