July 2024 Happenings


The Joyous 2024 “Spring Rhapsody” Garden Tour & Showcase Extravaganza

The 35th annual “Spring Rhapsody” Garden Tour and Showcase Estate at The Virginia Robinson Gardens on May 18, 2024, presented by the Friends, was a spectacular success. In the words of Friends member Krista Everage, “The tour enchanted and welcomed the lucky attendees with its gorgeous and gracious ambiance. We were treated to local masterpiece gardens, exuding warmth, hospitality, and divine beauty, and the tour delighted us all with a sumptuous luncheon and floral displays at the timeless and beautiful Virgina Robinson Gardens.”  The founder of the Friends Joan Selwyn added, “As I walked down the rose-lined pathway to the tennis court, I thought how pleased Mrs. Robinson would be to see her exquisite garden full of our joyful and admiring guests.”

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The Friends of Robinson Gardens Fellows’ Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

“Pocket Gardens and Historic Spaces” was the theme for the recent Fellows walking tour of downtown Los Angeles on April 25 and 26, 2024. The former neoclassical-style Bank of Italy built in 1922, through “adaptive reuse,” opened its doors in 2020 and was transformed into a fabulous hotel called Hotel Per La. The hotel was the Fellows’ base to launch an immersive learned journey through seven distinct historic spaces, spanning the city’s earliest commercial building, the opulent Bradbury Building, circa 1860, to the modernism of the Frank Gehry designed Conrad Los Angeles hotel which opened in 2022. A veteran docent of 40 years, Mr. Gordon Johnson spent the day interpreting the history of each stop along the way. He shared fascinating stories that helped weave together the historic fabric of our wonderful city that has enjoyed a renaissance of art and culture.

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Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

June 1, 2024, began as a drizzly, overcast, cool Saturday morning as The Friends welcomed several wonderful teachers who have participated in our FRoG Science Outreach Program at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. They represented a microcosm of the many teachers who have taught our 3-unit science program to more than 10,000 students in the greater Los Angeles area in the past few years. The program was written to educate students about what science can be learned from a garden…Nutrition, Plants, and Ecosystems. Each teacher visiting had already used one or more of the units with their students.

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Wallis Simpson and the Tea, Scones & Gardens Book Club

June 15, 2024, was this quarter’s VRG Book Club meeting in the Pool Pavilion at The Virginia Robinson Gardens.  Returning and new attendees were there to capacity.  It was interesting to get to know many new participants. That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor allowed us a discussion as varied and provocative as the Duke and Duchess themselves.  Shrouded in secrets she held close, the many-faceted persona of Wallis was so thought-provoking to dissect. No less the Duke, with his many strengths and weaknesses, was great food for thought. The pair lived in such a time fraught with many political and logistical perils, mores, and laws foreign to us in this modern era. It must have been an exciting experience to have them visit with Virginia at the estate as they did so long ago.

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