Tag Archives: Filoli

New Leadership for Filoli – Welcome Kara Newport

“On behalf of the Filoli Center Governing Board, I am delighted to announce the hire of Kara Newport as our new Executive Director,” said Donna Colson, Filoli’s Governing Board President. “Kara is a visionary leader with over two decades of experience in the non–profit sector including most recently serving ten years as the Executive Director of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to her horticulture experience, Kara brings to us a significant development and member services background having worked at The Franklin Institute, The Philadelphia Zoo, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.”

I am so excited to welcome Kara, who is a lover of gardens.  I know she will enjoy this incredibly beautiful and magical garden, historic house and learning experience… that we call Filoli!  — the editor

filoli 3 “Kara presently serves, and will continue to serve, as Treasurer for the American Public Garden Association. She has chaired many of their important committees including Finance, Benchmarking, and National Conference Program Selection. She is a regular presenter and contributor to the organization focusing on key industry topics such as garden tourism, horticulture trends, event planning, and design,” said Colson.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the new Executive Director of Filoli; it is truly a national treasure. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the talented team of staff, volunteers and Board members.” —Kara Newport

FilFiloli Rosesoli Mission Statement

Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment.

Bring your Sweetheart to Filoli Feb 13-14

It’s the opening celebration, and there is lots to do. I’ll be in the Children’s craft area, possibly covered with paint and glue, but having a great time! We’d love to see you there!~

cdecadent chocolate camellia winter branch

Schedule of Events

From magnolia, camellia, and narcissus blossoms, blooming branches of Daphne, quince, and plums to the many playful buds, this is a revitalizing time in the Filoli Garden. Celebrate the romance of the winter garden this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking a guided camellia walk through our collection of more than 250 exquisite varieties and then share a special lunch in the Café´.

Watch our chef instructor do wonderful things with chocolate, attend an inspiring floral demonstration, or discover the art and history of embroidery then try your hand at it.

Activities for the children, inspired by these gifts of the Garden, are also planned for this special weekend. Unless noted, admission to all activities is FREE for members or with paid admission to Filoli for non–members. Reservations are not necessary. (Regular price admission for non-members is $20, children $10)

Come and share this revitalizing time of year in the Garden with us.

Spring Fling will be coming in March, and their are educational events, walks, wine tasting, tea parties and jazz to enjoy! 2015 will be a busy year.

Filoli’s Volunteers

Do you know any organization that has 1200+ volunteers? I know most non-profits would love to have these large numbers of dedicated volunteers. It isn’t just numbers, the Filoli volunteers volunteer to weed the garden! The tasks aren’t always fun or easy, but the volunteers are dedicated. They hike with 8 year old kids … even in the rain… If the kids from the local schools are willing to go out in the mud, Filoli’s Nature Education docents are there, soggy boots and all!

Jennifer Gonzalez has produced/ written a tribute and created a video — take a look, you’ll love it.  “Volunteers: The Heart of Filoli”

College of San Mateo KCSM had a small team that made a TV show that was aired on The Bay Today about Filoli, the history and the volunteers (I was part of this team) and it reached thousands of local fans.

Lately, Filoli’s Governing Board and Cynthia D’Agosta have tried to put a Volunteer Agreement in place, and after 2+ years of analysis, they presented their “masterwork” in a Volunteer Newsletter. It was later discussed in a meeting by a group of upset, unhappy volunteers and their managers and leaders. The discussion continues… sad times for the volunteers. We cannot take the kids out on hikes until this is resolved. We love this place. We love giving our service hours to our community and “Our Home away from Home.”

Filoli Roses

Filoli Sculptures and Blooms

Sunken Garden blooms  This week it’s …HYDRANGEAS!!    And  …. This week, the sculptures for the Summer Sculpture exhibit will be placed in the garden.   More information here

Over 60 pieces will be placed throughout the gardens, Visitor’s Center, main residence and entry drive from the north gate. The show officially opens next Tuesday, June 10 and runs through Sunday, September 7. The artists participating in the show are Molly Stone of Cohn-Stone Glass Studios, Marcia Donahue, Linda Hansen-Mau and other artists from the Orchard Valley Ceramic Artists Guild, Archie Held, Grant Irish, Jeff Owen and Richard Starks.

Sunken Garden blooms

Come to New Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteering at Filoli provides the opportunity to experience up close one of the most beautiful estates in the Bay Area. You’ll also meet dedicated people while working in an environment where your contributions are valued.

