Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Picnic in the Garden

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming when I attend some of the delightful events held at Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills.  This enchanting estate with its acres of gorgeous gardens is a Los Angeles treasure and when I am there I feel as if I am wandering in one of the Italian gardens that Edith Wharton wrote about in her book Italian Villas And Their Gardens.  This weekend was one of those times.  At 4:00pm I went to a picnic to celebrate the blossoming of the coral tree on the grounds of the gardens.   This is not just any coral tree, this is the "mother" tree to all those beautiful coral trees that line San Vicente Boulevard from Brentwood to Santa Monica.

And so on a gorgeous, very warm, almost hot April afternoon I found myself walking into the grounds of Robinson Gardens.  I knew that we were gathering to view and celebrate the blossoming of this important tree on the grounds of the estate.  

I never tire of walking through this beautiful gate to get the first glimpse of the Great Lawn and back patio of the house.   Isn't this what the best of gardens contain, a slow reveal of all the myriad charms to be found?

 The back patio where the festivities were beginning

A Blood Orange Prosecco cocktail was the perfect accompaniment for this pastoral afternoon

Musicians serenading us

The view from the patio, with the coal tree in sight, behind the two cypress trees

Our leisurely stroll begins

A plein-air artist capturing one of the rustic scenes 

More steps to descend

A lovely spot to rest

One of the sights along the way

Close up of the coral tree with its orange blossoms

As Edith Wharton wrote in Italian Villas And Their Gardens, a guest might leave this picnic at Robinson Gardens "with his eyes and imagination full of the ineffable Italian garden-magic, knowing vaguely that the enchantment exists; that he has been under its spell, and that it is more potent, more enduring, and more intoxicating to every sense than the most elaborate and glowing effects of modern horticulture; but he may not have found the key to the mystery..."  That mystery and beauty can only exist in a garden, and this kind of an afternoon provided "garden- magic" and inspiration to the guests who were lucky enough to be there.


  1. There is very little else I can say, other than thank you for sharing this. (Well, perhaps "I am screaming with envy", but that wouldn't be very friendly, would it?)

  2. How simply delightful! You had me at Blood Orange Prosecco!!

  3. Oh I would love to have gone with you for the tour through Robinson Gardens, and sit out under shade of the trees with a cocktail. Lucky girl. Your photographs will have to be enough for me now. Delightful spring event.......thanks for the tour.......
    Easter Blessings

    The French Hutch

  4. You have captured the essence and beauty of the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Thank you for posting this Sunday! The garden tour next Friday, May 13 will be a magical day in the gardens both at the Robinson Gardens and the five incredible private estates on the tour! Bravo!

  5. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
    hegn jern