Fellows Enjoy Enchanted Evening at the Pavilion San Rafael
The Fellows of Virginia Robinson Gardens were treated to an unbelievably beautiful evening at Pavilion San Rafael, the home of Regina and Bruce Drucker in Pasadena. The invitation referenced an ancient Roman festival called Floralia that was held in honor of the goddess Flora. Accordingly, many of the ladies wore floral “tiaras” and flowers in their hair. Even the antique sculptures in the garden were adorned with cascading vines and wreaths.
The gardens, so lush and welcoming, meandered around the house, with many niches to sit and contemplate the beauty around you. A shimmering pool with a jet of water, ornamented urns, a small painted pagoda, climbing roses, luxuriant bamboo, antique garden ornaments and sculptures of gods and goddesses imparted a sense of secret gardens slowly being revealed. Delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails catered by the Little Flower Candy Co. were passed by servers alfresco.
The pavilion, a very elegant and classical structure with arched French windows and balustrades, was part of the historic Raymond Gould estate. To the evocative strains of the musical score from the movie The Painted Veil (specifically the song “River Waltz” by Lang Lang and Alexandre Desplat), Regina took us on a tour. She explained, in her melodious voice, that Raymond Gould was the premier West Coast antiquarian who worked with the top designers and architects of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The pavilion, in particular, was designed for musical entertainments in 1922 by Gould who was one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
A passionate and very erudite collector, Regina regaled us with tales about the beautiful art and antiques, displayed with so much feeling and spirit in her home. Perhaps the most moving treasure for Regina is the Holy Relic of her great-great aunt who was canonized by Pope John Paul in 2000 at the Vatican. “She was the first female saint in Mexico’s history,” Regina explained and added that her family immigrated to America 100 years ago from Guadalajara.
Regina has created such a completely rich and romantic world, that not only do you not want to leave this private sanctuary, but when you do depart, you are still left under its spell. ”Magical!” “Special!” “Beautiful!” was all you heard.
Thank you to Regina and Bruce for their kindness and generosity in opening up their enchanting pavilion and gardens and creating an unforgettable evening of such refined delights, and also to our amazing Jeanne Anderson. She is like a sprite in Shakespeare’s plays sprinkling fairy dust everywhere with the special events she organizes for the Fellows, enriching our lives. Virginia Robinson Gardens is so lucky to have her – Jeanne is a treasure!
Post by Linda Meadows
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member & Fellow