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 Diane Jenkins, a wonderful and dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens. We asked her these three questions:
HOW DID YOU FIRST LEARN ABOUT VRG AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND?
I first learned about Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) many years ago from my mother-in-law, Alice Avery. She would talk about the fabulous Annual Garden Tour and how beautiful the estate was. Then, five years ago at a party in Arizona, I met Kerstin Royce and we talked about Virginia Robinson Gardens, where she had just finished her tenure as President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens. The way she described the estate’s charm, the lovely events such as the Garden Tour and Gala, and the Children’s Programs, reminded me of my mother-in-law’s enthusiasm for this historical landmark. Kerstin invited me to a lecture at VRG where I saw several familiar faces including a new friend I had recently made, Jeanne Anderson. Between the beauty of the estate and its rich history, plus the friendships that ensued, I was hooked.
WHAT’S YOUR ROLE – HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO VRG?
Over the past several years, I have served on the Board of the Friends of Robinson Gardens where I have worn a variety of “garden” hats. 😊 For example, I have done graphic design (brochures, invitations, postcards, tribute books, notecards, and the printed newsletter); I did portraits and photographed various events; I have been the webmaster and have done some of the social media. With my dear friend Linda Meadows, we started the monthly Happenings e-Newsletter (which was inspired by Jeanne Anderson). I was also a Co-Chair of the 2016 De Colores Annual Garden Tour with Kathy Choi, Dana Reston-Lyons, and Nicole Antoine.
CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE VRG MEMORY WITH US?
There are many, but if I have to pick one, it would be helping at the Children’s Science Fair. One year I was taking photographs of the kids and saw the joy, happiness, and wonderment on their faces as they were led through the five impressively distinct gardens of VRG. During one particular hike through the King Palm Forest with its blooming Clivia—which is a most enchanting sight to be seen—I watched as the kids and their teachers looked around in awe. One of the children shouted, “Wow, just seeing this makes me happy!” And his classmates agreed in unison. To sum this memory up: it is so rewarding to see and hear the excitement of children in new and enlightening experiences, especially when it seems as though the experiences will make a lasting impression in their hearts and souls for a lifetime.