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Mark Olson in the Field

Some of the places Mark has been exploring which will be featured in future posts.


Simply the most astounding place I have visited yet. The scale, the architecture and the quality of the artwork are beyond words. The people are so sweet, it’s hard to imagine the tragedy of the recent past. A sublime experience.

What is it about this place that feels like visiting an alternate reality? A place to see over and over again. Care to come with me?

Amazing iron work, fountains and lavender everywhere…hmmn, how do I live and work here?

A surprisingly cool place and allot more affordable than France. This quiet corner of Europe is filled with history, great architecture and gardens

I didn’t want to leave I was so overwhelmed with the design of the city, the creation of vast vistas, the boulevards and parks, architecture, detailing, quality of work and the materials used , you could wander here for weeks…or years

Lush gardens, friendly people, great beer, what more could you want?….maybe less rain, there’s a reason it’s so green

The views from on top of these temples looking out over the rainforest with temple after temple jutting up through the canopy get fused into your brain. Must have been the inspiration for the new de Young Museum.

The use of very bright colors, intermixed with palms and bold foliage plants just jumps out at you. I love to use these elements in a tropical garden.

It’s wonder so many of us move to Canada, not sure I could handle the winters.Incidentally, this is a Goldenchain Tree walk, just past peak bloom.

Mark exploring Tuscany, it’s medieval and renaissance architecture, friendly people, to-die-for cuisine and amazing simple landscapes.

I’m always surprised when people say they want a Tuscan landscape, the real thing is probably not what they had in mind. It’s the surrounding landscape of Tuscany that is so breathtaking….by the way, what a place to live!

Mark exploring Andalucia in Southern Spain

The incredible Islamic Architecture and gardens, tile, plaster, fountains and courtyards are inspiring. It’s like visiting the mothership for California Spanish Revival architecture, if you can think of it, they already did it centuries ago.

Mark exploring Costa Rica and it’s astounding diversity of plant and wild life.

The gardens in Costa Rica showcase  this diversity and you see Palms, Orchids and Bromeliads combined with large leaved tropicals, bold flowers, Bamboo and Columnar Cacti. If a dinosaur stepped out of the scenery it wouldn’t surprise you. Think Hawaii on steroids.

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