September 2021 Happenings


Message from President Betty Goldstein

“September days are here, with
Summer’s best of weather &
Autumn’s best of cheer."

- Helen Hunt Jackson

Hello September!

Dear Friends,

Summer is over, and September is here. It is a month of new beginnings. It is the time we can start to plan our fall gardens. In my garden, I am picking the last of my apples, and the figs are ripening, feeding the birds and the local squirrels. At the Virginia Robinson Gardens, the last of the grapes and eggplants are being harvested and the soil prepared for new plantings.

For many, it is the beginning of school, and it is certainly the start of the many fall holidays. We have much in which to look forward.

We have started our Education Lecture series once again. We have a great variety of speakers coming to the Gardens for you to enjoy. Our first program will feature George Geary, a local food expert, who will discuss his new book, Made in California: The California-Born Burger Joints, Diners, Fast Food & Restaurants that Changed America. Watch for the invitation.

Our book club, the Tea, Scones & Gardens Reading Group, is scheduled to meet in September. This book club’s focus is reading books related to the life and times of Harry and Virginia Robinson.

We would love for you to join us for our Education Lecture Series and our book club. The book club is open to a small number of guests; please contact the office if you are interested in attending. Because of limited space for our lecture series, we invite our membership to attend, so please consider becoming a Society Member.

We are again focusing on our Children’s semi-virtual Science Program, where we take the 3rd and 4th grades’ science curriculum to each child via their teacher to the classroom. Our goal is to grow this program from 1,200 students this last school year to 3,000 children this school year. This program is a volunteer-run effort with hundreds of hours committed to its success. Check our website for a more in-depth article on this special science program.

As I have mentioned in past newsletters, we have started to sort through the many artifacts in the archives of the Robinsons. These archives are not only a history of their lives, but a history of the city of Los Angeles. This project has been a fascinating adventure, especially for those of us who are history buffs or who were born in Los Angeles or have adopted it as our home. In future newsletters, we will delve into this amazing journey in more detail.

So we start September with renewed focus and energy. Yes, we have some challenges too, but we will adapt to these challenges and continue on with our good intentions and resolve.

May you all be well,

Betty Rodriguez Goldstein
President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens

Our Garden Tour Star Kenneth Boyer

Each month we are highlighting “Our Garden Tour Stars” -- landscape architects, florists, and interior designers who have participated in our annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. We want to let you know about these very talented designers, their inspirations, and their creations.

This month, we are featuring interior designer Kenneth Boyer. He has designed many spectacular rooms at VRG for Garden Tour, including the Living Room, Dining Room, Guest Bedroom, Morning Room, and Loggia.

We asked him these five questions

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The Fellows Tour Three Private Gardens in Santa Barbara

On July 14, 2021, the Fellows of the Virginia Robinson Gardens visited stunning gardens in Santa Barbara. The first garden belonged to George Schoellkopf. (The Fellows toured George’s Connecticut garden, Hollister House, in June 2019.)

George’s Summerland garden is perched on the brow of a high hill and was begun a little over twenty years ago; it is laid out in several distinct sections, ranging from formal areas near the house to more naturalistic areas further afield. The garden is Mediterranean in spirit with mostly drought-tolerant plants and no lawn. A new guest house and swimming pool are nearing completion and will define an important new garden area.

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Spotlight On Debby Figoni

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 Debby Figoni, a wonderful Friends of Robinson Gardens member.

We asked her these four questions

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To see what the Friends of Robinson Gardens have been up to, please visit our Archive.