Say it with Flowers by Sunday Taylor

A diary of activities and events happening at the beautiful Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. Six acres of gardens and a Beaux-Arts house built in 1911, this hidden gem sits above Sunset Blvd, right behind the Beverly Hills Hotel. Topics will be as varied as the camellias blooming in January, the vegetable garden class taught by executive director Tim Lindsay, or the planning of the annual Garden Tour put on by the Friends of Robinson Gardens. Hopefully it will capture the magic and allure of this enchanting property and all it has to offer.

— Written by Sunday Taylor


Say It With Flowers

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you want to take a beautiful photo of someone, take it in the garden. No matter who the subject is, he or she will look fetching amongst the garden roses, under an arbor dripping with vines, or next to the trellised sweet peas. Have you ever noticed how lovely a photo of someone holding a bouquet of fresh flowers looks? Surround them by an entire garden and you have a masterpiece.

I just got back from New York where I had the pleasure of visiting the New York Botanical Garden for the first time. The Orchid Show was up and it was stunning! I was touched when I saw a young bride being photographed in front of the orchid displays. My thoughts turned to Los Angeles where I live and the beautiful Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. It has served as a shimmering backdrop for many gorgeous photos. You may not know this, but the gardens have been featured as the location for photo shoots in many magazines such as “Town and Country,” “C Weddings,” “Southern California Life,” and “Edge” In each publication, Robinson Gardens is on the cover and inside.

Recently a young couple had their engagement photos taken at Robinson Gardens. Shot in the Palm Forest, under the hanging Wisteria, on the Italian Terrace and the Great Lawn, and next to the pool, these photos capture the magic and anticipation of a young couple’s engagement. In each shot, they are surrounded by the poetry of the garden. My favorite photos from this shoot are those in front of the beautiful and prolific bougainvillea that grows against the pink wall of the tennis court at Robinson Gardens. The bougainvillea was grown from a cutting that Virginia Robinson brought back from South Africa. It is such a romantic and nostalgic sight. There is something about that huge wall covered in colorful blossoms and the young couple walking towards each other and later embracing that seems to promise dreams come true. It’s hard to imagine a more enchanting setting for an engagement photo.

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Speaking of portraits in the garden, the Annual Virginia Robinson Garden Tour is coming up on May 16 and there is something very special happening this year. The artist Juan Bastos will be painting a portrait of a woman dressed in a Downton Abbey period costume as part of the British theme. Also, the Garden Tour committee is happy to report that the British fashion house of Ted Baker will be showing its fashions on the Great Lawn during lunch. The fashion show is always a highly anticipated feature of the garden party and this year Ted Baker’s floral frocks and other quintessentially English designs should be the perfect accompaniment to the day’s festivities. Nothing like the backdrop of a garden for making everything look beautiful!

Sunday Taylor lives in Los Angeles and writes the lifestyle/literary blog “Ciao Domenica.”

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