Member Visit to Filoli House and Gardens

the filoli estate

On Saturday April 27 the weather was perfect for a tour of Filoli Gardens with David Cobb as docent extraordinaire. FILOLI was created in the early 1900’s by William and Agnes Bourne. William and Lurline Roth purchased FILOLI in 1937 following the death of the both William and Agnes the year before. The Roth family lived, entertained and continued development of the gardens at FILOLI until the 1960’s, eventually donating the property to the National Trust for Historical Preservation in 1975.

A group of 16 Cenacolisti toured the mansion of the Roth family (see photo of Michael Prior who bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Roth), as well as the lovely gardens and grounds of the estate, with David providing historical context throughout. From beautifully painted murals in the grand ballroom to the living areas and kitchen, the mansion has been kept with original time-period furnishings and decorations. In fact, the Irish estate on which the murals are based was commissioned by the Bourn’s and and inspired by the property of the their daughter Maud and her husband. One highlight that stood out for many on the tour was the unique table carpet on the Reception Room wall which has many flowers spectacularly represented. 

With a staff of 15 gardeners, the estate has a lovely Rose Garden with 100’s of varieties, and blossoming trees like the Chinese White Fringe Tree, as well as purple wisteria all in bloom.  And various sections are updated weekly and/or monthly depending on what is bloom, so no garden visit is ever the same. Given the mansion, the lovely garden spaces, the garden shop, the gift shop, and ultimately the Quail Cafe where we had lunch – everyone had a great time.

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