Thoughts from Friends: Worthy McCartney

I’m Worthy McCartney, and I have been associated with Robinson Gardens and the Friends for a number of years. What a delight it is to always drive up Elden and walk through the entry into the best-kept secret in Beverly Hills…the beautiful gardens, palm trees, flowers, the décor, scents, and beauty that all scream the best of California… My love for the beauty of California is practically lifelong…having first arrived when my father was transferred here with the Air Force in 1974… At that time, I lived in Orange County which was one strawberry field after another… South Coast Plaza was not yet built out, and a ride up the 405 was quick to my Alma Mater, UCLA… Not long after arriving, my mom and I visited Catalina Island because she had originally visited it on a trip after high school with a girlfriend in 1946. They took the steamer to the Island. The moment I arrived at the harbor, I thought Catalina was simply magical... That joy remains today, and I appreciate the Island more today for its pristine beauty and conservation efforts

Thoughts from Friends: Superintendent Timothy Lindsay

Wild and Exotic Birds of the Virginia Robinson Gardens A hawk seeks water or an unsuspecting visitor at the cherub fountain on a warm March day. The phrase, “Birds of a feather flock together,” is at least over 470 years old. It was in use as far back as the mid-16th century and was inspired by the flocking behavior of birds when foraging for food or flying in formation during seasonal migrations. This concept is sometimes applied metaphorically to people who act in similar ways. One early spring morning, Friends members flocked together with a naturalist, Darrow Feldstein, who guided us on a garden bird watch. While we moved in predictable formation, we were singularly focused on observing “only” birds in the garden. It turned out to be a cognitive revelation. We enjoyed the garden for the first time with only one objective in mind

Thoughts from Friends: Beth Rudin DeWoody

As a child, I attended the Rudolph Steiner School in New York City. I was there for eight years. Art making and crafts were a big part of my education as well as eurythmics and music. I knitted, sewed and did macramé; I made a bamboo recorder and carved wood. For every subject, we had to make a “good book,” with each page illustrated with colored pencils

Thoughts from Friends: Barbara Sayre Casey

“So, shall we come to look at the world with new eyes” - Ralph Waldo Emerson From the towering Tetons to the rapidly rippling Snake River, the beauty of Jackson Hole stuns the senses every day. One never grows immune to the magnificence of its mountains nor the openness of thousands of acres of green grassland ranches. I have had a home here for 25 years, but it is only this year that I have lived here fully and found myself looking at my world with new eyes each day.

A Swedish Christmas

It is a pleasure for me to share some of my fond memories of the Swedish Christmas traditions and the cuisine that followed me from my homeland when I moved to the United States at age 22.

November in Sweden is probably my least favorite month. The snow has not yet fallen to brighten up the landscape. It is dark, gloomy, and it rains a lot.

When December and Advent comes, Swedes seem uplifted.

They hang lit paper stars in their windows, take out the Advent candles, and the baking and prepping for Christmas begins. Gingerbread cookies and special candies are made, and the stores are full of Christmas decorations. The churches and schools have their holiday programs. Little children get their Advent calendars, and each day they open a window to find a small chocolate confirming a day closer to when Santa arrives.

Thoughts from Friends: Kennon Klein-McCarthy

"To my young friends out there: Life can be great, but not when you can't see it. So, open your eyes to life: to see it in the vivid colors that God gave us as a precious gift to His children, to enjoy life to the fullest, and to make it count. Say yes to your life." - Nancy Reagan

My dearest friend Luke Anderson and new friend Jeanne Anderson were kind enough to introduce me to the magical gardens at the Virginia Robinson Estate. The summer of 2019 was a difficult time for my family with my father's passing and my mother feeling lost and a bit out of sorts. My parents were married over 50 years, my mother marrying my father at the youthful age of 20. Losing her life partner was devastating as many of you may know all too well.

Thoughts from Friends: Keeley Smith

"There isn't a tree in the world that the wind hasn't shaken."

I first encountered this Hindu proverb in 2015. I had travelled to Southwestern India to live a month in a one room grass hut on the beach of the Arabian Sea, studying and practicing yogic philosophies and learning to unwind. It was in this attempt to discover life's greater meaning, when its heft was placed upon me by my yoga teacher. Hearing those words just weeks after my relocation to Los Angeles from New York, I must admit their poignancy fell on my deaf ears. Island life on Manhattan can predispose one to an attitude that there isn't really an existence beyond the granite and concrete of one the world's most diverse and exciting anything-is-possible, go-go-go cities.

Falling Into Autumn

Falling Into Autumn
By Rodney Kemerer, Member of the Friends of Robinson Gardens

My brain is hardwired to the smells from my childhood. At this time of the year it is the smell of burning leaves. As early as I can remember, growing up in the Midwest and later in Pennsylvania, the smell of burning leaves told my brain that winter was coming. As the first pile of leaves was raked together and then slowly smoldered into flame, the smell permeated the neighborhood. It was the signal to break out the corduroy pants and sweater vests. Fall was always my … Read More

Thoughts from Friends: Ann Petersen

Mary Osborne has so eloquently expressed my feeling when in the company of trees. I have had a love affair with trees since I was a child, and my father planted a tree nursery on our farm in Illinois. I loved the birch tree then, but when we moved to Santa Barbara, I fell in love with the California oak tree. As an adult, I have always had a home in the mountains surrounded by trees where I retreat to find serenity and peace of mind. I love the smell of the pines and the sound of the wind blowing in the trees.

Forests and trees provide many benefits and services to society, including clean water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, carbon storage and improved human health. Community trees help reduce air and water pollution, improve physical and mental health as well as reduce crime rates.

Virginia Robinson Gardens Offers Extraordinary Salve: Volunteering at the Gardens

An Inspirational Message from Friends of Robinson Gardens Member Laura Coleman.

Mornings spent in the Virginia Robinson Gardens are among the most beautiful experiences imaginable. From walking through the King Palm Forest in the mist, the scent of water lifting off leaves, to that first rewarding vista of Virginia and Harry Robinson’s onetime home, every moment spent at the Gardens is a treasure.

Amidst the turmoil of the pandemic, all of us are living life to the best of our capacities. And all of us have fear in our hearts that our loved ones could be afflicted. To say that the Gardens offer an immensely soothing respite during this time is truly an understatement.
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