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 Debby Figoni, a wonderful Friends of Robinson Gardens member.
We asked her these four questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?
Being an avid gardener and lover of colorful, blooming gardens, I was told by a friend that I had to check out Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG). My job as the City of Beverly Hills’ Water Conservation Administrator provided a perfect excuse to perform an onsite visit to help the old and very large property use water as efficiently as possible. I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous gardens and the amazing women helping to preserve and promote this historically significant treasure! Also, being a science major, I was thrilled with their Children’s Science Program. My final inspiration to become a Friend was when I experienced how open and responsive the VRG Friends and L.A. County Staff were to my offerings of providing water efficiency tips for the Gardens and to the VRG members.
2. What is your role - how do you contribute to VRG?
My favorite way of contributing to VRG is to provide information on outdoor water conservation. When I recently came to the Friends’ board and staff with the idea of partnering to teach Water Wise Landscaping workshops, the response was overwhelmingly positive. I am super excited to be teaching several short and helpful workshops to VGR members and the community, providing them with tips to keep their landscape beautiful while using water wisely.
My second favorite way to contribute is to volunteer for the incredible annual Garden Tour. To be honest, contributing to VRG is so fulfilling that I feel like the big winner in the partnership.
3. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
The first time I volunteered for the annual Garden Tour, I knew I was in for an amazing event. But the reality of the actual event was so jaw-dropping and awesome, I could not believe my eyes! I was lucky enough to be asked to be a tour guide which allowed me to view the various gorgeous gardens of the specially selected homes. These gardens were some of the nicest I have seen, and I get to see a lot of gardens in my line of work. It was, however, the event back at VRG that took my senses to another dimension! The set-up of the luncheon tables, the fashion show, the elegant vendors, and the over-the-top “flower-liciously” decorated rooms in the house were like nothing I have ever seen or experienced in person! I was honored to be on the committee in 2019, and the way the Garden Tour Committee got along and put this sold-out and successful event together was with grace, kindness, hard work, and tenacity. It was an all-around incredible experience!
4. Please add any additional information you would like to share!
VRG is truly a miraculous organization filled with an amazing group of people! It is so refreshing in our hectic world to be able to get your soul filled by both people and plants with one volunteering opportunity.