A Walk in the Garden with Superintendent Diane Sipos

I joined The Virginia Robinson Gardens three months ago at the beginning of spring. Walking the grounds each day, I was struck by the ever-shifting changes: on a walk through the Palm Forest on a Monday morning, a sea of vibrant orange kaffir lilies in full bloom greeted me. What a surprise after weeks of seeing only their strap-like stems. The Gingko tree in the Italian Terrace Garden stood tall and proud, its shoots bare; the next week, its leaves populated the tree seemingly overnight. I am continually in awe of the garden’s way of expressing itself, its quiet voice communicating gently to all who visit. Whether a visitor on a docent-led tour, a volunteer who works in the garden or leads a tour, or an attendee at a Friends lecture, to name a few, we are all stewards of this beautiful garden, called to listen and respond to its evolving growth and needs.

The Gardens are a true oasis in this sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. Virginia Robinson’s wish to preserve and share her gardens with the greater community is realized in numerous ways, through legions of dedicated volunteers and staff. Through various committees and individuals, this vibrant community works tirelessly on various programs and initiatives to fulfill this shared mission. Our in-person children’s field trips have returned, and it is lovely to watch the children explore the gardens, searching for the “fourth frog.” Thanks to the generosity of the Friends, the Kitchen Garden is in its full glory with vegetables, herbs, and fruits. On a recent school visit, preschoolers -- walking hand in hand with their third-grade buddies – learned what a “Three Sisters” garden is, met the chickens, and learned about the role of bees in a garden. They particularly enjoyed seeing the Koi fish in the pond and spending time in the wildlife sanctuary.

We’ve been reviving our educational programs for the greater community through the partnership with the LA County and the Friends, including Family Day, and classes focusing on a variety of topics including bees, being water-wise, and tea making. More programs are in the works, so look for details on the website.

Diane Sipos
Superintendent of the Virginia Robinson Gardens

  1. Krista Everage
    | Reply

    Wonderful to have you here dear Diane~ Thank you so much for taking the reins!

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