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Napa Valley Gardens

The Work of a Master Gardener


 When you walk through the gardens at the Napa River Inn and Historic Napa Mill you notice a blithe symmetry and grace to what would - at first glance - seem a random confluence of flowers and vegetation. On closer inspection you notice that clearly, an experienced and creative hand is at work - not just in pruning and care of the plants, but the placement and type of flora used among the splendor of our Napa Valley Gardens.

Meet Garden Designer/Master Gardner L. Diane Row

Garden Designer L. Diane Row is the artist behind the landscaping at the Mill. She is called a "hands-on designer" because of her involvement in every aspect of the garden development process. Beyond the choice of color and texture, Diane understands that design is inextricably linked to installation and maintenance. Balanced additionally with art and architecture, the landscaping is both an oasis to enjoy and a backdrop to the historically significant buildings.

Diane, who is trained in garden and floral design traditions of the large English and French estates, spent years abroad honing her skills. She studied under British landscape designer John Brooks, MBE (Master of the British Empire). Since returning to the United States, Diane has received rave reviews from clients as esteemed as the Denver Botanic Gardens, Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and the Harvard Arnold Arboretum, along with numerous private residences.

Welcome to our Napa Valley Gardens

While the gardens at Napa River Inn have depth and maturity, you notice also that they are in constant flux. One blooming plant will be replaced by another, as spring gives way to summer and fall. Even the winter, there is always depth of texture and color to enjoy. Guests at the Inn are always admiring the greenery and asking after certain flowers and plants.

Of particular interest are the beautiful white oak leaf hydrangeas that dot the property. If there is one plant that could be called our signature, this might be it. Along the river walk between the General Store and the water are a line of dwarf pomegranate, delicately ornate and yes, edible. In the tradition of a good garden of English design, there are plenty of roses in spectacular hues. Grapevines and olive trees (a must for wine country) are interspersed with fragrant rosemary and fringe flower.

Bright spots of color are everywhere with the fuchsias dripping pink blooms, purple wisteria climbing hotel balconies, and boston ivy lacing itself around old brick buildings and pedestrian signs.

The wonderful climate of Napa is a gift and the gardens are the wrapping paper and bows. Diane brings a brand of elegance to this lovely environment, constantly tucking and tailoring - a master hand at work.