The Saucelito Canyon story begins in 1880, when three acres of Zinfandel vines were planted in the rugged terrain of the upper Arroyo Grande Valley on California’s Central Coast.
A new chapter was written a century later, when Bill Greenough painstakingly restored the abandoned old vineyard in 1974.
In 1973, when Ramona Clayton was 19, she moved to Germany where she earned a PhD in molecular biology and worked with sterile medicines. But she also began making pottery—a hobby that would become her profession when she moved back to the United States in 2004. Rather than going through the licensing hassle necessary to work as a microbiologist in the States, she opened terramonary stoneware & porcelain, where, in addition to making stoneware and porcelain pieces to sell, she teaches others her craft. The studio's name—and Ramona's reason for returning to California—comes from her husband, Terry. Starting out as high-school sweethearts, they lost touch not long after graduation. After 22 years apart, Terry found her on the Internet, called her, and asked if she remembered him. She did. "He signed his love letters with 'Terramonary,' which is just an anagram of 'Terry' and 'Ramona'," she recalls. To Terry's delight, she thought it would be a catchy name for the business and even used her science know-how to break down the parts of the word into Latin and alchemic roots that symbolize the four elements. Ramona fires her long-lasting pieces in the kiln outside her studio, which sits on a concrete porch where she and her students also glaze their pieces. Inside, the wheels and workstations are in a separate area from her showroom, which brims with decorative pieces as well as plates, cups, and serving pieces that are safe for ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and time machines. "My goal in life is to make pretty things useful—or useful things pretty," she says. "If it's too delicate or it's just decorative, people are afraid of it."
The horticulturists at 7 Day Nursery have dedicated more than 29 years to equipping guests with the organic means to build their gardens, housing a variety of lush greenery and eco-friendly supplies. Guests can dot their flower beds with a colorful palette of annuals and perennials (2.99+), or plant veggies ($2.99+) and California-raised fruit trees ($34+) to supply salad bowls and Carmen Miranda’s hat collection. A blossoming selection of houseplants infuses vibrant hues in plain, empty dwellings ($3.99+), and garden art and pottery accentuate flower patches in front lawns. Eschew harmful chemical pesticides with organic fertilizers that improve growth without polluting waterways or wilting innocent lawn flamingos.
Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch outfits front stoops in fall finery with a showcase of locally grown, organic pumpkins, while regaling tots with a bevvy of free games and prizes. Customers peruse the orange orbs beneath an all-weather tent that repels rain and migrating autumn leaves, selecting future jack-o'-lanterns from the patch's assortment of $10, basketball-size gourds. The outdoor pumpkin emporium equips novice etchers with a variety of carving kits, candles, and stencils to surgically enhance unexpressive spheres with flickering grins. Kids can compete for prizes in a series of autumnal games, or vault over invisible hurdles in the Santa Barbara location's complimentary bounce house.