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Parties: Philanthropy In Full Bloom

Written by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

Filoli “Gala In The Garden”

Attendees: 180
Cause: $200K for operations and garden improvements.


The lush grounds of the historic Willis Polk-designed Filoli estate in Woodside set the scene on August 20 as devoted supporters gamboled among the greenery in support of this beloved cultural center that provides educational programs, special events, 16 acres of formal gardens and exhibitions inside its grand manse.

Listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation — and fondly remembered as the setting for the infamous lily pond catfight on the ’80s soap opera, Dynasty — the 654- acre estate is a serene Peninsula oasis on the banks of Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Guests gathered in the courtyard for cocktails, then moved to the gardens to enjoy live music and an alfresco Melons Catering dinner. They also toured the final days of “Fruitful Garden” — a display of edible, medicinal and pollinator plants, tended by Filoli horticulturists who enhance the historic gardens’ florals, fruits and vegetables with modern techniques and artistic design.

Paddles were also raised to support the renovation of the Ballroom Terrace, the creation of a drought-friendly bluestone patio and the rehabilitation of a historic garden fountain. Additional upgrades include lighting to conjure another magical outdoor space for Filoli visitors to savor.

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