Teacher Appreciation Day at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the Friends of Robinson Gardens opened its doors to welcome our wonderful teachers and invaluable docents who have been deeply involved in our FRoG Children’s Science Outreach Program.  To show our appreciation, we invited them for a luncheon and a walk through our beautiful gardens that were the inspiration for our three science units… Nutrition and a Healthy You…Plants and Our World… The Ecosystem of a Pond and a Frog’s Life. During Covid, Leslie Kavanaugh, Kerstin Royce, and Patti Reinstein conceived the idea to devise a program that the students could do at home, at school, on Zoom with their teachers, and when possible, with parental involvement.  Leslie and Patti wrote each unit with all of the exquisite artwork being donated by our special friends Stephen Kamifuji and his son Sean

Society Members Family Day

Society Members Family Day for new members and guests was on a very warm Saturday, August 6, 2022. Food and refreshments like iced tea were available as everyone gathered in the shade of the Pool Pavilion Solarium. Members Relations & Administrative Manager Barbara Remedios gave an overview of the mission of the Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens, the Children’s Science Program, and events available related to architecture, horticulture, and the history of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills

The Farewell Party for the Incomparable Superintendent Timothy Lindsay

On May 7, 2022, it was an emotional and bittersweet day for the Friends and LA County members as they celebrated Superintendent Timothy Lindsay’s Farewell Party at the Virginia Robinson Garden. Co-chaired by Jeanne Anderson, Maralee Beck and Joan Selwyn, it was an elegant and beautiful affair befitting our beloved, multi-talented, and extraordinary Tim. As the attendees sauntered through the Main House, the very talented Diane Jenkins took expert pictures of the festively attired guests in front of Jeanne’s romantic flower arrangement. Enhancing the lovely atmosphere in the Great Hall, pianist Dale Witt played classical and jazz tunes

Jeanne’s Magical Rose Sale

What a wonderful tradition Jeanne Anderson started with our annual Rose Sale. The sun was shining on April 19, 2022, and everyone was taken by the fragrance and beauty of the roses so carefully selected by Superintendent Tim Lindsay and Jeanne Anderson at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. The tables in the Pool Pavilion were filled to the brim with a variety of wonderful treasures to buy. Exotic plants, jewelry, ceramic plates, and vases were on display and tempted all who came to the event. Among the most popular items for sale in the Pavilion was SHOO for Good, a clever, yet beautiful, practical shawl that protects you from mosquitoes while keeping you warm and cozy. The shawls are made by artisans in Ethiopia using locally sourced cotton. Also popular were sets of cards of lovely watercolors by Martin Bruinsma. They depicted scenes of different vistas of the gardens at the Robinson estate

A Spectacular Luncheon Honoring the Founder of the Friends Joan Selwyn and Our 40-Year Anniversary

On March 16, 2022, the Friends of Robinson Gardens were so happy to honor Joan Selwyn, the founder of the Friends and to celebrate our 40-year anniversary at a luncheon at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. The celebration was a beautiful one, mirroring the multi-talented Joan who is beautiful inside and out and an enchanting inspiration for us all. A gifted writer and a talented artist, Joan imbues whatever she does with kindness, charm, style, and tremendous grace. On the Tennis Observation Deck by the Display Rose Garden, President Betty Goldstein welcomed and thanked the guests for coming, many past Presidents among them, as well as Joan’s children, Marc Selwyn and Laura Wyatt. Betty also welcomed our new incoming Superintendent Diane Sipos. Betty said, “It has been my good fortune to work with Joan these last few years…She is a brilliant woman, a lovely lady to work with, and it’s really been my pleasure to get to know her better. We are so happy to have this luncheon for her today.”

