The Fellows Visit Shoya House at the Huntington Library

On February 13, 2024, the Fellows of VRG stepped back in time to 18th-century Japan where they enjoyed a marvelous tour led by Robert Hori, Associate Director of Cultural Programs of the Huntington Library’s recent acquisition: The Japanese Heritage Shoya House. Built around 1700, this 3,000-square-foot residence served as the center of village life in Marugame, Japan.

Robert Hori  Left to right: Director, Society of Fellows Pamela Hearn, VRG Fellows Chair Jeanne Anderson, and Associate Director, Society of Fellows Emily Goldblatt

Spirited along secret back trails on a shuttle and whisked past a ‘Village of China,’ we encountered Cycads, Bonsai, … Read More

Spotlight on Sharon Gart

Each month, we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to The Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.

This month, we spotlight Sharon Gart, a wonderful and dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens and Fellow Member.

1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend? 

I have my Auntie, Elaine … Read More

Virginia’s Glorious Camellias Beckon the Sun to Rise

On a brisk winter morning while strolling through the Italian Terrace Garden, I found myself surrounded by camellia bushes heavy with buds and blooms. Flower colors ranged from blood red to the palest of pinks with the occasional pure white blossom. Other flowers mixed red and white petals, reminding me of a peppermint stick. The form of the flowers varied greatly. Some were reminiscent of peonies, others looked like a rose, and still others could be mistaken for a carnation! It's no wonder many people mistakenly think the flower will produce fragrance. Most do not; however, a few camellias new to the scene do produce sweet, somewhat spicey scents. They include 'Minato-No-Akebono,' 'Kissi,' 'Koto-No-Kaori,' 'Buttermint,' 'Scentuous,' and 'Scented Gem.'

Horticultural Corner: The Glorious Ginkgo Tree

The Ginkgo is a tall deciduous tree. Slow growing, it can reach a height of 50 to 80 feet and a spread from 25 to 40 feet. When the tree is young, the trunk bark is light gray becoming darker with irregular furrows as the tree matures. The leaves are flat and fan-shaped. They start bright green in the summer, turning to yellow in the fall before dropping like brilliant golden snowflakes carpeting the ground underneath. It is a beautiful sight to see.

Spotlight on kathleen campbell

Each month, we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) -- those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to The Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful. This month, we spotlight kathleen campbell, a wonderful docent and Friend at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. She is always a great hostess for Garden Tour and volunteers at many historical places.

Horticultural Corner: Meet This Tree: Cedar Deodar

The deodar cedar is a member of the Pinaceae family and is native to the Himalayas, thus its other name of “Himalayan cedar.” In the ancient language of Sanskrit, the word deodar means “tree of the Gods.” This tree was first introduced to Europe in 1822 and to the United States in 1832. This is a large growing evergreen tree, reaching a height of 40 to 80 feet with a spread of 30 to 40 feet. The tree trunk is very straight; the bark is dark gray, turning scaly and deeply furrowed as the tree matures. The arching branches drooping all the way down to the base of the trunk are covered with 1-2” bluish-green needles, giving the tree a stately look. The crown of the tree is a pyramidal shape.

“Daughter of the Dragon” and the Tea, Scones & Gardens Book Club

On December 16, 2023, the Tea, Scones & Gardens Book Club met at The Virginia Robinson Gardens to discuss Yunte Huang’s book Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendevous with American History. Amidst the charm of oversized wrapped presents, a beautifully decorated holiday fir tree, and a bright cheerful poinsettia in the Pool Pavilion, the group hunkered down to analyze the complex and multi-talented woman, Anna May Wong.  It is such a profound story of a girl born in 1905 in a Chinese laundry in Los Angeles’ small Chinatown which was later destroyed to build Union Station.

Festive Wreath Making Class at VRG

On December 6, 2023, the talented Jelena Trifunovic, from Viola Floral, led us through a delightful workshop, creating holiday wreaths. Everyone was provided with a dried grapevine circle to use as our wreath’s base, along with an abundance of magnolia, aromatic cedar and pine cuttings, seed pods and thistles. Jelena demonstrated her easy wiring technique to secure the “salad” greens to the grapevine.

Flower Arranging Class with George Martinez at VRG

The forecast was for rain, but on the 16th of November, the sun shone bright on The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Six enthusiastic ladies gathered to learn flower arranging under the tutelage of master George Martinez from George’s Garden. George is a very good friend of Robinson Gardens, as he has created masterpieces many times in the Dining Room of the Main House for our yearly Garden Tours.

Spotlight on Chava Gerber

Each month, we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) -- those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to The Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful. This month, we spotlight Chava Gerber, a wonderful docent at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Curator April Walton said, “Chava actually began as a garden volunteer, then became a children’s docent and finally a docent for our regular visitor’s tours. Chava is such a warm and welcoming person. She always has a smile on her face every time I see her. She is also very well-traveled, exploring the US and many other countries as well. She is very adventurous but still finds time to be a part of the Gardens!!!! I adore her"
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