February 13, 2023 Posted in Staff, The Estate

Spotlight on: Lorenzo Santaella, Head Landscaper

It’s no surprise that Lorenzo Santaella’s favorite season at King Estate is in June and July, when the lavender is blooming. After all, planting the now-iconic one-acre lavender bed in front of the Restaurant was the first job Lorenzo tackled when he was hired as a landscaper in 2007. Today keeping the Restaurant area in beautiful shape is one of Lorenzo’s favorite things to do. “I like everything looking nice for our visitors,” he says.

Lavender blooms
Lavender is almost at full peak in late June 2021.

In May 2021, Lorenzo was promoted to Head Landscaper, where he is responsible for keeping all King Estate’s public garden spaces in tip-top shape, not just at the estate but at property in Cottage Grove and at the Eugene Airport as well. He accomplishes this with the help of Assistant Landscaper Alex Grove and seasonal workers who join the team in the May-October months.

Gardens for All Seasons

Lorenzo prepares an annual work schedule that takes into account Oregon’s variable weather conditions. On rainy days he can be found performing tasks such as pruning raspberries in the tunnel, the aptly named covered garden near the greenhouses, or planting tulip bulbs in boxes for eventual transplanting to the Restaurant garden beds. When the weather improves he moves around the property to keep the gardens weeded and trimmed while taking on larger, longer-term projects.

King Estate Gardens Go Green-er

Recently Lorenzo teamed up with landscape architect Nancy Silvers to replace plantings of Euonymus shrubs and lavender in the driveway island that weren’t doing well with hardier, more disease resistant ones — a native grass called Schizachyrium Scoparium and Arbutus Unedo, a shrub also called strawberry tree. In addition he is exchanging the overhead irrigation to a more planet friendly drip system.

People like Lorenzo are what make King Estate such a special place to work and enjoy.