The lush grounds of the historic Willis Polk–designed Filoli estate in Woodside set the scene September 18 for a benefit for this beloved museum and cultural non-profit, now reopened to the public with timed reservation-only tours. A total of $115,000 was raised to benefit Filoli House & Garden’s general fund and the renovation of its historic vegetable garden for public education programs and food production for its on-site cafe. Eventually, extra produce will be donated to local food banks.
Masked and safely distanced guests organized their own six-person social pods at outdoor tables, where they feasted on Melons Catering’s individually prepared picnic fare (Scotch eggs, caviar, baby vegetables) accompanied by libations mixed at private tableside bars.
Dubbed “Plant Seeds for the Future,” the garden renovation is led by Filoli Director of Horticulture Jim Salyards, who is celebrating his 25th year in the gardens. “We want to use this new garden area to teach about integrating production and ornamental areas in home gardens,” said Salyards. “The space will also act as a training ground for horticulture interns and apprentices, with an added focus of providing opportunities to underserved communities and emerging professionals.”