Filoli

Suzanne Legallet, a longtime volunteer at Filoli Historic House and Garden, is serving as honorary host of its annual gala and auction taking place on Friday, September 13. While the gala raises funds for all programs, projects and events, the proceeds from this year’s Fund-a-Need will benefit the nonprofit’s internship program — which Suzanne has supported, in part, by hosting more than 40 interns over the past 23 years at her Atherton house and garden.

“Filoli has so much to offer everyone it touches, but the internship program holds a special place in my heart,” said Suzanne, herself an avid gardener. “I have had the pleasure of welcoming Filoli interns from all over the world into my home, seeing them develop their skills and careers in horticulture, and being inspired by their stories and passion for living a good life. It has been a truly enriching experience for me. Filoli, with its dedication to preservation, innovation and education, is a cause not only worth fighting for but also deserving of further development.”

“Fight for a just cause,” “Love your fellow man” and “Live a good life” are the three parts of a personal credo that inspired Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn II, prominent San Franciscans at the time, to name their country estate “Filoli” when it was built in 1917. That credo continues to inspire generations of people who, like Suzanne, dedicate their time, talents and resources to maintain Filoli’s place in the world.

Since 1977, Filoli has trained 400 interns who have become leaders in the fields of horticulture, landscape preservation, landscape architecture and public garden management. Recently, the internship program has expanded to offer learning opportunities in more disciplines, such as museum collections management and curation, education, interpretation and marketing. Suzanne has pledged a generous initial contribution to be matched by former interns in support of the growing program.

“There are countless ways that Suzanne has been a foundational support to Filoli’s internship program,” said Jim Salyards, head of horticulture at Filoli. “From the generous act of hosting students from all over the country and world to the way she takes each intern under her wing and shares gardens, Bay Area culture and lasting friendships with each one, her dedication to Filoli and the internship program amazes and touches me daily.”

Suzanne took one of the first tours of the garden after Filoli was opened to the public in 1976 and became a docent in 1977. Since then, she has taken on a multitude of projects and roles. Throughout her 42 years of service, she has served on or chaired numerous committees, including the Friends of Filoli, garden and development committees, as well as the Filoli Governing Board. She started the self-guided tour program in the mid-1980s, established the annual Flower Show in 1999, helped create the Garden Information Services program in 2006 and worked with Salyards to establish the perennial Summer Sculpture Exhibit in 2014.

“Suzanne is a true treasure of Filoli,” said Kara Newport, Chief Executive Officer at Filoli. “She has had her hand in many pots and has been a force behind innovation and evolution through her time. Though she has a love of plants and gardening, her real passion has been supporting and nourishing the Filoli interns — she loves to see them flourish and has remained connected to many of the hundreds of interns that have passed through the Filoli experience.”

Filoli is located at 86 Cañada Road in Woodside. Tickets to tonight’s event are available on Filoli’s website. A list of Fall events is also online.

Photo courtesy of Filoli

{ Be the first to comment }

“Nests: Patterns from Nature” by W. Gary Smith on display at Filoli

Artist and landscape artist W. Gary Smith says his mission is simple – creating meaningful encounters between people, plants, and the natural world. That is much on display at an environmental art exhibition currently on exhibit at Filoli in Woodside through November 10. InMenlo contributing photographer Robb Most wandered Filoli’s grounds to capture the myriad […]

Click to read more →

Filoli’s gardens are beautiful even in the rain

InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg stopped at Filoli on Friday afternoon just before it closed. “It was treat to see it damp, thanks to all the rain,” she emailed. Frances, a Menlo Park resident, has long been represented by Portola Art Gallery at the Allied Arts where you can view her work. Here we present […]

Click to read more →

Filoli kicks off the its summer season with 30th annual flower show

Now through August 30, Filoli in Woodside is celebrating the Colors of California, which the estate kicked off with its 30th annual Flower Show last weekend. The theme was California Kaleidoscope in honor of the history and environment of California. The show featured over 80 floral displays from a range of professional exhibitors and florists, including a […]

Click to read more →

Lurline Matson Roth Coonan passes away at age 97

Lurline Matson Roth Coonan, who grew up at Filoli, passed peacefully with her family at the age of 97 on August 13, leaving a deep and enduring legacy to the estate. Lurline first came to Filoli in 1937 as a 17-year-old when her parents, Lurline Matson Roth and William P. Roth, purchased the estate. She often […]

Click to read more →

Tickets on sale for Filoli’s 30th annual flower show, “California Kaledioscope”

Filoli’s 30th annual Flower Show, “California Kaleidoscope,” will take place from May 31st through June 3rd, spotlighting over 80 floral displays from a range of professional exhibitors and florists, including an exposition of Ikebana designs by local artists who specialize in the unique Japanese floral art form. The 2018 Flower Show exhibitors include American Rhododendron […]

Click to read more →

Filoli makes changes in visitor access, staffing and volunteer training as it looks to the future

This year, under new leadership, Filoli has expanded hours of operation and the community response was very positive. “We have experienced nearly a 30% increase in attendance just by opening our doors more widely,” said Kara Newport, Chief Executive Officer at Filoli, who was brought on board just a year ago. Filoli is now exploring […]

Click to read more →

A visit with new Filoli Executive Director Kara Newport

We are always interested in how and why people stumble (jump?) into their professions. So that was the first questions we asked Kara Newport, who was recently named Executive Director of Filoli. “I was raised on a sheep farm in Ohio and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for college, thinking I’d  be a liberal arts […]

Click to read more →

Filoli flowers herald Happy Spring!

Menlo Park-based photographer Frances Freyberg visited Filoli last weekend and found the gardens ablaze with flowering plants and fruit trees. We offer a selection here in celebration of Spring and Easter. This year Filoli is marking its centennial and  will celebrate that event and Mother’s Day at the 2016 Filoli Flower Show, which will take place May 6-8, […]

Click to read more →

Rain makes for happy Spring flowers

So after sputtering during the day yesterday — InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ reported just .15″ as of 4:30 pm — the rain picked up in the evening and overnight. Bill found another .3″ in his gauge this morning, bringing the season-to-date to 18.9″. “Back in 2011, my total on March 21 was 17.55″. Strong rain […]

Click to read more →

First bloom at Filoli captured by photographer on a garden stroll

InMenlo co-founder — and serious amateur photographer — Scott Loftesness writes in his personal blog: “I’m fortunate to live about 15 minutes away from Filoli — with its country house set in 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre estate in Woodside, California. Each year, about this time, Filoli opens for the season — and […]

Click to read more →