Virginia Robinson Gardens

Virginia Robinson Gardens is a historic estate located in Beverly Hills, California. The six-acre property, which features a Mediterranean-style mansion, beautifully landscaped gardens, and a museum, was once the home of Virginia and Harry Robinson. Harry was the heir to the Boston-based department store chain J.W. Robinson Co., while Virginia was known for her philanthropy and involvement in the Beverly Hills community.

Built in 1911, the Robinson mansion was designed by architect Nathaniel Dryden, who happened to be Virginia’s father. The estate is considered to be the first luxury residence in Beverly Hills, and it served as a social hub for the city’s elite during the early 20th century. The mansion has an elegant, Mediterranean Revival style, with impressive architectural details such as arches, balconies, and terracotta-tiled roofs.

The gardens at the Virginia Robinson Gardens are a true highlight, featuring a diverse range of plants, trees, and landscaped areas. Virginia was passionate about gardening and spent many years cultivating the gardens with the help of renowned landscape architect Ralph Stevens. Today, the gardens are divided into several distinct areas, including the Italian Terrace Garden, the Rose Garden, the Tropical Palm Garden, and the Kitchen Garden. These spaces showcase a variety of exotic and rare plant species, as well as traditional European garden design elements.

After Virginia Robinson’s death in 1977, the estate was bequeathed to the County of Los Angeles, with the stipulation that it be used for the public’s enjoyment and education. The gardens were opened to the public in 1979, and today, they are managed by the non-profit organization Friends of Robinson Gardens. The estate offers guided tours, educational programs, and special events throughout the year, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the historic mansion and its stunning gardens.

The Virginia Robinson Gardens not only offers a glimpse into the history and glamour of early Beverly Hills, but it also serves as an important center for horticultural education and preservation. The estate’s lush gardens, elegant architecture, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the beauty and heritage of Southern California.