There are many people that love Filoli and decide to volunteer at this AMAZING and INSPIRING place. You won’t be bored! There are so many jobs to choose from. The volunteers are wonderful and there are special benefits for helping out. Take a look, find out more!  I am one of the happy volunteers in paradise!  — the editor

Come to New Volunteer Recruitment
Saturday, May 17, 2014
 — 9:30 am check–in and refreshments; 10:00 am program begins.
Please join us for New Volunteer Recruitment at the Filoli Visitor and Education Center. Come and learn about all of the many ways to support this national treasure. There are several committees who need volunteers willing to commit to help on a regular basis. The opportunities are for both weekday and weekend shifts. Watch the video below to learn more about Filoli Volunteers and the ways that they serve.RSVP by email volunteer@filoli.org by Friday, May 9, 2014.  OR CALL  650-364-8300.

Our Video about Filoli & Volunteering

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Beautiful Time of the Year

I read this description and almost jumped out of my seat, abandonned my writing project and skipped off to Filoli. Go ahead, and see If you’ll be planning your trip this weekend– (Filoli web site)

Azaleas and Rhododendrons are blooming throughout the Woodland and Walled Gardens. The corridor from the Chartres to the Wedding Place is a right of pink, carmine, coral, red, cream and white.
Our iconic Camperdown Elm, continues to put on its spring show. The clusters of chartreuse seeds heads have formed and are hanging from the branches like papery ornaments.

With the continued warm (technically) winter weather, many of the annuals are going gangbusters! The Sunken Garden is full of color with the blue pansies, blue and white columbine, yellow Siberian wallflower, pink catchfly, and mauve, rose, cream and white foxgloves. The ‘Jersey Jem’ violas are flowering away in the Chartres and Garage Beds. The columbine mix in the Bell Beds is just beginning to flower. And finally, our spring workhorse, the pale blue forget-me-nots, is spectacular as always!

Afternoon Teas are available but you must book early.  You make also book Nature Hikes through the office.

Please Note:  Easter Sunday, April 20 — Filoli is closed to visitors.  Filoli April Calendar.

Garden Happenings
Filoli’s Drought Response web page  




Filoli Roses

Has Your Child Been Outside Lately?

I could be talking about your “inner child” if you don’t have children. However, I was surprised by this article which says that some schools don’t have recess. Really? How can that even work?  This thought gives me a stomach ache. No free play? No time to yell? Sheesh, I think there should be recess and summer camp for adults, and I always thought recess was in every school. This trend is clearly going the WRONG WAY!

Connecticut passed a law in 2012 requiring it for 20 minutes in elementary schools. This was necessary because many kids, especially in low-income and urban schools, don’t have it. ” The article talks about a Forest Kindergarten, having time to wonder and wander and many more profound things that happen when you are able to learn and grow outdoors.  Read this SLATE ARTICLE for more information.   — the editor

We have Outdoor Education and Recess in California. (Maybe I better check again?) We have schools come to the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District for all-day field trips. School kids join us at Filoli for Nature Education or for “Native Plants, Native Ways”, depending on their grade in school. I know that happens, I’m a docent for each program. The training is amazing, detailed and full of fun for adults that want to volunteer.  Come on out, volunteer to help guide kids back into nature. Come visit our amazing programs.

If you would like to get involved and do something wonderful for kids/nature/yourself,  just knowing that these programs are available may inspire you to COME OUT AND PLAY!

Hikes and more June 2013 031

Imagine the Future of Open SpaceVolunteer Info

Visiting Filoli – Autumn Festival

Autumn at Filoli Festival Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013   10:00 am – 3:30 pm

View Complete Details / Purchase Tickets


There is something for everyone in the family at Autumn at Filoli Festival.

A variety of activities is planned for children and families, including nature hikes, orchard tours and the “Happy Birds” performing parrot show.

A barbecue lunch (available by advance purchase only) will be served on the tree–shaded tennis court while you listen to live music.

For information, please call the Filoli Ticket Office at (650) 364–8300, extension 508, weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Purchase your tickets now and join us at Autumn at Filoli Festival!

young guests enjoy the 2011 Autumn at Filoli Festival

Filoli Donates Fresh Estate Grown Pears and Apples

Filoli is such a national treasure. And Filoli helps our neighborhoods as well.

Thought you’d enjoy learning that volunteers picked 1,078 lbs. of fresh pears and apples from the Filoli orchard for St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room in Menlo Park.

