April 2020 Happenings

Message from President Patti Reinstein

Dearest Friends, These are unprecedented times in the world.  The coronavirus has stopped us in our tracks.  We have been following the guidelines set forth by the CDC, WHO as well as other national, state and local authorities.  We are sheltering in place…staying away from our jobs, our children, grandchildren, and beloved friends.   This is our new normal, and we don’t know how long this will last. This is a” first time” event in a century.  Like any “first times,” they can be frightening and cause anxiety…first day of school, first date, first job, first time parent…but first pandemic?  It doesn’t even sound real. This presents a threat to humanity across the globe. But the first thing that we all need to do is normalize it, understand that it IS our current standard worldwide.  Let’s not give power to the pandemic, but rather keep the power in our hands and…

VRG Fellows Trip to Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

On March 2-5, 2020, the Fellows members of Robinson Gardens explored the architecture and gardens of Scottsdale and Phoenix.  The Arizona Biltmore Hotel was our base for the duration of our stay. The architect of record is Arthur Chase McArthur, who with his brother Charles McArthur, opened the hotel in 1929. Arthur had been a draftsman under Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW), and FLW was the design consultant on the project. We met in the hotel lobby. The in-house historian led us on an architectural tour of the hotel, which ended in the “Mystery Room.” We learned that this room previously served as the Men’s Smoking Room. This was during the American Prohibition (1920 -1930), when it had a secret bar and a special signal from hotel staff who alerted poker players so that they could disperse to their rooms when the police were en route to make surprise inspections. The…

Anna Wyckoff: The Alchemy of Costume Design and Fashion – POSTPONED

There is a magical, almost alchemic formula that makes certain cinematic moments unforgettable, and part of that equation involves the costume. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly grazes on her breakfast while gazing in Tiffany’s window, sheathed in an austere black column dress and opera gloves, arrayed in a collar of pearls, a tiny tiara, and dark sunglasses dressed by Edith Head and Givenchy. In The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe relishes the breeze from the subway grate in her pleated white halter designed by costume designer William Travilla. Is this Costume or Fashion? Costume and fashion are easily confused, sometimes the words are used interchangeably, and often one is mistaken for the other. But despite the overlap, they are actually distinct disciplines that flow naturally into each other because they share the common vocabulary of clothing. This discussion follows their relationship across early film and television to…

Spotlight on Dana Reston Lyons

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of 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 Dana Reston Lyons, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member. We asked her these three questions: 1.  How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?  My mother was an early member of VRG back in the day, and she always took me to the Garden Tour every year.  We used to love getting dressed up, finding stylish, but comfy shoes to wear (because of all the walking) and of course putting on a big, flowery hat.  Having a…

Spring Renewal: Messages from former President Patti Reinstein

Spring Blooms

Hello Friends,

You are all dearly missed. I hope that you are doing everything that you can to stay well, stay safe and stay sane! I so want to remain connected to everyone out there and to help you stay tethered to beautiful Virginia Robinson Gardens. Once again, our talented Josh Johnston has taken these amazing photos to show you the color and passion alive and well at VRG. You can click on each photo to enlarge the view.… Read More

Children’s Wildlife Pond

Hi All,

This week we are proud to show you how life goes on at VRG even though we are still separated by “social distancing”. Our wonderful caretaker and friend, Josh Johnston took several beautiful photos of our Children’s Wildlife Pond. Building this pond was such a labor of love and we cannot wait to share with everyone when we can gather together again.

The last three photos were taken by our Superintendent Tim Lindsay, as tadpoles were released into the pond last week. I hope that we can get to see them before they change from tadpoles to bullfrogs in about 30-60 days. This is the miracle of metamorphosis.… Read More

Clivia Bloom in the Palm Garden

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
-Joseph Addis

Dear Friends,

I hope that these beautiful photos of the Clivia in our Palm Garden bring a smile to your faces. They were taken by our wonderful Superintendent, Tim Lindsay.… Read More

And the People Stayed Home…

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share this beautiful “prose poem” with you that was sent to me by our wonderful founder, Joan Selwyn. It was written by Kitty O”Meara, a former teacher and palliative care chaplain in the US. It offers an introspective look at our self-isolation due to coronavirus. I hope that it will touch you as it did me.

With hope,

Patti… Read More