Filoli (Woodside, CA): Part I, Arrangements, Doors & Gates

Located in Woodside, CA the Filioli Estate was built between 1915-1917 by Willliam Bowers Bourn II and his wife Agnes Moody Bourn. The estate has a total of 654 acres, 16 of which are formal gardens.
Filoli was first on my list of gardens to visit during this trip to California.
Floral arrangement in Visitor’s Center.
In the newly constructed visitor center I was stuck by this massive floral arrangement and noted that the materials used were garden materials instead of stark and showy exotics so I was thrilled when I discovered that the arrangements throughout the interiors were made with flowers from the cutting garden on the estate.
When you enter the main house, you will see this orchid planter. It’s massive size does nothing to dwarf the beauty of its contents.
In another room nearby an arrangement is seen on a table with Delphinium and Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica) from the garden. As a matter of fact, all of the rooms in the house had amazing arrangements in them—though the ikebana-inspired piece was truly my least favorite since it really disappointed me.
Of coures there are a few houseplants too like this Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)—a classic for any dark interior.
A pair of Boston ferns (Nephrolenpis) on two of the largest plant stands I’ve ever seen.
Out back, past the larger formal gardens you’ll find the cutting garden. It’s in two parts with one being protected, while the other is out in the open.
Then there are the many garden doors and gateways at Filoli…

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of these few pieces and parts.

Stay tuned for more…

Official Website: Filoli
Wikipedia: Filoli Estate

Good Shrub Cut, Bad Shrub Cut


Here are a few ideas for those of you out there who have the patience to train shrubs, and for those with a sense of humor, I’ve included the last example.

This is an amazing yew I found one day when I had to park and then walk to a nearby pharmacy for a special compounded medication for my swelling disease. To say the least, the charm of this bush dismissed my irksome mood concerning the steroids. It is simply an area most people would ignore, on the north side of an old auto dealership building, and this is what they’ve done with it. It still makes me smile.

This little archway has amazed me for years. I first noticed it when we moved to the neighborhood almost 6 years ago. Again, this is a yew, but this time the front of the building is facing west so it gets more sun than the dealership. I have yews in my garden, and it is likely that I will do this with my narrow yews someday, but it will have to be added to that long list of things to do. Lucky for me they are still large enough for me to move with ease, and I’m young-ish. Yews do grow slowly.
Lastly, there is this yard. It too is in the neighborhood and is down the block from the last one. Why would you do this, right!?! This has to be one of the lowest maintenance looks I have ever seen, except those trims probably take awhile. The shrubs are never allowed to grow together and are trimmed so that there is always space between the bushes. At least it’s drought tolerant.