If you have ever been to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California, you know how breathtaking the landscape and architecture of this beautiful estate is. I can only dream of getting a chance to visit.
Inspired by European influences, the 16-acre garden is a series of garden rooms containing parterres, terraces, lawns and pools, arranged between the two parallel north-south walks. A variety of plants abound include camellias, rhododendrons, roses and magnolias. In the spring, bulbs such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are the queen of the show. Lined in perfect rows throughout the gardens or in gorgeous planters around the estate.
What I find most interesting is the meaning of the name Filoli – William B. Bourn and wife Agnes Moody Bourn lived at the 654-acre estate from 1917 to 1936. The estate’s name is a combination of the first two letters from the key words of Bourn’s credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”
The estate was purchased in 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth, who owned the Matson Navigation Company. Under the Roths’ supervision the property was maintained and the formal garden gained worldwide recognition. Mrs. Roth made Filoli her home until 1975 when she donated 125 acres, which included the House and formal garden, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the enjoyment and inspiration of future generations. The remaining acreage was given to Filoli Center.
Now fully operated by Filoli Center, the estate is a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This outstanding showcase of early twentieth-century architecture and garden design can be enjoyed by the public during much of the year.