On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the Friends of Robinson Gardens will honor Virginia Robinson’s legacy by hosting the 30th Annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate. The theme of the Tour is “Here’s to You Mrs. Robinson: The Art of Living.” We are very grateful and honored that Sunset Magazine will be our partner and premier sponsor. Irene Edwards, Editor-in-Chief of Sunset, loves Robinson Gardens; she will attend the event and greet guests.
This glorious garden party will reflect Virginia’s extraordinary hospitality and glamorous lifestyle. Entertaining guests from the Who’s Who of the Golden Age of Hollywood, international dignitaries, and many of Los Angeles’ philanthropic families, Virginia gave legendary parties that were chronicled in the society columns of the newspapers of the day.
She not only loved her family, friends, and pets; she also focused on advancing community through philanthropic endeavors. Children’s charities were dear to her heart, and Virginia’s vision for her estate was to provide enrichment and enjoyment to children from all socio-economic backgrounds. We are saluting the extraordinary Mrs. Robinson who personified “joie de vivre” though the art of gracious living and the great generosity of her heart.
We are proud to announce that renowned interior and architectural designer Richard Shapiro will be our Grand Marshal. A lifelong devotee of the arts, he has for many years presided over his own highly respected gallery, Richard Shapiro Studiolo. It specializes primarily in very fine furniture and design from antiquity through the 20th century as well as his fifty-piece collection of moderne furniture. He will be signing his stunning new book, Past Perfect: Richard Shapiro Houses and Gardens amid the beautiful blooms of legendary florist Mark’s Garden in the Great Hall. In honor of our 30 year anniversary, all past Grand Marshals will be invited to Garden Tour.
Virginia’s home is always a glorious sight to behold. Top florists and designers transform the house with such visual splendor that it is a true “feast for the soul.” It will be a veritable paradise. A unique aspect of this year’s tour is the British connection. In the 1970’s, Mrs. Robinson entertained the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for afternoon tea. They drove up in their Aston Martin from Long Beach where the Queen Mary was docked. British royalty will also have a special day on May 19 when Prince Harry and the American actress and humanitarian Meghan Markle will be wed in Windsor Castle. In keeping with the matrimonial theme, florists and designers will create a romantic vision of “Harry and Megan’s Wedding Suite” in Mrs. Robinson’s bedroom.
Further mirroring this British theme is our fashion show. We are thrilled that the English fashion house Ted Baker London will be presenting an elegant collection of women’s and men’s fashions. A vision of refinement and femininity, the exquisite dresses and other stylish pieces are sure to dazzle!
Another very exciting event will be a tasting by the celebrated chef Timothy Hollingsworth in the kitchen. A former Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry in Napa, California, Hollingsworth opened his restaurant Otium in downtown L.A. in partnership with the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in 2014. Chef Hollingsworth’s food is simply outstanding and will please the most discerning palette. Additionally, the stellar Kitchen for Exploring Foods will be catering a tantalizing buffet on the Great Lawn.
New this year are overhead shades on the tennis court which will provide an exceptionally comfortable shopping experience at the luxury Boutique. Several popular vendors will be back offering elegant bags, unique gifts, exciting fashions, and exquisite jewelry.
There are three spectacular private gardens, relatively close to each other, for purchasers of general admission tickets to visit. These gardens are all magical and inspiring.
A great feature of the VIP and Concierge level tickets is the opportunity to visit the BONUS garden, which this year showcases a romantic estate built in 1929 in Bel Air. This property is not available for the general admission level ticket holders.
Another favorite aspect of Garden Tour is the VIP van. You can enjoy the ease and convenience of door-to-door transportation. With the Concierge luxury van, you gain the additional benefit of a knowledgeable docent-led tour that will inspire and entertain you. The Concierge level guests will be treated to a very special iced chicory coffee with coconut milk (a favorite of famed interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein), breakfast pastries, and Harry’s Berries. The VIP guests will also have breakfast snacks on the van.
Upon returning from the private gardens tour, Concierge guests are served lunch with specially decorated reserved tables. Peter Otero of Silver Birches, the celebrated florist, will adorn each table with his custom designs. Concierge guests will also receive lovely gifts from Cartier, The Gottlieb Native Garden book, and other items. Last year, the very popular VIP and Concierge level tickets were totally sold out, so purchase your tickets soon!
An additional convenience is the opportunity of Valet Parking for your car with a pre-paid ticket. (The Concierge ticket includes the Valet Parking.) You can drop off your car at Valet Parking, and when you are ready to leave at the end of the day, your car will be driven up to the entrance of Virginia Robinson Gardens.
Don’t miss out on this magnificent, inspiring and much anticipated “Garden Tour of the Year!” Come and celebrate the “Art of Living” through enchanting gardens, culinary delights, exquisite décor, opulent floral creations, and stylish fashions. And, this is all for a great cause — preserving Virginia Robinson Gardens, the unique jewel of Beverly Hills!
Post by Linda Meadows
Friends of Robinson Garden Board Member