Each month we will spotlight a volunteer, staff member, donor or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG)—those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you, the reader, know a little bit about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and community, and what they do that is so impactful.
This month, we spotlight Charles Telalian, a well seasoned docent of the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Charles has initiated a unique tour experience, where guests will be offered an in-depth tour of not only the beautifully themed gardens of VRG, but also a tour within the home of the estate. We asked Charles some questions to give you the reader, insight into what has inspired him:
1. How did you first learn about VRG and what inspired you to become involved?
I was introduced to VRG by a couple of ladies whom I knew from our joint experiences as docents at the Getty Center. VRG is reasonably close to my home and it seemed like a natural fit as I had walked and driven by the estate on many occasions. Well, the grounds were so lovely and the personnel so helpful that have been around for quite a few years now.
2. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?
During my entire tenure at VRG I have been a Docent. Originally, and to this day, I lead tours for our visitors. For a period I assisted in doing tours for the school groups that visit the gardens. Another task that I participate in is doing the tours for the handicapped. This involves driving disabled persons around the gardens in the golf cart. I have always considered my efforts as part of “giving back” to the community in which I live….and it is such a lovely environment in which to do it. I also attempted to accomplish a research project regarding the history of the acreage and tract history of the grounds.
3. Would you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
It is difficult to say that any particular event stands out in my mind during my years at VRG but I have always enjoyed being able to see those areas of the property that are generally closed to the public. That is particularly true of the kitchen and kitchen garden…this is because of my interest in culinary issues. I have always wanted to cook on the twelve burner stove….specifically, my Homemade Biscotti. I felt that their aroma would entice the visitors. This gave rise to the Idea of offering a special tour which would incorporate these two concepts; viewing the non public areas while enjoying a glimpse of tastes of years past. Thus the birth of a new offering, Behind the Scenes at Virginia Robinson Gardens.