VIRGINIA ROBINSON GARDENS' MAY 19 TOUR PROMISES TO DELIGHT
By Laura Coleman, April 26, 2018
Less than a month remains before Beverly Hills’ garden party of the year returns to the City on Saturday, May 19, at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.
Now in its 30th year, the annual Garden Tour & Showcase Estate, which raises funds for the Virginia Robinson Gardens historical estate, gives ticket holders the opportunity to visit several private home gardens rarely seen by the public.
For full story see the print edition of The Beverly Hills Courier, or download the e-edition.
TOP LOS ANGELES THINGS TO DO IN MAY
By Christina Wiese on April 24, 2018
From ground-breaking exhibitions to tasting your way across L.A. at fun food and drink events, check out 30+ top Los Angeles things to do in May.
30th Annual Garden Tour & Showcase Estate
May 19. Organized by the Friends of Robinson Gardens, the Beverly Hills garden party of the year returns with a tour, culinary tastings, luncheon, fashion show and much more. Guests will also have exclusive access to select private home gardens rarely on view to the public. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. See website for ticket pricing. Virginia Robinson Gardens, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills.
Click here to read the full article on SoCalPulse.com.
CELEBRATE MOTHER'S DAY IN BEVERLY HILLS
Although we love and appreciate our mothers and wives every day, Mother’s Day is a time when we shower them with appreciation for being amazing. From rooftop brunches, sweet treats and relaxing spa specials, gift mom with fabulous experiences that can only be had in Beverly Hills.
30th Annual Garden Tour at Virginia Robinson Gardens | May 19, 2018
1008 Elden Way | (310) 550-2068 | Event Details
Reserve tickets to attend a garden party at the historic Virginia Robinson Gardens on May 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event features a gourmet luncheon, fashion show by Ted Baker London, the chance to tour the mansion’s historical rooms and an opportunity to shop for unique gifts at the grand boutique, located on the tennis court.
Click here to read the full article on LoveBeverlyHills.com.
ENCHANTING! FOUR OF THE BEST FOUR SEASONS HOTELS & RESORTS FOR THE SPRING
April 22, 2018
Four Seasons hotels and resorts are some of the best luxury hotels in the world. Spring is supposedly springing, so we have picked the best Four Seasons hotels to enjoy as the Northern Hemisphere starts to warm up. We have already investigated the best Four Seasons hotels on Hawaii and the best Four Seasons hotels with glorious beaches. Here we take a gulp of fresh air and let our skin feel the sunshine in these four incredible Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, perfect for the spring.
With average temperatures in the 70s and botanical gardens to stroll in, outdoor concerts, and al fresco dining, “Los Angeles is an ideal place to be in the spring,” says Chef Concierge Jeanne Mills of Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel.
She suggests taking a tour (by appointment only) of the Virginia Robinson Gardens, part of a 6.5-acre estate that also includes a 1911 mansion and a pool pavilion; catching a baseball game at Dodger Stadium; and visiting the Griffith Park Observatory. “This time of year is when we tend to have the clearest and most crisp blue skies, which is perfect for stargazing,” she says.
Click here to read the full article on LuxuryTravelDiary.com.
By Lisa Boone, March 14, 2018
Spring is almost here, and so is Southern California's rich tradition of spring garden tours. Given that record heat and dry conditions have climatologists wondering if 2018 will mark the return of drought conditions, it's not surprising that many of this year's garden tours are focused on sustainability. Curious about rain gardens, hugelkulturs and fire-resistant plants? All will be represented this year. Advance warning: Most tours are rain or shine, many sell out in advance and not all are handicap-accessible.
May 19: Friends of Robinson Gardens presents its 30th Garden Tour and Showcase featuring four private gardens in Beverly Hills and tours of the Virginia Robinson estate in Beverly Hills. Includes a designer fashion show and lunch. 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets start at $250.
Click here to read the full article on LATimes.com.
NINE BEST HIDDEN GEMS IN LOS ANGELES
With perennially warm weather, pleasant landscapes, and a reputation for glitter and elegance, Los Angeles, California attracts thousands of visitors daily. However, aside from the famous landmarks, the city is packed with lesser-known points of interest. Nearby most Los Angeles vacation rentals are marvelous scenic vistas, lovely parks, eclectic museums, and exciting recreational spaces. Without further ado, here are the most exciting hidden gems in the city of Los Angeles.
