Garden Photo of the Day

Sabrina & Freeland’s new garden temple in California

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Freeland & Sabrina Tanner

I ADORE Sabrina and Freeland Tanner. They’re garden designers in Napa, California, and have more energy than anyone else I know. (View some previous posts featuring their work HERE, HERE, and HERE) I’ve visited their garden I think 3 times now, and I can’t wait to go back again to see their new garden temple that they’re sharing with us today.

Sabrina says, “We were originally going to build a barn on this platform, but Freeland came up with the design of something more special and interesting…..a temple. The middle section was built first, all from 100% reclaimed wood and grape vines from an old homestead in the Napa Valley. The decorative column caps are antique barn trolleys we purchased. The section to the right is a garden room, to sit in and read or view out on the garden. The section to the left is my tool shed.

“All the siding, doors, roofing materials, and interior beams are reclaimed or recycled building materials. Freeland has electrified the building and has hung some of his custom made light fixtures for evening enjoyment and atmosphere. I hope this inspires some gardeners next time they build a shed for themselves!”

Gorgeous, Sabrina. You guys never cease to amaze me.

**** I’m still looking for photos, everyone! While I’ve got a bunch of great submissions in reserve, I can always use more. We’re heading into winter, when GPOD submission tend to be a bit scarce. If you still want to see a new and exciting garden every single weekday in your inbox, do your part and show us YOUR garden! You can email photos to either [email protected] or [email protected]. Be sure to tell me where you live and tell me a bit about yourself and your garden. And the more photos the better! Thanks!! ****

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 12/12/2013

    i love this place and these people! i like this garden temple more than my house and would probably spend more time in it than my house if i had it here. when i start to suffer tunnelvision or my brain starts to shut down i visit their website or the previous posts here to break down the walls and allow me to see things in a different light. the sculptures made from things i would never think of always charge me up and many days i NEED that! i could spend days if not weeks exploring this garden discovering new things and details

  2. trashywoman62 12/12/2013

    Sabrina and Freeland,

    What a fabulous piece of architecture you have created for your garden! The reclaimed material give it such personality and warmth! It puts my square, utilitarian shed to shame! And the clay pot flowers adorning the pots of artichokes are adorable! I want a better view of the "sprinkler" flowers, so cute! Now I'm off to see Freeland's website.

  3. user-1020932 12/12/2013

    trashywoman! well, this made my morning to see your post here. GOOD to see ya!!!

  4. trashywoman62 12/12/2013

    Ah ha! I thought that sculpture looked like tramp art on the wall and wondered why it was in the garden shed if it really was. Your creativity with wood astones me, Freelaand! And you made the gate that I have yearned for for years! I have a photo of it in my inspiration folder!

    And yes, tntreeman, I am still visit every now and then ;)

  5. gloriaj 12/12/2013

    Okay I want the garden temple. If only I had enough land for it. I would just move into it., make some ice cream using the old ice cream churn that's in the old sink. Then I would sit in the pretty blue chair looking out over my garden while eating ice cream. What a life. Okay back to reality, the use of reclaimed material is amazing. Love all of it.

  6. bee1nine 12/12/2013


  7. flowerladydi 12/12/2013

    Love it, Love it, Love it!!!!

    I too ( like Jeff ) would probably spend more time in that than in my house!,,, it is adorable! Love all you watering cans and the antiquities,,,, the old 50's table cloth on the wicker table,,, trays on the wall,,, even the door knobs! Love old door knobs! I just have an old carport like structure,,,,,, your temple is just fabulous!!!
    Not to mention the garden,, so lush, warm and so much character and charm,, inside and out!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/12/2013

    Sabrina and Freeland, you guys also stir up this stew of emotions in me of being humbled, amazed, inspired, awed (and, ok, since I'm going full confessional here, also envious) at your creativity. I, like trashywoman62, have had that gate made from gardening tools imprinted on my brain since I first a picture of it.
    Your temple is a wonder to behold...a beautiful tribute to the partnership we gardeners all strive for with nature.
    Funny but lyrics from an old song by The Who come to mind when thinking about getting to see your temple in person:
    " See Me Feel Me Touch Me Heal Me "

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/12/2013

    amazing work of art. the folk-corinthian columns are pure genius!

  10. jagardener 12/12/2013

    You never cease to amaze with your creativity. Now I know what to do with my tired and retired garden tools.

  11. mainer59 12/12/2013

    I wanted to see the plants that go along with the marvelous creations by Sabrina and Tanner and found this link:
    Now I have to dig through my boxes of gardening magazines (I never throw any out) and find the article when they were featured.

  12. SisGof5 12/12/2013

    Simply lovely and so inspiring. Just wish I had a place to build a shed! Will check out the link to see their use of plant material. Thank you for sharing.

