“Hop Off the Technology Grid at Filoli” by Mary-Ann Bendel
The April 16 meeting at Filoli Gardens was not the usual one: After a short business meeting, we had a docent-led tour of the estate’s elegant house and gardens in three groups of 10.
The gardens were in full April bloom on a sunny day. Many of the trees and flowers are germane only to Filoli Gardens, and the Irish yew and Camperdown elm trees alone are worth a visit.
The lovely flower beds are planted with scale and color in mind. Low beds of baby blue eyes or forget-me-nots paired with tall red and white tulips created a riot of color. Other April flowers on showy display were foxgloves, wisteria, violas, columbine, clematis montana, lilacs and rhododendron. Roses start blooming in May and continue throughout the summer.
Filoli has an astonishing 1,500 volunteers, and our knowledgeable docents squeezed in a condensed version of their usual tour in just about an hour. Designed by Willis Polk, the house has been used as a location for numerous movies, including Heaven Can Wait, Joy Luck Club and Wedding Planner. Although the property is closed for several months during the winter, it opens for nine days during the holidays for a festive celebration—which must be a great time to see it!
Filoli Gardens gives one a chance to hop off the technology grid for a bit and just enjoy nature for a day.