3. Virginia Robinson Gardens
The lovely Virginia Robinson Gardens are located on the Virginia Robinson Estate in Beverly Hills. Built in 1911, it is the first estate ever created in the Beverly Hills area. The five incomparably beautiful garden areas include a rose garden, a tropical palm garden, a formal mall garden, an Italian Renaissance terrace garden, and a kitchen garden with herbs and vegetables. The county of Los Angeles offers guided tours of the elegant grounds by appointment only. The tours include a look at the gardens, the pool pavilion, and the artwork and artifacts within the mansion.
Click here to read more from Tripping.com.
NINE REASONS TO STAY IN THE HEART OF LOS ANGELES
February 27, 2018
When you hear the mention of Beverly Hills, you might think of shopping on Rodeo Drive first—Pretty Woman references included. Indeed, upscale shopping is a great draw to this sophisticated city, but the reasons to visit do not stop here. With its central location, warm climate, beautiful parks, acclaimed hotels, fine dining, health and wellness offerings and storied past, the city is the destination of choice in Southern California.
Beverly Hills is located in Los Angeles County, which—with upwards of 10 million residents—is the most populous county in the United States. It’s home to more than a quarter of California’s population and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the country. Long lauded as the entertainment capital of the world, it is also a cultural mecca that houses more than a hundred museums.
In the more than 100 years since Beverly Hills grew from a lima bean farm, this picturesque and walkable city has become the crown jewel of greater Los Angeles. The following nine attributes align to make Beverly Hills the perfect location for your Los Angeles stay:
9. A Story at Every Turn
Scratch the surface of many current Beverly Hills attractions to discover part of the city’s rich history. Once home to Marilyn Monroe, the Beverly Carlton Hotel has re-emerged as The Avalon Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, in partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest. Former private estates have been given National Historic Landmark status, as is the case with Virginia Robinson Gardens, a six-acre property encompassing a breathtaking garden, mansion and pool pavilion that is the first luxury estate built in Beverly Hills. The area’s entertainment industry is celebrated at The Paley Center for Media, a cultural center devoted to television and radio—past and present.
Click here to read the full article on LoveBeverlyHills.com.
BEST BOTANICAL GARDENS IN LOS ANGELES
February 25, 2018
The vibrant and diverse flora of Southern California can be seen all over this vast expanse we called the Southland. Just look around you. However, with that in mind and to get a glimpse and a feel for this wonderful vegetation from our region and those of other places all in one well-groomed outpost, check out five of the finest botanical gardens in and around Los Angeles.
Virginia Robinson Gardens
1008 Elden Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Part of the parcel of land where Beverly Hills’ first lady Virginia Robinson once lived, her gardens dating back to 1911 are now managed by Los Angeles County and can only be toured by making a reservation in advance of your visit. That said, it’s worth the trouble to do just that for a chance to get to know this astounding landmark expanse listed on the National Historic Register and an official California Point of Historical Interest. Of special note is the Italian Renaissance Terrace Garden with its glorious magnolia trees and sensational camellias, and the Rose Garden, sporting heirloom blooms. Meanwhile, the tropical garden with its king palms grove, arguably the largest of its type on the mainland, almost overwhelms.
Click here to read the full article by CBS 2 Los Angeles.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BRIDE-TO-BE SOFIA VERGARA!
August 23, 2015
She’s a beautiful bombshell, a brainy business woman—and funny to boot. Now Sofía Vergara is warming up for her next major role: bride. In preparation
for her big day, she met up with us to talk wedding planning and try on some of the season’s most spectacular new gowns in a spectrum of shades. Here, a sneak peek at the photo shoot for our Fall Style issue.
When: June 9, 2015.
Where: The Virginia Robinson Gardens, a 1911 estate in Beverly Hills. Its original owner, Virginia Robinson, collected flora from all over the world to plant its famous Rose Garden, Italian Terrace Garden, and Australian Palm Forest.
Who: Actress Sofía Vergara. Maybe you’ve heard of her? She’s on this little TV show...
Why: She’s a bride-to-be! The lucky lady is planning her nuptials to actor Joe Manganiello. (See her engagement ring here.) Plus, who wouldn’t want her wedding advice?
What she’s wearing: Here, pausing among the bougainvillea, she stuns in a Chantilly lace dress by Rosa Clara.