  13. tractor1 12/12/2013

    My goodness, a garden temple... I suppose Godening is a religion. That is a grand job, Freeland is most definitely a Creationist! If it has a bathroom I can live in it, I might get religion. Thank you.

  14. rwotzak 12/12/2013

    tntreeman, you're right! It would take days or weeks to take everything in when visiting The Tanners' wonderful garden. I've been lucky enough to spend a couple of days there, and I can tell you that, no matter how many passes you take, you always find some special little detail that you missed on your last pass through! It's hard to comprehend how they fit so much in one little acre--even after seeing it in person. Thanks for sharing Freeland's latest jewel with everyone, Sabrina! It looks great!

  15. wGardens 12/12/2013

    Love your creativity and fantastic results. You make a GREAT team and certainly are an inspiration to so many of us! Thank you!!!!!

  16. JonMoss 12/12/2013

    @ Ms. Meander1, my soundtrack to this rustic rococo gem is by the Mamas and the Papas: "California Dreamin, on such a winter's day"¸¸.•*¨*•♫

  17. Mciandella 12/12/2013

    Well look who it is! Hi Sabrina and Tanner!
    So this is what you were working on this summer!? This is Fantastic!!
    That central section is stunning! The inside perfectly decorated for a fun outdoor room. Thanks for sharing it!
    I am such a huge fan of this couple. I think everyone has that one favorite picture that really inspired them. I will never forget the first time I saw their gardens on the cover of a magazine. I was obsessed with all those curved boxwoods hedges. They inspired one of my favorite parts of my own garden. Thank you!
    Now I have to search through my magazines. I think they need to do a gardening book about the story of their garden!!

  18. greengenes 12/12/2013

    OMG! Good morning gardeners! Great inspirations! Good time of the year to focus on hardscapes... different things for in the garden. I must say where have I been.. Thanks so much for sending this out to us today. It starts the juices of creativity flowing! Its fun to see the uses of recycled things. Mr. Freeland Tanner you have been blessed with the gift of creating to the fullest extent! Your past history is full of surprises. Iam so glad to see you just keep on going. Life is so short and we shouldn't waste any time or things that we would like to try...Lets get it done! It is all so awesome..thanks so much!

  19. Quiltingmamma 12/12/2013

    Thanks for sharing your creativity today. There are lots of items of interest in these photos and after seeing Freeland's website, I appreciate them even more. I also would like to see more of the sprinkler art.
    Love the barn trolley headers. They are beautiful and perfect for this.
    Freeland, your work is amazing. Your showing of your folkart is well warranted. The intricate carving reminds me of frames from the 17th and 18th century I have seen. How blessed you are to be so creative and have found these outlets.
    Thanks for sharing it with us today.

  20. annek 12/12/2013

    I'm inspired all over again! Creativity takes flight in the Gardening Temple!

  21. wildthyme 12/12/2013

    Looking at these pictures makes me realize how little I've accomplished this year. The creativity here is intriguing. It starts with the name: a garden 'temple.' Most of us would call it a garden shed, and that naming would be the start of the limit on our creativity.

  22. wildthyme 12/12/2013

    I'm stuck on this whole creativity concept. Have you ever noticed that people this creative never have mundane names? Sabrina and Freeland just sound like people who would do something out of the ordinary!

  23. GrannyMay 12/12/2013

    Wow, Sabrina and Freeland, I am totally in awe of your accomplishments! Your garden temple and your surrounding gardens, your artwork and vision (I did visit the Freeland's website) are definitely worth worshiping! Beautiful!

    A question about the two green, wooden structures that are on either side of the front path. It looks like they are netted. Are they meant to protect the plants in the planters they sit on?

  24. sheila_schultz 12/12/2013

    Sabrina and Freeland, your work is obviously your passion and it seems to know no bounds. Your artistry always inspires me to look around my world and see it through different eyes. There is something very magical happening on your acre of land. Your photos always take my breath away, thank you.

  25. tractor1 12/12/2013

    wildthyme: if not for you I wouldn't have realized that Freeland was a seperate person... I thought the contribution was from Sabrina Freeland. I don't think Sabrina is a very novel name, I know a Sabrina and I know two Sabrenas (I'm always having to watch my spelling when writing to them). But Freeland is a first for me... perhaps Freeland is an ethnic transliteration. Now that I think about it Freeland would be a fine name for a nobel race horse... I'll remember the name for my next free roaming feral barn cat, right now I have Sandy and Swiffer, so elusive I can't get a photo, but I have their sister and brother as house cats now, Kali and Barney,I was able to catch them.

  26. Meelianthus 12/12/2013

    Oh how I would love to visit your garden - maybe some day. Your creativity is boundless and such a feast for the eyes and mind. So very charming from the purple door right over to your sitting room. There is so much amazement in each picture it is hard to imagine the entire acre! Thank you Sabrina & Freeland.

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