Join the Virginia Robinson Gardens Family through one of its membership opportunities
We welcome you to join us by becoming a member of this very special garden estate and hope you will consider volunteering your time to Virginia Robinson Gardens and financially support this incredible historic treasure, ensuring it will be here for all future generations. Know someone who loves gardens? Give them the gift of membership!
In 1911, Harry and Virginia Robinson, heirs to the Robinson’s Department Store, purchased a barren hilltop. Over a period of 66 years, a world-class property was created. The guided tour includes five separate themed gardens. In each, the visitor finds inspiration and gains an appreciation for a more genteel lifestyle. Like many successful Americans of the 20th century, the Robinsons focused on advancing community through philanthropic endeavors. Ultimately, Virginia donated her estate to the County of Los Angeles, to be opened and shared with the public. The Friends of Robinson Gardens, a 501(c)(3) corporation, provides educational programming, children’s tours, and offers special fund raising events that help restore and maintain the gardens and museum. Each year the Friends contribute both financial and human resources to assure the estate is utilized and enjoyed by all interested parties.
Virginia Robinson Gardens has five exquisite specialty gardens:
The Italian Terrace Garden
The dramatic terraced garden begins at the Three Frog Fountain where the music of flowing water guides visitors down the musical stairs. Here citrus trees, camellias, and varieties of Mediterranean plants thrive under the watchful eyes of two antique terra cotta lions. A magnificent coral tree dominates the lower terrace and a sculpture of Neptune stands ever heroic among graceful papyrus. Citrus, olive, and persimmon trees are just beyond.
The King Palm Forest
This spectacular forest has the largest collection of King Palms in the Western Hemisphere. Under its canopy grow masses of shade plants including clivia, ferns, and monstera. Meandering walkways lead to secluded patios, water features, and abandoned aviaries alive with subtropicals.
The Display Rose Garden
Virginia Robinson loved roses, planting over 400 specimens throughout her estate. The Display Rose Garden is filled with many of her favorites. A cherub statue and fragrant bowers complete the romantic setting.
The Great Lawn and Pool Pavilion
A sweeping velvet lawn covers the gentle slope that leads to the upper Pool and Pavilion area. A pair of graceful Oriental Cranes and specimen cycads flank the fishpond at the far end of the lawn. Perennial borders of drought resistant plants, selected to complement the original Italian cypress, frame this formal garden—the site of many of Mrs. Robinson’s legendary parties.
The Kitchen Garden
The restored orchid green house is the center of the organic Kitchen Garden. Vegetable crops change with the seasons and serve as an important component of the Friends’ Children’s Outreach Program. Vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers are planted and meticulously maintained by staff and volunteers.
THE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
The historic Virginia Robinson Gardens offers a two-hour inquiry-based science program free of charge to public and private elementary schools. This hands-on experience, complementary to the California State
curriculum, piques the participants’ curiosity as they examine plants under a microscope, do research collaboratively and individually, learn to plant and nurture a garden, smell and taste the plants, and experience the beauty and wonder of cultivating a garden. The children develop a heightened awareness and understanding of plant diversity, conservation, botany, and ecology. Each child leaves with a favor including a bean seed, which he or she has planted.
The Annual Children’s Science Fair
Our annual Science Fair brings children from group homes and centers county-wide to the Gardens for a memorable day of exploration. From the Kitchen Garden—where they smell, touch, and eat what we grow—to the monkey cage, which is now home to the chickens, the children are constantly learning. There is a tour of the grounds, entertainment, and lunch; all while a DJ plays their favorite songs, adding to the magic of the day. For most of our guests, this is a dream come true. They depart with a bag filled with gifts and gardening tips. In the true spirit of Virginia Robinson, the children are treated to a memorable, potentially life-changing experience.
PLAN A VISIT
Enjoy a guided tour of this legendary estate featuring classical revival architecture, a house museum, and a storied journey back to early 20th century life in Beverly Hills. Highlighted is Virginia’s extraordinary hospitality, entertaining guests from the Who’s Who of the Golden Age of Hollywood, international dignitaries, and many of Los Angeles’ philanthropic families. You will hear of her menagerie of exotic animals, all of whom left their mark on her heart, and happily entertained her many guests.
The gardens are open Monday through Saturday and most major holidays. Please contact us at 310-550-2068 to inquire about guided tours, luncheons, seminars, photo- shoots, filming, or special events.
All public activities at the gardens are by appointment only and all parking is on-site, out of respect for our neighbors.
VIRGINIA ROBINSON GARDENS
1008 Elden Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210