What you didn’t see on the cover: The umbrellas over her head! It rained throughout the day, not that you’d know it from the bright flowers and her brilliant smile.
What you didn’t see (until now): Vergara stood on a folding table to situate herself amid the overhanging bougainvillea. (Fear not, Modern Family cast: To test the table’s strength, our design director, six-foot-three Michael McCormick, jumped on it first.)
How to get her look: A bona fide CoverGirl, Vergara rocked a number of looks throughout the shoot. To re-create this one, use (from left) LashBlast Volume Mascara in Black; Outlast Longwear Lipstick in Pink Pow; Perfect Point Plus Eye Liner in Espresso; Eye Shadow Quads in Notice Me Nudes; Cheekers Blush in Brick Rose and Rock ‘n’ Rose; and Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation in Medium Beige (from $4.50, at drugstores).
Where to see more: Read the full story on Sofía Vergara in the Fall 2015 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, available on iPad on August 28th and on newsstands on August 31!
VIRGINIA ROBINSON GARDENS
June 2, 2016
TIME OUT SAYS: Department store magnates Virginia and Harry Robinson built this Beverly Hills estate in 1911, and upon their passing it entered into the county's hands as a public park. Because of the six-and-a-half-acre estate's quiet residential location, it's only accessible via docent-led tours, which you'll need to arrange two weeks in advance over the phone or via email. Once inside, you'll find finely manicured gardens and a just as impeccably assembled mansion. In keeping with its storied history of lavish Hollywood parties, the estate hosts a swanky garden party at the beginning of each summer.
Click here to read the full article on TimeOut.com.
SEE THIS, SKIP THAT: BEVERLY HILLS
By Gabe Saglie and TravelZoo, December 6, 2014
Few cities conjure up images of glitz and glam like Beverly Hills. This ritzy enclave in the heart of L.A. is replete with recognizable landmarks and popular things to do, of course. But there’s plenty more going on beyond the five-star veneer. Consider these things to do next time you visit the so-called Garden Spot of the World.
Skip Beverly Gardens, Visit Robinson Beverly Gardens Park is a landmark here -- a 2-mile, 22-block park along Santa Monica Blvd. that’s ideal for joggers and photo takers (the famed Beverly Hills Sign lives here). But for a unique garden experience, call ahead and schedule a docent-led tour of Robinson Gardens, on Elden Way, near the Beverly Hills Hotel. The former estate of socialite Virginia Robinson (of Robinsons-May department stores fame) was one of the first homes in Beverly Hills and spans more than six acres. Today, it houses five distinct gardens of rare plants, exotic flowers and flowing fountains; the Kitchen Garden features herbs and vegetables while the Rose Garden is home to wide array of heirlooms.
Click here to read the full article on abcnews.com.
By Caroline Seebohm, March 28, 1993
WITHIN a stone's throw of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood is one of the most attractive and least known private gardens in the United States, a stylish mixture of Italianate architecture and formal landscape design, with a jungle of rare tropical and subtropical plants and trees.
Designed around a Mediterranean-style palazzo that rises above a steep terraced hillside, the 6.2-acre garden is a testament to the taste and fine esthetic judgment of Virginia Dryden Robinson, a native of St. Louis who moved to Beverly Hills in 1903, bringing her gift of understatement to a neighborhood where glitter and glamour were already the norm.
Developed originally by businessmen rather than movie stars, Beverly Hills had always been a well-planned community, with curving streets and careful zoning for both buildings and plantings. Virginia and Harry Robinson -- he was the son of the founder of Robinson's department stores -- moved into their house in 1912, and from then on through the 20's their staid Beverly Hills neighbors were gradually replaced by movie stars like John Barrymore, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow and other great names of the early American cinema. These people's gardens tended toward the flamboyant and eclectic; as Mac Griswold and Eleanor Weller point out in their book, "The Golden Age of American Gardens," Hollywood's business was "manufacturing the illusion of just the kind that often required trees held up by wire stays."
The Virginia Robinson Gardens, spectacular though it is, has no such illusory grandeur. Mrs. Robinson was an intellectually curious and artistic woman whose husband died at a young age, leaving her to manage his fortune and property. She worked closely with the Pasadena landscape architect Charles Gibbs Adams to produce a work that not only has no need of wire stays, but also provides a botanical feast for the fortunate visitor. Rare trees like Talauma hodgsonii, Gardenia thunbergia, and many species of magnolia and other unusual plants abound in a garden that is part wilderness, part 18th-century formality.
