Fred Astaire and the Tea, Scones & Gardens Reading Group

On June 26, 2021, in the Pool Pavilion at the Virginia Robinson Gardens, a lively discussion was enjoyed by participants at a meeting of the Tea, Scones & Gardens Reading Group concerning Fred and Adele Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The book featured was A Step in Time, Astaire’s autobiography. An arduous journey to stardom is traced through his work in vaudeville, then film and his entertainment of the troops in World War II! The movie The Gay Divorcee featured one of the Robinsons’ Duesenberg vehicles as well as the graceful dancing of Fred and Ginger. Anecdotes both poignant and humorous are recounted in the book as determination, hard work, and talent prove fruitful.

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

Letter of Thanks from Cedars-Sinai

On June 1, 2020, a floral “Florence Nightingale” conceived and produced by the Friends of Robinson Gardens, was installed at the Healing Gardens of Cedars-Sinai to honor our medical heroes. As Robinson Gardens board member Maralee Beck observed, “The floral tribute has proved to be as resilient as the front line responders at the medical center: she has been delighting staff, patients, and visitors for the past two months! Transfusions of her vital fluids.....water....have kept her fresh and growing, perfect for posing and drawing smiles in these unsettled times.

Floral Tribute to Cedars from the Virginia Robinson Gardens

How does a public garden make a "house call" in reverse? In these strange days, it seems appropriate that the Virginia Robinson Gardens, the LA County facility located behind the Beverly Hills Hotel, has put together a floral tribute to our medical heroes. It takes the form of a nurse, our front liners -- complete with stethoscope but made completely out of succulents -- whose work has been invaluable to our immediate community. Appropriately, it was installed on June 1,2020, at the Healing Garden of Cedars-Sinai, where staff, patients in both towers, and visitors can look out to the plaza, … Read More

The Rodeo Drive Committee at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

On November 13, 2018, the Friends of Virginia Robinson Gardens hosted a year-end breakfast for the Rodeo Drive Committee Association. The President of the Rodeo Drive Committee Kathy Gohari and Beverly Hills Mayor Dr. Julian Gold attended the reception. Many of Rodeo Drive’s top stores were represented at the gathering, including: Dior Homme, St. John, Goyard, Valentino, Stefano Ricci, 208 Rodeo Restaurant and many more.

Store reps enthusiastically voted to create funds to support victims of the recent Woolsey Fire, which decimated many homes in Malibu Canyon and the adjacent West Valley neighborhoods of Los Angeles. And Susan Salgano, … Read More

A Series of Delightful Afternoon Teas at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James



The Friends of Robinson Gardens hosted three magnificent teas, chaired by Adrienne Horwitch on June 21, 23, and 26, 2018 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. President Marian Power had long wanted to have an Afternoon Tea at the Gardens, and showcase Mrs. Robinson’s china. Because the Library in the house needed repainting, all the furniture had to be emptied from the room. It was therefore an ideal opportunity to take out Virginia’s collection of exquisite china, silver, and … Read More

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