Magazine article Sunset

Botanical Beverly Hills: In a Neighborhood Known for Its Glitz, a Lush and Sprawling Garden Offers a Breath of Fresh Air

Magazine article Sunset

Botanical Beverly Hills: In a Neighborhood Known for Its Glitz, a Lush and Sprawling Garden Offers a Breath of Fresh Air

Article excerpt

This may be the land of power shopping and Champagne lunches, but just a few blocks from Rodeo Drive is a place of pure natural beauty: The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Designed by the Robinsons Department Store heiress, who lived on the estate from the early 20th century through the 1970s, the 6.6 acres have it all, from classical gardens to tropical landscapes, plus a rogue agave here and there. Guided tours begin at the Pool Pavilion, modeled after the 18th-century Villa Pisani in Italy and planted with tangelos and two dozen species of camellias--including one named after Coco Chanel. Then prepare for a temperature drop as you change microclimates in the property's palm forest (left), the largest in the Northern Hemisphere. Don't miss the pink tennis court bubbling over with bougainvillea, where Robinson used to rally with Charlie Chaplin, or the chicken coop that once housed pet monkeys (yes, truly). Tickets from $11; reservations required; robinsongardens.org.

In the palm forest of the Virginia Robinson Gardens, masses of kaffir lilies bloom from March through May.

90210'S NATURAL SIDE

SIP

Look beyond The Garden Bar's Old Hollywood interior--the best seat here is on the outdoor patio overlooking the Beverly Canon Gardens. …

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