I have just returned from California, and I am still recovering from the long flight home, which was enhanced by an overnight Red-Eye PLUS, involving air turbulence and engine trouble. But I arrived home safely, though five hours late and extremely bleary-eyed. But the visit with my sons was well worth it. I also got to see some fantastic sights.
I have always wanted to visit Filoli, and now I can mark it off my bucket list. It was awe-inspiring, a favorite among all the gardens I have seen.Built by Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn II, who lived here between 1917 and 1936, the estate is now a property of the National Trust For Historic Preservation and is operated by Filoli, a not-for-profit organization.
Mr. Bourn created the name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.The estate covers 654 acres on the south end of Crystal Springs Lake near San Francisco, and the Renaissance-style garden highlights its unique California setting.
Here are some of the scenes from this amazing place, which is still faithful to the original design:
Following the deaths of Mr. and Mrs Bourn in 1936, Filoli was sold to Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth in 1937. They loved this magnificent country estate as much as the original owners and maintained its features. They even kept the B in this iron gate that opens to the Yew Alee:
A high fence protects the Gardens from herds of deer, who must look longingly through the wire and dream of Heaven:
Even my son, not normally as enamored of gardens as I am, appreciated the beauty and serenity of Filoli:
Addendum: A number of commenters have asked about Filoli's response to the drought conditions California is experiencing.
Here is part of what the website says:
Filoli’s Planned Water Conservation Measures
- Irrigate woody plants at 40% of normal levels.
- Refrain from irrigating olive orchards, blue Atlas cedars and other stands or woody plants normally receiving monthly summer irrigation.
- Allow many low-visibility lawns to go dry for the summer. Currently planning for 40% (40,000 sq ft) of turf to receive either no or reduced irrigation.
- Converting two lawns to mulched areas.
- Partially reduce the number of containers in the garden and, for the most part, choose more drought tolerant varieties, like Pelargoniums (geraniums).
- Plant begonias, which are drought tolerant, in several annual beds.
- Turf Areas scheduled for significant water reductions in 2015:
Group one— irrigation already turned off:
North Lower Lawn terrace (field view to the north)
North Ballroom lawn
Service Courtyard lawn (outside administration offices)
High Place lawns- upper and lower terraces
Group two— reduced to 40% with supplemental watering of adjacent woody plants where needed:
North and South Upper terraces (behind house)
Behind Swimming Pool Pavilion
Both Yew Allées along swimming pool
Wedding place terrace lawns
High Place Yew Allée
We did see some brown lawns and drought stressed plants while we were there. Please go to the above link for a complete look at their water conservation measures and also recommendations for your own garden. I found this very interesting.
Thank you! Deb