Photo: Gretchine Nievarez

Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside is a hidden gem in the busy Silicon Valley. It’s a perfect get-away to enjoy the beauty of nature and history right around the corner. If you attended our Christmas Luncheon last year, you had a chance to experience Filoli during the holiday season – or at least a small part of it. The property covers over 650 acres of land, 16 of which are devoted to fabulous Georgian and English Renaissance-style gardens.

The House itself is a 56 room Georgian Revival-style mansion built just over a century ago for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn II. It is one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. Noted for its elegant interiors and historic artwork and furnishings, the House is now an interpretive museum exhibit showcasing what life was like for the two families that called Filoli home. The estate name comes from combining the first two letters from the key words of Mr. Bourn’s credo: “Fight for a just cause. Love your fellow man. Live a good life.”

And speaking of living a good life, there are a number of reasons to pay Filoli a visit this summer. Whether you are interested in art exhibitions, birds, roses, open air painting, cooking, floral design, jazz, horticulture or antiques, there is a tour, class or concert for you. Or you could just stroll in the gardens, shop pots and plants and soak up the ambiance over afternoon tea. We asked some members of the staff to pick their favorite reasons to visit.

“I might be biased, but if I have to think of my favorite reason to visit Filoli this Summer, it definitely would be to check out Nest: Creating Home. Running from May 10 through November 10, this exhibition weaves together the different spaces in the estate, including the Garden, the House, and the Nature Preserve. The People of Filoli tour is a must see, as it talks about the people at the heart of the operation of this magnificent estate in the Bourn and Roth eras. Learning about their lives and their stories is fascinating, and provides a fresh perspective about what it took to keep this house running!” Julie Bly DeVere, Head Curator and Collections Manager

“This summer, there is a color theme of purple, chartreuse and silver. The Sunken Garden will be the main focus of this palette, but neighboring beds will also have elements of this scheme. However, there are a few beds of pink begonias in the Walled Garden and a multicolored mix of bedding dahlias just beginning to bloom in the Dutch Garden. If I have to recommend only one thing, definitely visit the summer annual display in the Garden!” Jim Salyards, Head of Horticulture

“Summer Nights is one of my favorite times of the year at Filoli. Extended hours and themed nights set the stage for a wonderful time at Filoli. The weather is perfect, the sun is out until late in the evening, and members get to bring a guest for free to experience a themed night full of music, activities, and education programs. Whether it is a date night, an outing with friends, or a family activity, Summer Nights is perfect for all!” Erika Frank, Head of Education

Check the calendar of events to see what’s going on when you’re planning to visit,

Now that your summer is covered, it is time to plan ahead. Save the date Friday Dec 6 in your calendars for our traditional Christmas Luncheon which once again will be held at this spectacular venue.

Photo: Jim Allen