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 … Read More

Horticultural Corner: The Glorious Ginkgo Tree

Ginkgo biloba – also called maidenhair tree
Family: Ginkgoaceae
Origin: Southeastern China

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.

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Spotlight on kathleen campbell

kathleen campbell standing in front of her grandmother’s house built in 1912

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 … Read More

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 … Read More

Festive Wreath Making Class at VRG

Florist Jelena Trifunovic

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.

Jelena’s “toppings” table had berries, ribbons, orange slices, and pinecones for us to embellish our wreaths. So many luscious choices!

We all loved doing this holiday craft tradition together at the beautiful Virginia Robinson … Read More

Flower Arranging Class with George Martinez at VRG

Florist George Martinez

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.

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Picturesque VRG Fellows Garden Tour in Rancho Santa Fe

A Birds Eye view into nine magnificent and unique gardens. Join our journey as you discover what makes Rancho Santa Fe so unique. Rancho Santa Fe is only two hours from Los Angeles; however, its natural beauty and rural feel make you feel far more distant. Day one- Three gardens: two influenced by Italy, one straight out of France Day two- Four gardens: whimsical, working, fruitful and traditional Day three- Two gardens: Night and Day juxtaposition

Teachers and Children from Good Shepherd Battered Women’s Shelter Visit VRG

On October 3, 2023, the Friends of Robinson Gardens invited children and teachers from Good Shepherd Battered Women’s Shelter to a new modified Science Fair at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Six children and six teachers came by their own transportation. Docent Chava Berber gave a tour of the gardens, where the children enjoyed using binoculars and magnifying glasses to explore. They all got an apple and were able to later toss the core in the gardens

Celebrating HALS…Three Years and 30 Volunteers

On a beautiful, warm, and sunny Saturday, November 11, 2023, a celebratory brunch was held in our Pool Pavilion to honor the team whose dedication led to the completion of the HALS project at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Nearly all of us have heard the term “HALS” talked about over the past couple of years, but very few of us really understood what it was all about. HALS is an acronym that stands for Historic American Landscapes Survey.  During the last few decades, the concept of historic preservation has expanded from beyond preserving a single building or urban district to including the historic landscape that provides the setting and context for the property to show the heritage of our nation’s development
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