Botanical Art Teacher Anne-Marie Evans

During two weeks in October, many members and guests were privileged to have renowned Botanical Arts Teacher Anne-Marie Evans, coming from London, to teach a class at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. We painted a Stephanotis. This plant is part of the botanical collection at the Gardens. We hope in the future to be able to add this illustration to our Florilegium which we are working on to assemble at Robinson Gardens.

Post by Kerstin Royce
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member

 … Read More

Lord Charles Spencer Lecture at the California Club

The Friends of Robinson Gardens visited the California Club for their 17th Annual Table Tops Luncheon on October 17, 2018. The speaker of the day was Lord Charles Spencer, and everyone was excited to hear and meet him. The theme, naturally, was The English Countryside, and the table displays were elegant. The grand decor and architecture of the California Club were a perfect setting with which to view the various florists’ work. The beautifully laden table by Gearys of Beverly Hills set the tone with its many settings, and C.J. Matsumoto did the luncheon centerpieces. Several other florists did lovely … Read More

2018 Friends of Robinson Gardens Membership Luncheon

Left to right, seated: Lori Gordon, Natalie Gordon, Luke Anderson, Jane Rascoff. Left to right, standing: Linda Freund, Ilona Sherman, Marci Malakouti, Holiday Maginnis, Josh Flagg, Lara Roman

On a lovely sunny day of October 5th, the Friends of Robinson Gardens warmly welcomed many new members at the annual Membership Luncheon at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. A wonderful addition to our group, the 19 new members are: Laura Coleman, Luke Anderson, Rachel Ault, Lara Roman, Debbie Figoni, Josh Flagg, Holiday Maginnis, Marci Malakouti, Jane Rascoff, Natalie Gordon, Lori Gordon, Brooke Knapp, Jenet Grant, Ilona Sherman, Linda Freund, Bea Torrado-Ridgley, Susan … Read More

Fellows Trip to Penny Bianchi’s Home in Montecito

On October 1, 2018, thanks to Jeanne Anderson who organized this amazing excursion, the Fellows were treated to a delicious lunch and wonderful lecture by interior decorator Penny Bianchi at the Coral Casino Club in Montecito, followed by a tour of Penny’s extraordinary home. This event was postponed three times, twice for the fires in the area and the last time because of the mud disaster that not only closed the Coral Casino, but overwhelmed and destroyed most of Penny’s neighborhood.

Jeanne introduced Penny, saying, “Penelope Bianchi has been an interior decorator for 48 years. She was rearranging the furniture … Read More

Palm Forest Restoration

The Friends of Robinson Gardens set an ambitious goal of raising $120,000 for the restoration of the Palm Forest.  It was to be accomplished over two years.  The Executive Committee is most pleased to announce that the goal has been met and exceeded.  Through individual donations, the pledge drives at the 2017 and 2018 Patron Galas and at Tim Lindsay’s Anniversary luncheon, $130,000 has been raised! We are deeply grateful to all of you who donated funds to support this project. You helped maintain the “world class” status that the King Palm Forest has enjoyed, since its inception in the … Read More

“Mrs. Robinson’s Supper Club” 2018 Patron Gala

On September 15, 2018, the Friends of Robinson Gardens celebrated a spectacular evening under the stars. The theme of this year’s Patron Gala was “Mrs. Robinson’s Supper Club.” Virginia Robinson Gardens was transformed into the magical era of the 1930’s and 40’s. The magnificent florals were the creation of Luna Gardens, reminiscent of nights at the Copacabana. Our very own Andrey Yun did two beautiful florals in the Pool Pavilion.  Guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under twinkling lights. The stunning Pool Pavilion metamorphosed into a Ladies and Gents Club for the evening, complete with a green screen … Read More

Library Restoration

The Restoration of the Library at Virginia Robinson Gardens

The library at Virginia Robinson Gardens has recently been beautifully restored. We are happy to share the following interview with you with Superintendent Timothy Lindsay:

1.  Why did you decide to renovate Mrs. Robinson’s library?

The library was painted about 20 years ago. We were never satisfied that the colors were a good match to the historic hues of the library that Mrs. Robinson had originally painted.

2.  What work was done to bring it back to its former glory?

The detective work began by methodically removing layers of paint, which … Read More

Lecture on Charles James by Michele Gerber Klein

Noted author and founder of Joan Vass, USA, Michele Gerber Klein presented a wonderful lecture based on her book: Charles James: Portrait of an Unreasonable Man at Virginia Robinson Gardens on September 28, 2018.  As a special bonus for the audience, member Regina Drucker brought an original and rare Charles James blue periwinkle evening gown from 1933. It came from the collection of Marit Guinness, a beer and banking heiress, whose parents were friends of James’ parents. Marit grew up with Charles, and her mother was one of his first clients.

According to Michele, the British designer Charles James, born … Read More


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 Kerstin Royce, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens and 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 first … Read More