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 Suz Landay, a docent and wonderful and dedicated longtime Friends of Robinson Gardens Member. Suz is a regular and much-loved van hostess for Garden Tour. An amazing botanical artist and calligrapher, she made the sign for the “Succulent Nurse,” a floral tribute the Friends created and installed at the Healing Gardens at Cedars-Sinai in June 2020 to honor our medical heroes.
We asked her these four questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?
I came to the Gardens the first time to hear my neighbor give a concert on Virginia’s piano. I looked around and saw another neighbor, Tania Norris, and asked her about the Gardens. It only took about two sentences for me to get out my checkbook and join. Soon thereafter, I learned about the docent program. I enjoy leading tours and signed up for the program. The more I learned about Virginia and her lifestyle, the more I enjoyed telling others about her. In the serenity of the gardens, she became my heroine.
2. What is your role - how do you contribute to VRG?
A few years later, I joined the Friends, and it has been a wonderful experience to work with the very special women who care for the Gardens. The opportunities to work together and participate in activities from event planning to botanical illustration have broadened my horizons!
3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
My favorite memories of the Garden are the conversations I had with Ivo. It was such fun to hear him talk about Virginia and to hear about her from someone who admired her greatly. His stories were always amusing. There was never a hint of even the smallest character flaws. In his stories, Virginia’s wit and charm always showed through!
4. Please add any additional information you would like to share!
For me, the greatest gift from the Gardens is the opportunity to study botanical illustration. I knew nothing about it but found that it was taught in such a way that even your first piece was pleasant to look at -- not botanically correct, but pretty. Well, now after only 14 years or so, I am starting to feel somewhat capable of producing something decent. I encourage anyone who would like to try it to join one of our classes taught by famous artists from all over the world and see what you can do! You might be as surprised as I was!