Message from President Betty Goldstein

“More grows in the garden than the gardener sows.”

Dear Friends,

I walked through the Gardens to see how all the flowers and plants were faring through these high temperatures. I was so relieved and delighted to find the garden holding up its end of the bargain by still bringing us pleasing views and colors. I happened to be there at a time that it was especially quiet. The only sounds I heard were the birds chirping and the slight breeze singing through the trees.  The dahlias were in full bloom down by the cutting rose garden, as were the roses in the Display Rose Garden. During this time, the vegetable garden can get a little “worn,” but it too looked happy and thriving… Read More

A Walk in the Garden with Superintendent Diane Sipos

I joined The Virginia Robinson Gardens three months ago at the beginning of spring. Walking the grounds each day, I was struck by the ever-shifting changes: on a walk through the Palm Forest on a Monday morning, a sea of vibrant orange kaffir lilies in full bloom greeted me. What a surprise after weeks of seeing only their strap-like stems. The Gingko tree in the Italian Terrace Garden stood tall and proud, its shoots bare; the next week, its leaves populated the tree seemingly overnight. I am continually in awe of the garden’s way of expressing itself, its quiet voice communicating gently to all who visit. Whether a visitor on a docent-led tour, a volunteer who works in the garden or leads a tour, or an attendee at a Friends lecture, to name a few, we are all stewards of this beautiful garden, called to listen and respond to its evolving growth and needs… Read More

Barbecue Honoring Our Staff at VRG

We have an extraordinary staff at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Master Gardeners Pablo Rodriguez, Fernando Marroquin, and Tony Carmona were our honored guests at a barbecue on the Back Terrace on July 19, 2022. Ron and Elaine Stein prepared a mouth-watering barbecue in their honor. Other honored guests were Superintendent Diane Sipos, Curator April Walton, Estate Caretaker Josh Johnston, Recreation Service Leader Michael Fricke, Staff Assistant Jacqueline Rodriguez, and Member Relations & Administrative Manager Barbara Remedios.

At lunch, Josh told us many stories of his experiences as a caretaker of the property. It was a beautiful day and a chance for everyone to relax and enjoy each other… Read More

A New Kitchen Vegetable Garden!

The Kitchen Vegetable Garden has taken on a whole new look over the last few months. After two years without children coming to the Virginia Robinson Gardens, we were delighted to welcome them back at the end of the 2022 school year.

Lucia Burke, a Master Gardener who specializes in organic vegetable gardening, worked as a horticulture student intern at VRG for three years from 2006-2009 and returned to revive the entire garden. From 2010 to March 2020, Lucia was the School Garden Coordinator at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, teaching students how to take care of a vegetable garden. In addition, she has been installing and doing maintenance of kitchen gardens in private homes for over 10 years (from 2009 – today)… Read More

Spotlight on Thomas O’Connor

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 Tom O’Connor, a wonderful and dedicated docent who has volunteered at Garden Tour, the Semi-Virtual Children’s Science Program, and the Friends’ Rose Sales, among his many other contributions to VRG, in particular to the Archive Project. According to Archive Chair Patty Elias, Tom’s contribution to the archive has been invaluable. Working weekly for over a year, Tom assisted in the sorting and organizing of over 8,000 documents and 1,000 photos found in the basement of the estate. His recall of local and world history was most helpful in identifying many of the clues found in the undated photographs, helping to provide a clear indication of their era.

We asked him these four questions… Read More