A Resplendent Tea and Book Signing with Sunday Taylor

On May 26th, 2021, Friends Board Members Leslie Kavanaugh and Patti Reinstein honored longtime Friends Member Sunday Taylor and her recently published book, The Anglophile’s Notebook, with a sold-out formal English Tea and Book Signing at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Elegantly dressed guests entering the Great Lawn were greeted by tables clad in pink tablecloths, each with a lovely pink and red rose arrangement centerpiece, designed by Kerstin Royce. Beyond, on the Terrace, were two tables laden with all good things required for a grand tea including delicious khachapuri, a wide assortment of tea sandwiches crafted by Alenoosh Davoodian, VRG Staff Assistant, and Patti, assorted scones donated by La Provence Patisserie & Café, clotted cream, and fresh fruit. The orange-raisin muffins with smoked turkey and chutney, also created by Patti, were especially exceptional. Pitchers of lemonade and tea and other fabulous edibles further enhanced the tables.

California Romance and Beauty: Interior Designer Krista Everage

“Beautiful presentation!” “So glorious!” “I adored looking at everything!” On April 28, 2021, these were some of the enthusiastic comments from the Zoom attendees watching the very informative and lively interview of interior designer Krista Everage by publicist Christine Anderson, President of Communication Arts + Design, Inc. at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Education co-chair Leslie Kavanaugh introduced Krista, a longtime Friends member, along with her friend and colleague Christine. Christine aptly remarked that the common thread in all of Krista’s work “from interiors to furniture to gardens to jewelry is luxurious romance suited to the indoor/outdoor California style.” Impressively, Krista’s first project published in Architectural Digest was designed around William Janss Jr.’s major art collection. Krista noted that in such instances, it is fun to design elements to complement the important artwork to create a subtle, poetic, and lyrical conversation between the furniture and the art. Also published in Architectural Digest was a rustic farmhouse whose interiors she designed for actor Dennis Quaid. Of her other notable clients, she said they embodied the Californian dream with their optimism and exuberance. Throughout the interview, the guests were able to savor images of the beautiful interiors she designed.

The Rose Sale Enchants VRG Members

The sun was shining brightly, but not even the sun could compete with the smiles on the faces of the members of the Friends of Robinson Gardens. Everyone wanted to be a part of Jeanne Anderson’s exquisitely planned Rose Sale. Greeting guests at the refreshment table were Ellen Lipson, Kerstin Royce, and Chava Gerber. The Friends enjoyed salted caramel cookies and individually wrapped brownies, while they sipped rose-flavored lemonade and Arnold Palmers through agave straws. It was Roses, Roses, Roses, in a rainbow of beautiful colors available in bouquets for purchase from Rose Lane Farms. On the tennis court, an enthusiastic group of “gardeners” were having a difficult time deciding which of the rose bushes they wanted to purchase. Also spotlighted was Virginia Robinson’s favorite rose -- the beautiful and fragrant pink Eiffel Tower.

Fountain Designer Jim Garland and Alison Terry Delight at VRG’s Zoom Lecture

On February 12, 2021, members of the Virginia Robinson Gardens participated on Zoom to hear a fabulous lecture by world-renowned fountain designer Jim Garland and a presentation by Alison Terry, liaison for the Southern California chapter of HALS (Historic American Landscape Survey). Alison explained that HALS is a federal program within the National Park Service whose primary goal is to provide a permanent, publicly accessible record of significant cultural landscapes. Alison said, “For the Virginia Robinson Gardens, it is significant because it represents a rare, intact example of an estate garden with classical Italianate elements.” As Beverly Hills’ first estate, it has a rich social history as well. The documentation will consist of measured drawings, large-format and drone photography, and a written history. Alison added that she is very excited to work with her team of 22 volunteers who have a great depth of knowledge of landscapes. They range from historians, arborists, fine artists and recent graduates to Disney Imagineering retirees.

Gingerbread House Decorating with Spago’s Executive Pastry Chef Della Gossett

Nothing says holiday cheer quite like the scent of a gingerbread house. For me at least, the warm spices mingled with sugary royal icing is the olfactory equivalent to watching It’s a Wonderful Life. To put it simply, a whiff of a gingerbread house reminds me of everything that is merry and bright about this time of year. So when the opportunity to brainstorm events for VRG came about, my mind immediately jumped to gingerbread house decorating. And thanks to the tireless work of those of us involved, the Friends of Robinson Gardens’ sold out, virtual Gingerbread House Decorating Event took place on the morning of Saturday, December 5th
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