October 2023 Happenings

Message from President Lynn Whitaker

“And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep, and autumn was awakened.”
– Raquel Franco

I am just back from a visit to New England where you can certainly feel the difference in the seasons. We have our own version of the seasonal changes, and it can be felt at the Gardens.  There is a sense of relief from the intense heat and even some plants are springing back to life after suffering under our summer’s severe sun. It’s a time to relax and enjoy the beauty of this magnificent place.

The Gardens are alive with events and programs!  Please read the newsletter to find what appeals to you and come enjoy the grounds while you’re here.

As we move into our active fall schedule, it is apparent that we need every one of you to rekindle your love and commitment to the Gardens. You, the Friends, are the foundation of our success, and we need you to participate in keeping VRG alive and vital. There are so many ways, large and small, that you can be a part of this organization. Whether it is helping decorate the house for the holidays, assisting with the wreath-making and gingerbread house events, helping with our ever-expanding Children’s Program, or joining the Garden Tour committee (yes – we are starting now), please consider giving some of your time and your talent to VRG.

It was so rewarding to see many of you at the Membership Luncheon in September. I felt it was like the first day of school – friends you have thought about during the summer break, now coming home. If you were not able to join us, you missed a wonderful afternoon of friendship and renewal. Please consider attending next year!

It is so rewarding to be a part of this organization, and I am grateful to be your President. The people I have met, and the friendships created give more to me than I give to the Friends. I want to thank every one of you for being a Friend and I hope to see you at the Gardens this fall.

Lynn Whitaker
President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens

Spotlight on Jane Rascoff

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 Jane Rascoff, a wonderful and dedicated Board Member and a Fellow Member of The Friends of Robinson Gardens. She is also a Children’s Docent and kindly volunteers as a hostess at Garden Tour.

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Our Garden Tour Star Hilary Bein

From time to time, we highlight “Our Garden Tour Stars” — landscape architects, florists, and interior designers who have participated at 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 Hilary Bein. At the 2023 Garden Tour, Hilary thrilled the guests with arrangements reminiscent of Dutch Master flower paintings in the Guest Bedroom. The rich glowing colors and lush, opulent arrangements took one’s breath away. The delights continued in the adjacent bathroom where a bathtub was luxuriously filled with a dense tapestry of flowers and plants.

Hilary also masterfully decorated the Yellow Salon in the 2022 Garden Tour with many stunning fall vignettes featuring lit candles, gourds, pumpkins, and golden acorns, nestled among colorful flowers and foliage. The dazzling mantle was simply glorious with the most ravishing arrangement of roses in golden urns flanking either side of a gilded rococo clock.

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Gorgeous Lecture by Maria Hummer-Tuttle on Her Book,
“Objects of Desire”

Sophisticated, refined, intelligent, and beautiful, Maria Hammer-Tuttle enchanted the audience with her personal stories about the exquisite objects in her extraordinary collection featured in her book on September 13, 2023, at The Virginia Robinson Gardens.

A tremendously beautiful book, Object of Desire is a celebration of the hunt for and the joy of living with objects we accumulate that are precious, not only for their beauty, uniqueness, and craftsmanship, but also for their connection to the past and the future, and for their resonance with one another. The foreword is written by famed ceramicist and author Edmund de Vaal, who wrote the book, The Hare with the Amber Eyes. The photographs are by the renowned and very talented photographer Miguel Flores-Vianna. A sumptuous book with exquisite layouts, poetic text, and surprises on every page, it is a true feast for the eyes and the soul.

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Upcoming Classes and Events

Docent-Led Tours

Explore the sights and sounds of the Virginia Robinson Gardens guided by one of our master storytellers, a.k.a. docents! Tours last approximately 90 minutes and are offered by reservation only.

