An Evening in Shangri-La

An Evening in Shangri-La at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

On September 13, the Friends of Robinson Gardens created the most glamorous evening of the year at their 2014 Patron Gala, An Evening in Shangri-La. The chrysanthemum-edged path led the guests to the tennis court that was transformed into an exotic al fresco cocktail lounge.

Later in the evening, an elegant dinner was served under the stars on the great lawn. Dessert and dancing were offered after a delightful performance by Bollywood dancers and the following presentation.

This year’s honorees were Maralee Beck, recipient of the “Spirit of Beverly Hills … Read More

Volunteer Children’s Docent Training

Volunteer Children’s Docent Training

Saturday, Nov 8, 2014


Virginia Robinson Gardens is looking for docent volunteers to work with elementary-school aged children. A docent training program is scheduled for Saturday, November 8, 2014 in the Pool Pavilion. Individuals comfortable with public speaking, with a passion for gardening, the outdoors and wildlife are encouraged to join our docent program at our beautiful garden. As a docent, you will introduce children to the Garden and instill in them an appreciation of plants and their impact on our lives through our grant-funded, science based walking tour.

This training session covers vegetable identification, … Read More

Tour of the LA River

The Friends of Robinson Gardens had an exciting and educational tour in March of the LA River project led by Mia Lehrer. The group concluded the tour with delicious box lunches from Home Boys Catering. Below are two links where you can learn much more about this significant development and the opportunities available for the public to enjoy the Los Angeles River.  Included here are some pictures of  the Friends’ tour.

The following is from Mia Lehrer and Associates’ website which can be accessed at this link: Lehrer


The Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan … Read More

Resnick’s Sunset House Tour

On a perfect sunny morning, the Fellows of FRG visited the spectacular Sunset Boulevard estate of the innovative and philanthropic couple, Lynda and Stuart Resnick. Sunset House, as it is aptly named, is surrounded by elegant gardens created by landscape architect Rios Clementi Hale Studios and A.C. Martin. This classic French-style Beaux-Arts mansion provided a breathtaking view of the gardens after the recent re-situation of the front of the house in line with the new and elegant landscape. A grove of mature fruit trees not only line the front of the property, they create a beautiful barrier from the … Read More

Looking Back with Gratitude


It has been a privilege to have served as President of Friends of Robinson Gardens for the last two years.

My sincere thanks goes to all the Friends, staff, docents and volunteers that have guided and supported me. It truly takes the entire “VRG Village” to move our treasured Estate forward.

I have deep admiration for the dedicated Board of Directors and the talented chairs that have worked so tirelessly on the different committees in order for us to successfully have our projects, programs and events come to fruition.

We were so honored when the City of Beverly Hills … Read More

A Message from the Presidents

What an exciting time it is to be a part of the paradise which we enjoy at Robinson Gardens! From the Garden Tour – “Pathway to Paradise,” in May to the elegant “Shangri-La” Gala in September – the Robinson Estate has never looked better.

Restoration projects are continually underway. A few of our projects have been to restore original paint colors, reproduce textiles on the inside of the home, upgrade our irrigation system to decrease our water usage, and replace our roof. One exciting achievement has been the cloning of the one-of-a-kind bougainvillea which grows at the end of the … Read More

Charles Lummis and the Peoples of the Southwest

Mark Thompson, author of the award-winning American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest, captivated our group with his lecture.  An eloquent journalist and photographer, Lummis kept a diary for 42 years. He walked across the country from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in 1884. As a writer for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote a weekly newspaper column on his travels.   He relied on the kindness of strangers to take him in to sleep at night. Mark explained that Lummis fell in love with the Southwest, saying that the “Mexicans were the most … Read More

16th Century English Country Houses Lecture (Part 1)

Timothy Lindsay, the Superintendent of Robinson Gardens, was introduced by our President Kerstin Royce as our No.1 friend to the Friends of Robinson Gardens. Tim attended the prestigious Attingham Summer School Program in Southern England during the 2013 summer program.  As historian, teacher and garden restorer, Tim joined 50 other museum professionals from 7 countries. They visited 33 grand houses and met with their aristocratic owners. “After this lecture,” Kerstin joked, “we should call Tim, King Timothy I!”

Tim showed us numerous slides of these beautiful estates whose architecture was adapted from classical Greek and Roman styles. As the seat … Read More

Virginia Robinson Gardens is Number 2 – And Proud of It!

In January 2013, the Beverly Hills City Council designated Virginia Robinson Gardens as Beverly Hills Local Landmark No. 2.  (The Beverly Hills Hotel is Beverly Hills Local Landmark No. 1.)

“This is one of the most unique properties in our city,” said Noah Furie, Chairperson of the Cultural Heritage Commission of the City of  Beverly Hills, California.  “With all its different types of gardens, its owners being the founders of one of Los Angeles’ most important department store chains, and their many contributions to the immediate and greater community, it checked off multiple criteria in our ordinance.”

As LA County … Read More

Pathways to Paradise: 2014 Garden Tour and Showcase House

On Saturday May 17, the Friends of Robinson Gardens held their 26th annual Garden Tour benefit. After visiting 4 private gardens on the west side, guests were welcomed back at Robinson Gardens.  Beverly Hills’ first estate was then the setting for an afternoon of “Pathways to Paradise.”

Our Grand Marshall Hutton Wilkinson set the tone with his fabulous designs on the Loggia, with stunning floral design by Brad Austin. The entire home was filled with many of LA’s most accomplished designers and florists. Guests were able to enjoy viewing their spectacular creations on the only day of the year that … Read More

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