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 Dana Reston Lyons, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member.
We asked her these three questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?
My mother was an early member of VRG back in the day, and she always took me to the Garden Tour every year. We used to love getting dressed up, finding stylish, but comfy shoes to wear (because of all the walking) and of course putting on a big, flowery hat. Having a beautiful flower-laden boater was de rigueur, and it felt kind of like going to the Kentucky Derby. The ladies took their hats seriously! I loved the pageantry and tradition of it all. About eight years ago, I was at the gardens picking up an auction item that I had purchased at the Garden Tour, and I walked in with my dog Max. Jeanne Anderson recognized Max, who was one of the first Golden Doodles in Beverly Hills and is extremely handsome. By the way, the auction item I purchased was for a dog portrait. Jeanne and I got to talking, and I realized that several of my neighbors are VRG members. A few weeks later, I received an invitation in the mail to join, and I thought to myself, “Why not?” I grew up visiting beautiful gardens all over the world; it’s something I enjoy, and it will be nice meeting more of my neighbors. And I am glad I did. I have met so many wonderful people and have enjoyed the camaraderie and the beauty of VRG.
2. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?
I have been a board member for several years and co-chaired the Garden Tour back in 2016. I love the challenge of putting on the Garden Tour every year and am inspired watching the floral and interior designers hard at work. My biggest role currently is handling all the retail for the Garden Tour. I love finding new and interesting merchandise to tempt our guests. Pop Up Boutiques are meant to be a fun, immersive shopping experience. For the Garden Tour, we erect a tent on the tennis court and set up a jazz lounge with a bar and gelato stand, and I always look for vendors who have hip, cool items that are fairly priced. I call it the thrill of the hunt. This is another reason why we choose mid-range Fashion Partners every year that won’t break the bank. My other big task right now is creating promotional videos for Robinson Gardens to help promote the Garden Tour and Showcase Estate, and to show off VRG for Party Rentals.
3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
There are so many! I am also a Fellows Member and going on out-of-town trips with my VRG friends is always such fun. And we truly get to see the most outstanding private gardens and homes. Often, these homeowners host lovely dinners for us. I truly enjoy their hospitality, their love of art and culture, and just meeting so many new and interesting people. That said, I also enjoy the small stuff, like sitting around in a group, stuffing invitation envelopes for Garden Tour or making something by hand in one of our crafts classes, all the while idling the time away, having a great laugh with friends.