My son had a play-date last Sunday afternoon (5/24) and my wife said that we have not visited a garden together for quite some time. I guess I must have been really good in my previous life to be this blessed, so we decided to go visit Filoli.

For those of you who do not know, Filoli is a 650-acre country estate built in 1917 in the city of Woodside. The main house is 36,000 square feet and the garden covers 16 acres. It is open to the public with an extremely capable crew of gardeners. This is probably the finest example of formal style garden in the Bay Area.

The name Filoli is a shorthand of the first owner’s credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.” I mentioned this as an example during my talk about Classical Chinese Gardens in Suzhou where most gardens have meaningful and unique names. It is a poetic way of declaring the intention and it just sounds more interesting than Huntington Garden, for example.

Here is a signature view of the pond and Yew columns in the distance:

Filoli Pond

A very well grown Lycopodium squarrosum in the Conservatory:

Club Moss

Beautiful knot garden, very labor intensive:

Knot Garden

A nice specimen of Anthurium clarinervium (It was marked as A. crystallinum) in the main ballroom. I got lucky again and found a small division in the onsite nursery for $9. There are several other Anthurium species with wonderful white veins. The best is probably Anthurium regale, and here is a link with some photos.

Anthurium clarinervium

Here is a stone basin near the front entry of the main house. This whole piece is beautifully carved with a dragon motif at center. I will remember to ask about its origin next time.

Stone Basin near Front Entry