Also, here is the last paragraph of the Plant Highlights section of “What’s Blooming” which you can find at http://www.filoli.org/explore-filoli/the-garden/whats-blooming.html:

“The fruit garden is looking particularly nice right now, with lots of colored fruits along the Yew allée. This week we have donated our first load of fruit to Village Harvest. We have picked fruit expressly for them to give to food banks, and they are sending out a group of volunteers to pick Bartlett pears from our trees. It’s great that we’ve grown this relationship over the years and our fruit is being given to the needy.”

I think these examples of Filoli’s outreach to the community are terrific! We need to promote this kind of caring.

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance Project promotes similar efforts to put the wonderful food we produce to a great service of feeding the hungry. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have teamed up in this three-year initiative to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills and increase the amount of food donated to food banks. They also use waste for energy, compost, and animal feed.

“Country Estate Evenings” at Filoli

New Evening Opportunities at Historic Site in Woodside, CA 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062

  • “Kick-Off To Summer” – Wednesday June 19, 2013—open until 7:30 pm
  • “The Livin’ Is Easy”- Wednesday August 14, 2013—open until 7:30 pm
  • “Step Back in Time at Filoli”, this is a themed event based on Downton Abbey, July 17, please go to Filoli.org for details

There are two upcoming evening events at Filoli where visitors will be able to take a docent-led Sunset Hike, an Orchard Walk or just unwind and enjoy the historic House and world-famous Garden until 7:30 pm at Filoli’s first ever series of “Country Estate Evenings.” The Filoli Café and the Garden and Gift Shop will be open.

You have probably seen the wonders of Filoli during the day, but it is a different experience to see the colors in the garden change, as the the day winds down into dusk. The flowers seem to glow, the warm light bounces off the bricks of the house, everything becomes more still. Usually this vision is appreciated by the staff and volunteers, but now you can enjoy it too. This spectacular place is really lovely in the long summer evenings. You are invited. Come join us!  – editor

filoli 2Admission Fees: Admission is free for current members of Filoli. For non-members, admission is Adults $15, Seniors (65 years and older) $12, students $5 (ages 5 through 17 or with valid student ID); no admission charge for children 4 years and younger. Group rates are available for groups of 12 or more adults by contacting Visitor Services at (650) 364-8300, ext. 507.

Filoli Admission includes: Self-guided or docent-led guided tours of the House and Garden, access to the Café, Garden Shop and art exhibits.

Visit www.filoli.org for complete information regarding upcoming events, classes and activities.

Sunset Hikes—led by Filoli Nature Education Docents
Dates: June 19 and August 14 – Reserve in advance
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Visitors can experience the tranquility of Filoli’s nature preserve in the evening light. Families are invited to go for a docent-led hike in the woodlands at dusk, the ideal time of day to spot resident wildlife. Cameras and binoculars are encouraged. This is a two-hour hike on varied terrain. At times it can be strenuous. Any physical limitations should be discussed with the docent before the start of the tour. Nature hikes at Filoli are not recommended for children under 5 years of age. Strollers cannot be accommodated on the trails. Reservations are required in advance.

Evening Orchard Walks—led by Filoli Orchard Docents
Date: June 19– Reserve in advance
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

A Gentlemen’s Orchard was an integral part of any great estate of the period and was an eclectic connoisseur’s collection of European and American varieties of fruits grown for the enjoyment of the family of the estate. Filoli’s Orchard is the largest heirloom orchard in private hands in the United States. Visitors can learn more about this defining landscape feature and how Filoli is conserving not only the rare fruits but the traditions of this unique heirloom orchard by enjoying a docent-led evening orchard walk. Wear sturdy shoes. Reservations are required in advance.

Fees and Reservations for Sunset Hikes and Orchard Walks

Adult Fee: $10 members; $15 non-members

Child Fee: $5 members; $10 non-members. The child fee is good for ages 5 through 17; strollers cannot be accommodated on orchard walks or sunset hikes.

Reservations for the Sunset Hike can be made by visiting www.filoli.org anytime or by calling the Filoli Ticket Office at (650) 364-8300, ext. 508, weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

About Filoli

Filoli, located in Woodside, CA, is recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20 property includes a 36,000 square-foot residence furnished with an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century English antiques and 16 acres of English Renaissance gardens that showcase an exquisite horticultural collection. Established as a private residence in 1917 and opened to the public in 1976 to promote cultural and horticultural endeavors, Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information about Filoli, please visit www.filoli.org.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, non-profit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities. Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Trust for Historic Preservation was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell America’s story. Staff at the Washington, D.C. headquarters, six regional offices, and 27 historic sites work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 200,000 members and thousands of preservation groups in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.preservationnation.org.