The First Annual Holiday Open House
The Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens held their first Holiday Open House, thanks to President Marian Power who envisaged presenting this wonderful, festive holiday celebration in the style of the 1950’s at the Robinson Estate. It was a sold-out event, and such a fun and exciting day, that many attendees expressed how fabulous and great it was. Friends member Rosanna Grabel enthused, “I love it. I love it. They should do this every year!”
Christmas vignettes, created by the Friends, each more beautiful than the next, decorated the house. Several Christmas trees were adorned with vintage ornaments. Corey of Sweet Peas Custom Floral created a stunning tablescape in the dining room, with shimmering pink miniature Christmas trees, a little Santa, pink and white roses and peonies, and a golden mini train. Virginia’s ornate and opulent silverware and gilt china, resting on a sheer tablecloth embroidered with glittering, golden pine trees (sewn by Marian), completed the dazzling setting. A vintage electric train set that belonged to Superintendent Timothy Lindsay’s father, decorated the library. Every Christmas, Tim as a child, received a train car that was added to the original collection.
In the Friends’ boutique in the Loggia, Jeanne Anderson created a charming “50’s Christmas gown” out of a variety of evergreen branches, succulents and pink roses all festooned on a mannequin. Jeanne brought stunning, exotic poinsettias, some in fuchsia and others in variegated shades, along with other lovely items for sale. The entire proceeds from the Friends’ Boutique went in support of the Children’s Program at the Gardens.
Docent David Bronstein regaled the guests at the house with the history of the estate and anecdotes about Virginia Robinson, while Friends member Robin Blake, dressed as a Christmas elf in red and green, cheerfully greeted guests.
Out on the lawn, delightful Christmas music and jazzy jingles, played by pianist Kevin Laurence, added to the merry atmosphere of the event while Mr. and Mrs. Santa posed for memorable photos with the guests. A delicious array of festive cookies, desserts and savory refreshments was elegantly and artfully arranged by Friends member Patty Elias Rosenfeld in the Pool Pavilion. Guests, relaxing by the pool, dined under umbrellas. In addition, Chef Stuart O’Keefe created amazing, mouth-watering canapes with just three ingredients. His book The Quick Six Fix: 100 No-Fuss, Full-Flavor Recipes – Six Ingredients, Six Minutes Prep, Six Minutes Cleanup was also available for sale.
Not to be missed were the boutiques on the lawn. Stunning displays of beautiful holiday boxes created by Laureen Bozajian of Gift Box Wrapsody were decorated with sparkling ribbons, ornaments, flowers, lace, and velvet. Dressed in a vintage golden gown from the 50’s, Friends member Marcella Ruble displayed her lovely ceramic necklaces of strawberries, peanuts and walnuts, along with festive holiday pins. Ronelle of Ronelle Designs and The Treasured Accessory sold gorgeous jewelry, while Moonlite showed lovely clothes. Somper Furs had elegant coats, gloves and hats with fur of varying hues. Friends member Krista Everage showed her beautiful jewelry, along with drawings by her daughter Erica who is currently in a show at Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica. A tasting was offered of Jardesca, a tantalizing aperitif of wine, eau de vie and 10 botanicals. Hostess Gifts to Go showed colorful sets of pretty melamine dishes, and chic bags by The Classy Bag Lady were also displayed. Last, but not least, Blondie, the gentle Golden Retriever therapy dog, who visits patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was present and dressed for Christmas, along with her owner Rose Nielsen. She produced a book, Blondie and the Hidden Treasure, which was for sale. The vendors generously donated 20% of the proceeds of all sales to benefit the Gardens.
Thanks again to our fabulous President Marian Power and the Friends who created such an unforgettable and golden holiday celebration for us to enjoy!
Post by Linda Meadows
Friends of Robinson Gardens member
Photos below by Diane Jenkins
Friends of Robinson Gardens member