The weather could not have been more perfect for this year’s Virginia Robinson Gardens Annual Garden Tour on Saturday, May 18, where hundreds of artfully attired beauty enthusiasts enjoyed a vibrant day of foliage, flowers and friendship.
Centered at Beverly Hills’ historic first estate amidst a sprawling 6.2-acre garden paradise, attendees also enjoyed the grounds of five private luxurious properties. From the charming Provençal paradise in Holmby Hills that normally hides behind iron gates to the spectacular hillside tour through Tony Duquette’s magical “Dawnridge” for Concierge and Grand Reserve ticket holders, guests also enjoyed seeing the 108-year-old onetime home of Harry and Virginia Robinson reimagined by a bevy of florists and designers to this year’s “Oh! Naturale” theme.
“Oh! Naturale, this year’s garden tour theme, was inspired by Mrs. Robinson’s devotion to her gardens,” said Joan Selywn, who founded the Friends of Robinson Gardens in 1982, five years after the estate and grounds were bequeathed to the county upon Virginia’s death in 1977. “With each passing year’s success, the reputation of our Garden Tour has grown. Concierge tickets are now selling out every year. Virginia would be very proud!”
This year’s 31st annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate in partnership with Sunset magazine proved to be a spectacularly successful day, thanks to our fabulous co-chairs Kathy Choi and Keeley Smith, wonderful President Patti Reinstein, and our truly dedicated and passionate Garden Tour Committee. The Concierge and VIP level tickets were once again sold out, with Concierge guests served lunch on specially decorated reserved tables, which legendary event planner Mindy Weiss had adorned with her fabulous designs. The Grand Reserve table, at which guests were served Champagne and caviar, was whimsically decorated with florals by Ricardo Luna.
In addition to viewing the magnificent private gardens, one of the highlights of the garden party is witnessing the spectacular transformation of the house where Virginia lived until her passing at the age of 99. This year designers and florists transformed the house and entryway with so much dazzling natural and sustainable beauty that everywhere visitors turned, they were simply enchanted.
“These were not simply florals to adorn a room, but works of art in and of themselves,” extolled Kathy Choi.
Once inside the house that Virginia’s father, an architect, had built for the young newlyweds over a century ago, modern day creativity abounded. The home was embellished to perfection by dozens of designers and florists, all showcasing their very best. In the master bedroom, where Andrey Yun from Return to Eden’s exquisite floral peacock beguiled guests beside his enthralling flower-draped floating bed with an original hand-embroidered canopy fabricated by fashion designer Ali Rahimi, Frette linens enhanced the luxurious atmosphere in tandem with Nicole Antoine Design’s curated assemblage of Christofle pieces. In Virginia’s dressing room, Vine Flowers’ magical floral vignettes complemented an amazing bathtub creation of abundant blooms by Jamie Wolf to create a ravishing scene.
Another inspiring sight was the dining room, where George from George’s Garden had built a floral tree in addition to filling every surface with massive floral arrangements, while Virginia’s exquisite china and crystal shone on the dining table, complementing the scene to perfection. Indeed, crowd-pleasing photo opportunities were plentiful.
Outside on the Great Lawn of the Virginia Robinson Gardens, guests also enjoyed a fashion show by BA&SH, the French women’s wear label known for its romantic silhouettes and chic prints, elegant shopping on the tennis court, a decadent lunch by the Kitchen for Exploring Foods on the Great Lawn with delicious desserts in the elegant Pool Pavilion, and a thrilling silent auction. This year’s Grand Marshals, restauranteurs Elena Baldi of Giorgio Baldi and her brother Edoardo of E.Baldi, further delighted guests with their warm enthusiasm and tantalizing bites of sustainably harvested hearts of palm that were cut ribbon-thin like fettuccini with a lemon butter sauce in the kitchen, among other delectables.
In the Vendor Village, where 20 percent of the proceeds were donated to the gardens, returning favorites and new designers enticed visitors to spruce up their wardrobes and homes with an array of exciting art, jewelry, clothing and more! Of particular delight was the inclusion of Swanlago, purveyors of original prints for wraps and scarves, which created a limited edition capsule collection exclusively for Virginia Robinson Gardens in satin silk. (To view the vendors visit: https://www.robinsongardens.org/vendors-dazzle-at-the-2019-oh-naturale-virginia-robinsons-garden-tour-and-showcase-estate.)
“Preparing for this beautiful and elegant Garden Tour day requires that so many of our wonderful members give their best efforts for so many months to ensure that all of our working parts come together seamlessly,” described the Friends President, Patti Reinstein. “Our common purpose is in raising funds for our children’s programs and restoration of Virginia’s bequest – the magnificent Robinson Gardens. Garden Tour demands the best from everyone involved. I am overjoyed to say that once again the very large team of people working on Garden Tour performed a miracle. My heartfelt gratitude to all who worked so hard to make this glorious day come together and to all of our guests who made it all worthwhile.”
To view all photos and for a complete list of florists and designers and where they were on display in this year’s garden party and the boutique vendors that participated, please click on these buttons:
Post by Laura Coleman
Friends of Robinson Gardens Member