October 5, 12, 17, 24, 27

Tea, Scones & Gardens Book Club

For our next meeting, we’ll enjoy our reading of Hedge by Jane Delury, who herself will be present virtually. This novel’s main character Maud is an experienced garden historian, and the story involves poignant life-changing twists and turns. Please join us!
$20 Members
$25 Non-Members
Saturday, October 7 - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm 

Yoga In The Garden

Join Nora Harris for outdoor yoga classes in one of the most beautiful places in Los Angeles County. We’ll connect for a rejuvenating hour at The Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills.
Bring a yoga mat and some water and sprawl out beneath the swishing fronds of the palm forest. Listen to the tranquil sound of a nearby waterfall as you delight in the beauty and life surrounding you. Connect to your breath and body to feel sparkly and glowing from the inside out.
Saturday, Oct 7 - 9:30 - 10:30 am

Botanical Illustration & Watercolor Class - Beginner Level

Join artist Jennifer Cunningham and explore beginner-level botanical illustration and watercolor painting at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Learn step-by-step instructions on basic drawing and various watercolor techniques to create your painting. Whether you have never picked up a paintbrush or are a seasoned watercolorist, we invite you to take part in this class in our beautiful gardens! We will provide all materials.

$35 Members | $40 Non-Members
Saturday, October 7 - 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Sold Out
Thursday, October 26 - 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Sold Out

Happiness Class

Join us for an interactive wellness program that will include activities in the garden. This mental health workshop explores the idea of “Happiness” using the teachings of Harvard Professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. Class leader Karen Sisman, a practitioner certified in the psychological and philosophical principles of Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar’s “Happiness” study, will speak about mental well-being as we learn to deal with the stresses of daily life. Our level of happiness strengthens our mental state of mind, ultimately allowing us to live better, work better and learn better. Sign up!

$20 Members | $25 Non-Members
Friday, October 27 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

A Learned Journey Under the Canopy of the Living Giants

Join Superintendent Emeritus Tim Lindsay for a 90-minute walking tour of the King Palm Forest. Tim spent over twenty years restoring the forest by adding additional plantings and designing new water features which he will be discussing during his tour. This class is limited to 15 people where you will learn more about the history, design, care, and future of the largest King Palm Forest outside of Queensland, Australia. As one visiting botanist from Queensland told Tim, it's completely authentic and has everything but the "crocs."

$20 Members | $25 Non-Members
Saturday, October 28 - 10:00 - 11:30 am

Getting The Most from Culinary Herbs in Your Garden and in Your Kitchen

Growing culinary herbs is an easy way to bring flavorful, useful plants to your garden. Master Gardeners Julie Strnad and Lucia Burke will teach you the basics of how to grow organic herbs in containers (indoors/outdoors) or outside in your garden.

You will learn:

  • What to plant, seeds or seedlings.
  • How and when to plant.
  • How to harvest.
  • How to preserve.
  • And a little herbal history as well.
$20 Members | $25 Non-Members
Thursday, November 2 - 10:00 - 11:30 am

Sound Bowl Healing Meditation

Devon invites you to embark on a meditative journey with her that consists of pure relaxation through a sound bowl healing meditation. You will be taken on a melodic journey with the sound bowls and massaged with sound waves that will reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, and improves mental clarity, focus, emotional tensions, and state of consciousness.

$35 Per Person
Saturday, November 4 - 10:00 - 11:30 am 

George's Gorgeous Centerpiece Class

The holidays are fast approaching! You were just invited to a holiday party, or you forgot to order flowers for the event that you’re hosting. OH NO, the madness! Your go-to florist or local flower shop is closed for the day. What do you do? Well, you pop by your local grocery store, pick up random pre-made flower bouquets...and then what? Fear not, dear ones! Your fabulous friends at The Virginia Robinson Gardens are here to help! Join us as we learn how to make a holiday floral centerpiece. George Martinez from George’s Garden will teach us how to make our own arrangements by sourcing flowers where we least expect them! Yes, the grocery store or the street vendor selling flowers. And let’s not forget we can snag a flower or two from our own gardens to add that special touch. Please bring 2-3 bouquets and any tools. Extra tools will be available.

$75 Members | $85 Non-Members
Thursday, November 16 - 10:00 - 11:30 am
To see what the Friends of Robinson Gardens have been up to, please visit our Archive.