While Harold Lloyd was cramming his neighboring estate with "Spanish barbecue, Italian ballroom, Japanese lily pond, English village, Indian canoes, Arizona cactus garden," according to Marion Cran quoted in "The Golden Age of American Gardens," Mrs. Robinson exercised admirable horticultural restraint.
Mrs. Robinson, who died in 1977, bequeathed the estate to Los Angeles County in 1974. New houses have since been built on either side of the house, encroaching upon its gateway. My companion and I almost doubted our directions to the garden. We drove around the perimeter of the property to the small parking lot, where a path leads to the visitor's first formal exposure to the garden. We were at the center of a large grassy rectangle, like a parterre. At the right end was the main house, with a generous terrace. To the left was a lily pond, a swimming pool and Renaissance-style pool pavilion.
Walking up a gentle slope toward the house, we stood on the terrace and looked up across the spread of lawn, punctuated with a small rose garden (Mrs. Robinson's favorite flower) and perennial borders, toward a balustrade that cleverly conceals the swimming pool (the bane of all hot-climate landscape architects).
West of the house we descended a steep path into an elegant, courtyard-like space called the Italianate garden, a masterpiece of darkly dramatic hillside landscaping. Mrs. Robinson had a great knowledge of plants, particularly exotics and subtropicals, and these she imported and placed with meticulous care in the subtle curves of this steeply raked plot.
The slope is graded into eight levels, reached by brick paths that undulate down in a semicircular pattern, with shrub-fringed staircases, to plateaus, or terraces. These resting places, enhanced by fountains, ponds and statuary, provide romantic vistas up through the densely leaved trees to glimpses of sun and sky, or down through dark, glossy greenery to more mysterious openings with decorative stonework below. Winding our way down through this sensuous wilderness, we were greeted by the powerful scent of gardenias and stephanotis, splashes of color from camellias and azaleas, gazebo-like glades and the bubbling of secret fountains.
We walked back up this magic mountain to the front of the house, where a modest garden leads to the street, and on to the Palm Jungle, a mass of different palm species planted on the east side of the precipice-like terrain on which the house sits.
The house's architect, Mrs. Robinson's father, Nathaniel Dryden, made good use of this dramatic elevation. Like many built in Southern California in the early part of the century, the house is Mediterranean in style, and designed for a woman who loved to give parties. The public rooms are stately, with comfortable seating areas, still furnished with Mrs. Robinson's belongings and personal mementos. Her library, with most of the collection still extant, is an impressive expression of its owner's enthusiasms -- mainly gardening, art and theater.
But the most spectacular room of all is the loggia, which overlooks the Palm Jungle. This balcony-like space, with no fourth wall, affords an open-air view over the palm forest, which unrolls in a verdant carpet below. Mirrors on two facing walls reflect the tops of the palms as they wave in the breeze, exaggerating the visitor's sense of being suspended above the tree line. The effect is of floating in space, the palm fronds tickling the soles of your feet.
The Virginia Robinson Gardens, as is the case with all great gardens, reflects its owner's personality. It remains marvelously intact, partly because it is so intricately designed, with steep paths that can be difficult to negotiate, that it cannot accommodate busloads of tourists, but mostly because it is virtually unknown.
The garden, which is north of the Beverly Hills Hotel, is part of the Los Angeles County Department of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens. However, its administration is so protective of it that the garden's address is not even listed on the brochure. Even "The Golden Age of American Gardens," brilliant encyclopedic work that it is, carries no mention of it -- which is, of course, all the more reason to visit. A GUIDE TO A TASTE OF THE OPULENT
The Virginia Robinson Gardens is open year round for guided walking tours, which can be arranged by appointment only. The one-hour tours begin at 10 A.M. and 1 P.M. Tuesday through Thursday and at 10 A.M. Friday.
For reservations, call the gardens at (310) 276-5367 at least one week before your visit. Visitors will not be admitted without reservations. (These severe restrictions are necessitated, in part, by the property's location in an exclusive residential area of Beverly Hills, where tour buses would not be welcome.) Admission is $5, $3 for children 5 to 17 years old, those 62 and over and students with ID.