Spotlight on Ellen Lipson


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 Ellen Lipson, a wonderful and dedicated Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member and a Benefactor member!


We asked her these three questions:


1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?

I was living in Greenwich, Connecticut and volunteering at the local arboretum. A woman I worked with told me about a fabulous garden event she went to in Beverly Hills at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Shortly after we relocated to Southern California, I went to the Garden Tour and made friends with one of the members and joined.

2. What’s your role -- how do you contribute to VRG?

The first year, I was one of the chairs for the Children’s Holiday Party -- something I adored and continued to volunteer for. I also did special events with Jeanne Anderson, and we took the Friends to visit incredible private gardens designed by March Wiseley and Nancy Powers.

In 2006, I co-chaired the Garden Tour with a bridal theme: Brides, Bouquets, and Beautiful Gardens. We had Tiffany boxes with cascading florals for the centerpieces.

In 2011, my Palisades Garden, with an allee of olive trees overlooking the ocean, was on the “Under the Tuscan Sun” Garden Tour. Many times, I have decorated the auction tables for Gala and the Tour. I also love working with the florists and designers for Garden Tour.

In addition, my husband Mark and I have hosted the FRG Fellows for a sunset dinner in our Palisades garden and hosted them for cocktails in our desert garden in the Vintage Club at Indian Wells.

Most recently, I enjoyed being an Education co-chair for our events at VRG.

3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?

I loved doing the Children’s Holiday Parties. They used to take place in December, and all the children would come dressed up in their finest outfits. We had a nail salon booth, games, dancing and caricatures. We had In-N-Out Burger cater, and their truck would not fit in the driveway, so we all carried the food up to the children and their wonderful teachers.

From left to right: Education co-chair Ellen Lipson, Yvonne Caan, Joan Selwyn, Kerstin Royce at the Madeline Stuart event at VRG.
Ellen hosting the Fellows at her Vintage Club residence.
From left to right: Sunday Taylor, Ellen Levitt, Ellen Lipson at a Fellows event visiting John Saladino‘s home.
From left to right: Mark Lipson, Rick Wiseley, Robbie Anderson.

10 Responses

  1. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    Great memories you shared. Thanks for all you have done for Robinson Gardens.

  2. Kathy
    | Reply

    Love you Ellen! You have so much style!

  3. Diana Doyle
    | Reply

    Such a great, creative, kind and unassuming!! She has been so generous to all of us!!

  4. Stacy Klines
    | Reply

    I have many fond memories of our Garden Tour Year, dear Ellen and the Children’s Holiday Parties were always FUN…. but not quite as much fun as you! xoxo Stacy

  5. Suz Landay
    | Reply

    Ellen- I miss you! I am still waiting for us to have an art day!

  6. Jeffery Smith
    | Reply

    Ellen, great to see you featured here. Always a pleasure to run into you!

  7. Marcella Ruble
    | Reply

    I loved reading Ellen’s story…it is so nice to learn how and why members are involved with this wonderful garden. Plus I am a big fan of Ellen!

  8. Ellen Levitt
    | Reply

    Reading Ellen’s story reminded me of her glorious creativity, enormous generosity, exquisite taste and her incalculable contribution to the Robinson Gardens. Sending Love and Hugs to my sweet friend❤️

  9. Patti Reinstein
    | Reply

    I miss your smiling face at the gardens. It was wonderful to work with you on the Education Committee. You are so creative. and taught me so much. I look forward to getting together at VRG once are again open and safe.

  10. Regina Drucker
    | Reply

    You forgot to mention that I think your the ABSOLUTE twin to Lee Radziwell. You are wonderful Soul, and thank you for helping myself and others feel comfortable at VRG when first joining. Your REALNESS is what shimmers, be well, and am sending many little miracle to you and yours.

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