Monday, March 23, 2015

The Historic Filoli Estate- Exploring The Gardens

The Estate Includes a 16 Acre English Renaissance Garden

Filoli is a country estate, built in the early 1900s, by San Franciscans Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn. They lived there from 1917 to 1936. Mr. Bourn came up with the name Filoli from his personal creed: Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; and Live a good life. In 1937, the estate was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth. During this time, the garden became famous and in 1975, Mrs. Roth donated 125 acres, which included the house and garden, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
     Mrs. Roth wanted to make sure the public could enjoy her beautiful house and garden. I've walked around enjoying it myself several times now. If you love gardens and architecture, I highly recommend visiting here.
The Entrance to the House (which will be covered in part 2 of this blog)
 Filoli is located in Woodside, California near the Crystal Springs Reservoir. It is surrounded by the beautiful Filoli Nature Preserve, which is only open to the public through a docent lead hike. What this means for visitors is you are away from the noise of the city and can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the gardens.

Daffodil Meadow

The Daffodils Typically Bloom in February

When I Was There in Late Feb. The Yellow Daffodils Were On Their Way Out, But The White Ones Were Still In Bloom

The Knot Garden Is Shown Off To Full Affect In The Summer
Tulips Bloom In March And April

We All Wish, But No, The Pool Is Not Open To The Public.

A View of the Bell Tower From The Sunken Garden
Another View Of The Sunken Gardens
The Reflecting Pool Mirrors The Clock Tower

The Gardens Include Many Containers Of Flowers

A Photographers Delight

Please Don't Pick The Lemons!

The gardens can be enjoyed on so many different levels - photographic opportunities, artistic inspiration, horticultural study, landscape ideas, or a simple stroll to enjoy the peaceful beauty. You can see what's in bloom by checking their Blooming Calendar.
     They also offer many events throughout the year. If you want to bring your children, I recommend visiting during their Spring or Autumn Festival where they offer many activities for children. A few years ago, My kids had a great time at the Spring Festival watching a small dog agility show and playing with huge colorful bubbles. I don't see the Spring Festival on the calendar this year, but the autumn festival is set for Sat. September 26.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am–3:30 pm (last admission 2:30 pm)
Sunday: 11:00 am–3:30 pm (last admission 2:30 pm)


Admission: February 10 - May 31, 2015 Adults $20, seniors $17, students $10, Children four years and younger are free.
Admission is two dollars cheaper between June and October 25, Filoli is then closed until Nov 27 - Dec 5, 2015 for their Holiday Tradition Event.
If you plan to visit Filoli three or more times during the year, you might consider buying a membership.

Directions: follow the website's written directions; they warn the GPS is not always accurate.

If you go: unfortunately, they don't allow picnics, even outside the entrance near the parking lot. Personally, I don't know what harm there could be in having a few picnic tables in the trees that edge the parking lot, but there it is.  I usually eat my lunch in the car or splurge at their very nice café. You are allowed to bring bottles of water and there are a couple of water fountains in the Gardens as well. For more on what is and is not allowed at Filoli, read their etiquette sheet.


Next week I will blog about the house, it is really something to see. BTW General admission includes access to the house and garden. Allow 2 - 3 hours to tour the entire estate. For more information, visit the Filoli website.

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