Message from President Betty Goldstein

Dear Friends,

I looked at my President’s message of October 2020, and what a difference a year makes! Last October, the Gardens had been closed since March of 2020. Our on-site Children’s Science Program had been stopped, and we had just begun to develop our Children’s Semi-Virtual Science Program. We had not had any educational programs or lectures. Fundraisers for the restoration of the gardens were not held. The gardens were “dark.”

A year DOES make a difference. The gardens are now open for tours; we have a very interesting lineup of lecturers for this fall and this coming spring. We will have our Gingerbread House Decorating event in December. Our Children’s Semi-Virtual Science Program is expanding its reach to more schools, and we hope that the children will be able to return to the gardens to tour this winter… Read More

Our Garden Tour Star George Martinez, Owner of George’s Garden

Every month, we are highlighting “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 florist George Martinez, owner of George’s Garden. At the 2018 Garden Tour, George created an exceptional floral display with purple and burgundy snapdragons, lush peonies and roses, viburnum, and other flowers on the Pool Pavilion balcony. This stunning and exuberant arrangement, adorning the balustrades, was the favorite backdrop for photos that day.

We asked George these five questions… Read More

The Fellows Enjoy an August Moon Dinner Party

On August 21, 2021, the Robinson Fellows dined under the moon and stars, reminiscent of Virginia’s annual August Moon parties, on the Great Lawn at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Guests wandered the gardens sipping Cartier champagne and a signature cocktail, the Virginia. The tables were dripping with dahlias of every color from our very own cutting garden. Sean Murphy, son of the famed owner of Jimmy’s restaurant, catered a splendid dinner… Read More

The 1893 World’s Fair and the Tea, Scones & Gardens Reading Group

September 18, 2021 was the third meeting of the “Tea, Scones & Gardens Reading Group” in the Pool Pavilion at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. The 12 attendees enjoyed scones, cinnamon rolls, rugula, figs, and cucumber tea canapés as they discussed The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. We celebrated the innovations initiated at the Chicago Exposition, including incandescent lights, the Ferris wheel, Cracker Jacks, and Shredded Wheat.

We explored the personalities involved in the complicated logistics to develop the venue, including such luminaries as Daniel Burnham, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Elias Disney. We recalled with horror the crimes committed by the psychopath H.H. Holmes. It’s no wonder Virginia and Harry Robinson and Leslie Brand (Virginia’s uncle) were forever changed after attending the fair… Read More

Spotlight on Katie Marsano

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 Katie Marsano, a wonderful Friends of Robinson Gardens member. While working in admissions in a New England prep school, she was also a track and cross-country coach. Katie relocated to Los Angeles from Boston seven years ago. She was active in a Garden Club in the Boston area, where she participated in flower arranging competitions in the traditional Western-style. She also designed and created floral arrangements for many private events as well as for the weddings of friends. She then discovered Ikebana when she traveled with her husband to Japan, where she spent long stretches of time in Tokyo.

We asked her these four questions… Read More