Summary of Marc Appleton and Bret Parsons’ Presentation on Architect Paul Williams

For an intimately sized audience seated in the Billiard Room of the Virginia Robinsons’ Pool Pavilion on March 21, 2024, Marc Appleton and Bret Parsons presented a retrospective talk on the career of noted architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980). They provided great depth and insight into the man and his astonishing career as an architect. Williams was the first black man accepted into the American Institute of Architecture. And who some 20 years into his career, obtained the pristine status as a “Fellow” in this organization.

A Contest for Hat Lovers!

Welcome all hat lovers to this fun event! The second annual Hat Contest with prizes will be part of this year’s “Spring Rhapsody” Garden Tour festivities on May 18, 2024.   Every attendee can participate in the fun. Wear your hat on stage, and the judges will choose “winners” in three categories:

“Spring Rhapsody” Marketplace and Silent Auction Will Delight You!

During your blissful day of visiting gracious gardens, viewing floral fantasies, partaking of a sumptuous luncheon, and listening to magical music, you must join us at our tennis court Marketplace for some retail therapy.   This year promises to excite with more than a dozen fresh and new vendors to stimulate your imagination.  From food products and home gifts to estate jewelry, original artworks, and beautiful clothing there will be exceptional items for you to choose from! Visit many of your favorite vendors that have returned to tempt you with new offerings.  Our FRIENDS BOUTIQUE is full of surprises this year too. Don’t miss it!

“George Cukor” and The Book Club at VRG

Left to right: Book Club Co-chairs Elaine Stein and Patricia Cowett

A very full complement of guests joined in the lively discussion at the Tea, Scones & Gardens Book Club on the book, George Cukor: a Double Life: A biography of the Gentleman Director on March 23, 2024, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens.  We had a couple from as far away as Bakersfield!  It was so interesting and informative to reflect upon the idiosyncratic Cukor. The book revealed so many aspects of his persona, including his unique directing style, especially as to women actresses, his interactions with the studio owners, … Read More

A Passion for Cars: “Tales From the Garage” by Rodney Kemerer

Left to right: Author Rodney Kemerer and Education Chair Adrienne Horwitch

Rodney Kemerer’s personality lit up the entire room as he spoke with eloquence and humor about his new book, Tales From the Garage, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens on February 22, 2024.

A car buff and avid reader of car magazines, Rodney was excited when he discerned that he had the desire and the ability to successfully write about his favorite topic…cars!

His first articles were well received by editors, but proper recognition for his work came slowly. Various published magazine articles led to a regular column in … Read More

Our Wonderful Floral, Designer, and Culinary Stars at the “Spring Rhapsody” 2024 Garden Tour!

The Friends of Robinson Gardens is so grateful to the extremely talented floral designers who will enchant your senses by transforming the rooms of Virginia Robinson’s home into settings of dazzling beauty for the 35th Annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate on May 18, 2024. Don’t miss this breathtaking event where the florists will interpret the theme: Spring Rhapsody.

Each Garden Tour Star is listed alphabetically along with the room/area they are decorating or located so that you will know where to find them when you visit the Showcase Estate at Robinson Gardens.

Hilary Bein shares, “As an artist, I’ve worked in … Read More

Famed Author George Geary is the 2024 Garden Tour Grand Marshal!

The Friends are very proud to honor best-selling author and educator George Geary as the Grand Marshal at the Spring Rhapsody Garden Tour on May 18, 2024, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens.

A fascinating and entertaining speaker, George has generously given many lectures at Robinson Gardens on his books on restaurants. He will be signing his books: L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants, Made in California, and L.A.’s Landmark Restaurants.

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Come and Enjoy the Garden Party of the Year: “Spring Rhapsody” 2024 Garden Tour and Showcase House!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

The Friends of Robinson Gardens is very pleased to present its 35th Annual Garden Tour, Spring Rhapsody, on May 18, 2024, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens, co-chaired by Vice-President Elaine Stein and President Lynn Whitaker. Sweet sounds of harp music, guitar, and piano will entertain and welcome you to this beautiful, historical estate built in 1911. Don’t miss an awe-inspiring day of enchantment and fun, and all for a great cause. This premier annual event raises funds for the restoration needs of the estate and the Children’s Science … Read More

Horticultural Corner: The Pink Trumpet Tree

HANDROANTHUS HEPTAPHYLLUS – pink trumpet tree
Synonyms: Handroanthus avellanedae, Tabebeuia impetiginosa

This is a small to medium size tree, 25 to 50 feet tall and almost as wide with a light straight gray trunk, native to the tropical areas of Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.

The tree is partially deciduous.  Heavy clusters of showy pink flowers with a yellow throat appear on leafless branches in early spring. The spectacular display of flowers is followed by foot-long seed pods that hang onto the tree until winter.

This tree does better in warmer areas and is considered drought-tolerant once established with no significant … Read More

Inauguration Meeting of New Generation Members

Left to right: Madeline Lindsay, Olivia Meadows, and Yasi Moshtael

Olivia Meadows put together a very creative cookie decorating event on February 10, 2024, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. The New Generation members included Olivia, Yasi Moshtael, and Madeline Lindsay. New Generation member Caitlyn Hartigan, Board member Natalie Gordon Beiser, and President Lynn Whitaker were not able to attend.  Two Executive Board members, Elaine Stein and Evie Carlson, and past President Betty Goldstein joined the event as well.

Olivia assembled a bright colored bag for all those attending which included a parchment paper mat, frostings, decorations, oatmeal mix, shortbread cookies … Read More

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