Hidden inside one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of California in Beverly Hills is the Virginia Robinson Gardens, the first luxury estate built in Beverly Hills and the former home of department store moguls. The gardens are the most spectacular that I have ever seen in California and I dream of having a garden like this myself basically every night since I visited!
Tours for this garden and the associated historic mansion are by appointment only. We were so lucky to have been able to schedule a tour at relatively short notice for our “Spring Blooms in Southern California” road trip that also included a visit to the spectacular Flower Fields in Carlsbad and the very pretty Descanso Gardens full of Spring flowers near Los Angeles!
About the Virginia Robinson Gardens
The Gardens is part of a six-acre property that also includes a mansion and pool pavilion, located in the beautiful Beverly Hills neighborhood in Southern California. The Gardens include a rose garden, an Australian King Palm Forest, mature lemon tress, and an Italian Terrace Garden, all of which are stunningly beautiful. Although we were accompanied by a tour guide throughout the tour, we were able to find time to snap a few pics.
An Historic Estate Where Movie Stars Used to Mingle
From the garden’s website: “The Virginia Robinson Gardens is a unique historic estate, a cultural jewel that transports the visitor back to the birthplace of Beverly Hills. Built in 1911, it was once the residence of retail giants Virginia and Harry Robinson (of the Robinson department stores) and now occupies an illustrious place in history as the first luxury estate built in Beverly Hills.”
“Mrs. Robinson was known as the first lady of Beverly Hills and her triumphs as a hostess are legendary: her diverse guests included royalty such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire; her neighbors were Glenn Ford, Lillian Disney and Elvis Presley. She sipped champagne cocktails with Sophia Loren and challenged Charlie Chaplin to a spirited game of tennis – all with her signature elegance and class.”
Bequethed to Los Angeles County
Mrs. Robinson bequeathed her estate to Los Angeles County, which now oversees and preserves the gardens along with the not-for-profit organization Friends of Robinson Gardens. The Gardens hosts special events there throughout the year, including a popular annual garden show in the summer. The garden show includes amazing floral displays inside the mansion in addition to a fashion show!
Our Visit to the Virginia Robinson Gardens
Visits are by appointment only, and their schedules are posted on their website. However, their tours for the week that I would be there were already filled and wait-list only. I emailed them anyway, and was told that they had just opened up another tour on a Saturday that was not listed on the website yet! That was perfect for me, so I quickly confirmed. The admission is $11 for adults for a 90 minute tour.
April 17, 2021 update – Garden tours have reopened to the public! Tours are by appointment only and booked through their website.
When we drove to the Beverly Hills location where the house and gardens are located, we were stunned by how nice the neighborhood is! This is not a typical public park but an actual mansion located in one of the most upscale neighborhoods in California. We were let through the gate and advised to proceed to the pool house to meet the docent, and already we were in awe as we walked through the Italian style terrace and gardens with swimming pool. We arrived early, so we were able to take a few pictures before the other guests and docent arrived.
The Huge Gardens Separated by Theme
The very enthusiastic docent spent quite a bit of time in the pool house and the main house explaining the history of the house and gardens and allowing us to walk around and look at the rooms (though they were mostly roped off). He then led us into the gardens, which was what I was looking forward to the most!
The gardens are huge, with multiple different themed areas, and all very beautiful, well designed and maintained, and so photogenic! The tour actually ran over two hours, but unfortunately, we had to leave the tour before the docent concluded, but we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Both Ken and I left with inspirations for how to improve our own back yard!
We were so glad to have been able to visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens, not only because it’s such a beautiful place, but because of the opportunity to visit an actual home in Beverly Hills! The gardens are even more beautiful than I imagined and I dream daily of having a garden even remotely similar to this one! A girl can dream can’t she? 😊
By the way, if you love flowers as much as I do, you might be interested in my post on the Most Beautiful Flower Books – it’s one of my most popular posts!
California Spring Travel
If you’re looking for more California Spring travel ideas, check out my posts on the Most Beautiful Spots in Big Sur, the Purple Ice Plants of the Monterey Peninsula, the spectacular Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch, the Poppy Fields of Mt Diablo State Park, and the beautiful Spring Peach Blossoms in the East Bay!
All of my California travel posts are here!
Hi, I’m Pansy!
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I’m Pansy, California-based travel + lifestyle blogger, photographer and lover of ALL the pretty flowers! If you browse through my blog, you may notice that most of my travels, DIY and photography center around flowers and nature! 🌸🌼🌿