Almost Spring, at Filoli


It’s hard not to have an inferiority complex when you are visiting the West Coast. Everything happens so much earlier here. We took an opportunity to escape New England’s enduring winter, and discovered signs of spring at Filoli, a beautiful estate garden just south of San Francisco in Woodside CA.  We were able to get in some picture taking in between the downpours.





filoli_narcissuspotsfiloli_tulipsfiloli-spireaSome history.  William Bowers Bourn II, owner of one of California’s richest gold mines and president of the Spring Valley Water Company, which supplied water to the city if San Francisco, built Filoli between 1915 and 1917.  The Georgian style dwelling sits on an estate of 654 acres, of which  6 acres are cultivated gardens. Ownership changed hands in 1936 when Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth (Lurline Matson, heir of the Matson Navigation Company) purchased the property. Mrs. Roth saw to the establishment of many of the gardens we see today. She added the woodland copse, the swimming pool garden and the screened-in teahouse, and built Filoli’s botanic collections of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas.

Lucky for us, Mrs. Roth donated the estate in its entirety to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1975, including a healthy endowment to help support operating expenses. It is open to the public February through October, 10-3:30 pm. Filoli is closed on Mondays. For more info visit their website.

16 thoughts on “Almost Spring, at Filoli”

  1. Kathy and Chris,

    How inspirational as we brace for more snow. Enjoy the beauty. The photos are spectacular!


  2. Beautiful! I must get out this morning in my zone 5 to see some
    sprouts and look things over before rain and snow come later today.

  3. My hellebores are showing color when just 2″ to 3″ above ground! And it’s 50 degrees today!

  4. thanks for sharing …. the spring flowers in the photos give us hope….

    Love you new web pages…


  5. Yea! Ned, that’s so exciting. We are beginning to be teased here in New England with a touch of mild weather in between the storms. Let’s keep fingers crossed that March goes out like the proverbial lamb.

  6. These photos show the beauty of the bones of this garden in a way that later season photos cannot. Lovely.

  7. Thanks for sharing, very nice pictures. It’s like taking a little trip into spring.

  8. You’re welcome Stan. We all need encouragement that spring is on its way. I think this year people are going to be absolutely delirious when it finally unfolds.

  9. Hi Kathy and Chris,
    Beautiful pictures of the emerging spring in CA. The snow will be gone soon…
    The camperdown elm is a most interesting tree but why is it so covered with moss??


  10. Filoli is very close to the Pacific Coast, and just south of San Francisco. There is a lot of moisture in the air due to the fog that constantly floats and descends on the landscape.

  11. Made me think…next year I should order tulips for pots, and plant them up in the fall, keep them in the cold greenhouse, and bring them out in early spring. We had stopped planting them in the garden because they needed to be replaced so frequently. Why not treat them as “annuals” for the thrill of that color in the spring?

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