Monday, May 11, 2009

A Day-Trip Just in Time for Mother's Day

Filoli Gardens at Woodside, CA
Bud and Kay Nichols invited us to go with them to Filoli Gardens last week. It was the "$5 admission day" (normally $12 but still a bargain at that price) just before Mother's Day due to the house being closed to tours while they decorate it with plants and flowers for the weekend crowd. But the outside gardens are available for a self guided walking tour. We jumped at the chance to go see this beautiful spot.

Filoli was built for Mr and Mrs William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose source of wealth came from the hard rock Empire Gold Mine in Grass Valley, CA. The name Filoli is made up of the first two letter of the key words in Mr. Bournes credo: "Fight for a just cause; Love your fellowmen; Live a good life."

The gardens are situated on about 530 acres of land. The house itself has something like 43 ROOMS. (That reminds me of a movie line about "pretentious snobs." And, "The bathroom is upstairs; seventh door on the right.")

The house was mainly used for relaxing, entertaining, socializing and partying. These people were real socialites. In 1975, the estate was given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation along with an endowment for support and maintenance of the property.

These gardens are along the line of several other beautiful botanical gardens throughout the world: Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Longwood (Dupont) Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; Manito Park and Botanical Gardens in Spokane, Washington, etc.

The garden entrance here...

... takes you into the Garden Shop where you can spend exhorbitant amounts of money on plants and other accessories ...

Such as beautiful glass paperweights with colorful flowers.

On top of the garden shop is a weather vane with a proud rooster pointing the wind direction.

But a closer look shows a regular old bird who is not intimidated by the rooster.

Some beautiful pools and planters with people all over the place taking pictures (us included).

Fox gloves


Can't remember the name of these bright red flowers.

Fields of resplendent wild flowers.

An avenue of Chinese Ewes

A brick walkway through part of the gardens.

Not as many roses as in the San Jose Rose Garden but an abundent supply in any case.

How about those California Poppies...

... that contrast with some (can't remember the name) purple plants.

Julie's favorite... the huge Peonies

Very impressive white globe

I did this picture more for the effect. I like the resulting image.

More globes of some kind...

What a great picture for a painting

Julie didn't pick this Friesia. She found it on the ground after one of the grounds keepers had transported some plants into the house.

Of course, we had to stop for lunch. Julie and I had a Roasted Turkey Panini and a cheesecake drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

All this walking around deserved a rest on a bench amongst the beautiful surroundings.

We have only shown a few of the over 150 pictures we took. Altogether, they make a great screen saver slide show. Thanks for enjoying this much of it with us.


Janet said...

BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS! nice pics dad! looks like a nice day!

Stefani said...

Wow that is beautiful! I like the story behind the name and the reference to FOTB.

Stimpsons said...

I wish I could have been their to enjoy the flowers. I love them!