Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Garden of the Vallejo Adobe - Designed by Johannes Reimers

Johannes Reimers designed the garden surrounding the Old Adobe when the adobe was renovated by his son, the Bay Area architect, Frederick Reimers, in 1923(?). 

It is not known at this time what the original garden looked like.  However, the original plans are possibly available.

Why was Johannes Reimers chosen to do the garden?

Johannes Reimers and George C. Roeding had worked together previously in Fresno. The Historic American Buildings Survey has a history of the association of Johannes Reimers and George C. Roeding. Read about it there. 
This was the only photo that I found of Johannes Reimers.
From the Overland Monthly.
Look below for a better one from DL.

In the history, we find a short biography of Johannes Reimers "Born in Norway in 1858, Johannes Reimers settled in California as a young man. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and attained fame as an artist. Some of his works are found in the collection at the Oakland Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. He was also a writer, producing an early review ofJack London's Call of the Wild; articles about plants, gardens and gardening; and a novel set in Norway, "Unto the Heights of Simplicity." As the landscape architect for the San Joaquin Division of the Santa Fe Railway, he originated the plan to embellish each depot with small parks. It was through his advocacy that parks were constructed at each station from Ashcroft, Arizona, to Richmond, California."


  • 1902 - Met Jack London and they subsequently become friends (The Book of Jack London, Chapter 22)
  • 1903: Laid out the planting of Fresno’s George C Roeding Park.  (The Fresno zoo is currently planning on expanding to portions of Roeding Park. See Save Roeding Park website) also The Valley's Legends & Legacies III.

  • 1906 - Designed Hobart Park in Fresno (also The Valley's Legends & Legacies III)
  • 1906 - Reimers supervised the planting of fruit trees, vines, and a pyracantha hedge at Jack London's Wolf House (Cultural Resources of Jack London State Park). Note that Charmian says Japanese Hawthorne, not pyracantha.
  • 1907 - The Only Way to Yosemite
  • 1907 - The Gardens of California, For California, July 1907. See more volumes from December 1906 to November 1907 to read other interesting articles.
  • 1910 - Mooney Grove Park ,a 100 acre tract of valley oaks, in Visalia (Tulare?)
  • 1920 - American Florist, "The Garden Hobby" at the CAN meeting, Fresno, Nov. 11-13.
  • 1928-1929 - Artist: Art Institute of Chicago, Watercolors
  • about 1931/1932/1933  - Designed the garden around the "Old Adobe" at the California Nursery Company in Niles, California. (Kurt Culbertson has 1923, but I don't know where that date comes from.) 
  • about 1933 - did he also design the Display Garden in front of the new Retail building? 
  • Artists in California, 1786-1940, Edan Milton Hughes, supposed to have a bio.

Darn those people who do not mention the name of the ablest and most efficient landscape gardeners in the valley!
from The Grizzley Bear, April 1912

A much better picture of Johannes from "The Book Buyer"

Frederick Reimers, his son

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