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 are so proud to spotlight our special angel Jeanne Anderson, who in the words of member Diane Jenkins, is the “Mother Earth of Robinson Gardens.” Her dedication and amazing events she organizes has helped Virginia Robinson Gardens flourish and shine like the jewel it is! We asked her these three questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG and what inspired you to become a Friend?
A friend brought me to the first Garden Tour, and I looked forward every year to attending. I discovered plants I had never seen before, and I became a collector and started taking classes at UCLA and The Huntington.
My friends in the Beverly Hills Garden Club encouraged me to become a Friend almost 20 years ago. I loved the idea of being part of preserving the first estate in Beverly Hills, the city where I live.
- What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?
My earliest participation was being part of the Children’s Holiday Party. Later, I worked with the florists for Garden Tour and enjoyed becoming a Children’s docent, and chairing Garden Tour a few times. I have made many wonderful friendships that I treasure. The amazingly talented women I work with have taught me new creative skills that come in handy every year at Garden Tour and for special events.
I discovered the joy in collaborating with friends to preserve the beauty of Virginia’s paradise inside and out for the public to enjoy. My most recent position for many years has been planning special events for The Fellows, including study/travel programs. The Fellows are a group of extremely generous members who enhance our ability to move forward with our mission to preserve, conserve, and program the VRG for the betterment of society.
- Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
I was President during our Centennial year when Tim, Marcella and Evie were putting together the book on Robinson Gardens, Beverly Hills’ First Estate: the House and Gardens of Virginia & Harry Robinson. I was fortunate to be present for many interviews with several people who knew Virginia and shared their personal stories with us.
Mr. Nuccio, of Nuccio Nursery named a camellia in honor of Virginia, because of her keen interest in azaleas and camellias. Ivo, her major domo, told the story that when Virginia turned 90, she told her friends not to spend more than a dollar on her birthday present, so they went together and bought her 90 one-gallon azaleas for her garden. Ivo also shared stories about Virginia’s strong commitment to building community through connecting people, and her love for her garden and many pets, and her interest in fashion, travel and supporting the humanities. Along with the Friends, County Staff and Docents, we continue to share her interests with the public in so many ways.