Message from President Patti Reinstein

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”   Joshua J. Marine author

Today another month has passed since our quarantine in Los Angeles from the coronavirus began on March 19, 2020, forever changing our lives. We need to acknowledge the sheer awesomeness of what is happening worldwide.  We are living in extraordinary times, but in spite of this disaster, I hope that we will all try to seek new ways of finding grace and harmony in our future.  You are not alone.  We will find our way together.

Even though we have been physically apart for some time, we at Friends of Robinson Gardens are still looking for new ways to shape our future and fulfill our past commitments.  The Children’s Science Fair was scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2020 — the second day of Spring under the graceful leadership of Patty Elias Rosenfeld.  Our theme this year was “Spring into Action,” and Action we did!  Despite the Covid-19 shutdown, the Children’s Science Fair committee decided to shed a little sunshine on the kids from our four foster care facilities and shelters. One hundred seventy-eight backpacks filled with art supplies were delivered to Vista del Mar, Good Shepherd, Hathaway-Sycamores and Hillsides.  Subway lunches and snacks were brought in as well.

While speaking to each of the directors, Patty said that it became very apparent that there is much need within their community, and they were all so incredibly grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Friends of Robinson Gardens.  Patty also felt that the directors seemed” shocked” that we actually delivered during this pandemic.  For us, when the going gets tough, we just keep going.  Thank you, Patty for all of your hard work on this project.

Our Membership Committee under the guidance of Betty Rodriguez Goldstein, Clare Wagner and Elaine Stein has done an incredible job of re-writing our Society Membership brochure.  Linda Meadows continues to put together our monthly Happenings, working diligently on her beautifully written articles.  I am so grateful for your dedication. What would I do without Evie Carlson, our Treasurer, whose commitment to our financial health makes her my superhero.

Due to the uncertainty of what our new health guidelines will be, we are still in a holding pattern for this year’s regular Garden Tour. We are trying to come up with new ways to celebrate as this is our most important fundraiser of the year.  Betty and Luke are troopers and are continually evaluating our options.  We want to thank our membership for their constant support, so we are working together to find some alternative ideas.  We welcome all suggestions.

If you have been following our weekly series, Spring Blooms, you are likely aware that our Children’s Wildlife Pond has been stocked with tadpoles just doing their miraculous “thing” of becoming frogs.  We are also awaiting a pair of Wood Ducks that will make their home in the Duck House, floating on the pond at one of the finest addresses in Beverly Hills.  Our wonderful gardeners have been beautifying our gardens under the watchful eyes of our talented Superintendent Tim Lindsay, who just celebrated his 60th birthday….more than a third of them with VRG.  Congratulations and a big Thank You!

There are so many lessons that we have been forced to learn or be reminded of during this pandemic.

  1. Words are powerful, so use them wisely.
  2. People come and go, but the right ones stay.
  3. Random acts of kindness make everyone feel better.
  4. You are doing enough, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
  5. Embrace change. Unless you try new things, you will never grow.
  6. As the dust settles, we can look back at what we have learned from this experience… how little we need, how much we have, and the value of human connection.



7 Responses

  1. Carlos Cordoba
    | Reply

    My daughter and I visited the gardens last year and had a wonderful time. Now that we are under quarantine I enjoy looking at the pictures we took during our tour. Maybe friends of the garden can share their pictures from their visits? A bit of fellowship during these times.

    • Patti Reinstein
      | Reply

      Dear Carlos
      Thank you so much for your suggestion. Please feel free to share photos of your visit here. I ask other guests to do the same. I look forward to the time we can all visit the gardens in person again!

  2. Ellen Wade
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    Good Morning! Sharing some thoughts from Charlotte, NC as I finish my term as President of the Charlotte Garden Club, founded in 1926 and the first garden club in the City of Charlotte. We have met continuously since 1926 and had a home and/or garden tour continuously since 1954 – until now!

    We have just postponed the 2020 tour until 2021 – same gardens and sponsors! We plan to build up additional sponsors over the year as we celebrate 95 years as a club. We have asked our members (about 150 memberships and 170 members) to support the sponsors over the coming year when they shop and do promotions on social media.

    My husband and I went on the VR Garden Tour in 2007 and hope to do it again at some point. Your organization is five star and I get inspiration from your events and newsletter to “tweek best practices”! Best wishes for continued success!

    • Patti Reinstein
      | Reply

      Dear Ellen ,
      I am so happy to know that people from all parts of the country are staying involved and connected. I loved hearing about how you are dealing with our current lockdown situation.
      Congratulations on your longevity as an organization.. that is something to be admired! Please come visit us again when it is safe to do so and I would love to return the favor.
      Patti Reinstein

  3. Amy Ward
    | Reply

    Hi Patti,
    Thank you for inspiring us with your lovely message. You asked about fun raising ideas and I have one. I was preparing to exhibit my handmade couture women’s hats at your spring event for the first time. Since it had to be cancelled, you could create a simple e-commerce website where we could display what we were going to bring, and send the link to the people who planned to attend. It would be the next best thing for them and it could raise money for Robinson Gardens. Or you could showcase some of our items and put links to our websites. If they let us know they came to us via Robinson Gardens we could send you the percentage you would have gotten at the actual event. I’m not very techie but you probably know people who are and could figure something out. The funds would help Robinson Gardens as well as small businesses like mine which are suffering at the moment. Just something to consider.

  4. Georgina Whitford
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    Hi Patti,
    What a surreal time in our History. I have been enjoying Robinson Gardens emails. We were not planning on participating this year at the Boutique which we have done in the past due to health reasons but were looking forward to being considered for next year. We though are in a great position to participate if you were to consider doing a Virtual show or showcasing with links on your website. Due to the current climate we madly put together a super colleciton of our collections on a selling website…. Take a look … or our Instagram @designsbygeorgina
    It would be super easy to create a code that shoppers would enter to distinguish that a percentage of the sale would go to Robinson Gardens. These are trying times for so many events that depend on their shows to raise funds for their cause. We would love to help. Let me know your thoughts. Kind regards Georgina (Designer and Founder)

  5. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    Just lovely Patti???

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