Ghost Garden

In 2001 Copia-The American Center for Wine Food and The Arts opened it's doors , the anchor for the newly conceived Oxbow district on the Napa River, and brainchild of iconic Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi. Hopes were high that it's success would pump some lifeblood into the struggling downtown to it's west. Ironically, the Oxbow thrives and Copia is bankrupt ; it sits empty in the midst of the once beautiful gardens, now neglected and overgrown except for a few beds that were rescued by a group of local chefs.  The doors closed abruptly and without warning in November of 2008, a victim of underfunding , the economy and the failure to sell it's vision to the community.

A peek through the padlocked fence at the once spectacular organic gardens. Here were culinary herbs, sensory and aromatic plants to echo the complexity of flavors in wine, and vegetable gardens .

This was once a living fence, espaliered apples all along it's length with Artichokes as clever punctuation.

This lone speciman is all that remains.

One of many venues here for cooking demonstrations and classes

A once splendid water feature , though it still looked beautiful this morning .

The Lavender beds are unpruned

The parking lot is empty..


  1. How sad! I can still see some beauty of this place in your pictures.

  2. Maybe Alice Waters needs this site as a spa/school? What a shame to waste that kitchen garden. Those espaliers must have been sold (or stolen?)

  3. How sad...surely someone will come to it's rescue?

  4. I am hoping for a grand transformation and reopening!

    I think I would've been tempted to jump the fence and get started ;)

  5. I had a chance to visit Copia before they closed and was saddened to hear of its demise. They had an original Frisbie pie tin on display! I hope that some how it can be reopened or transformed.

  6. Lovely complex. Hopefully it will somehow benefit the community again in some way.

  7. Life marches on....and we wonder what the future holds.
    My gardens look quite like these: not great...but not bad either, with bones and plants to love. I enjoy a bit of neglect, of reality. (meaning gardens sans a paid team for upkeep)
    The mystery of the espaliers disturbs me...


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