I adore history, botanical gardens, the outdoors and art. So, when I visited Filoli, I truly had no idea what was in store for me there. I found it lovely, captivating and inspiring! Take a peek at the reasons why I fell in love – at first sight I might add – with this country estate in California.
I visited Filoli as a guest of the SMCCVB. All opinions are genuine and my own about this gorgeous property.
Why I fell in love with Filoli
How the name of Filoli came about is interesting. I thought it might be a French or Italian name, but it actually comes from the words “fight” (fi), “love” (lo), and “live” (li). So creative! Personally, I’m a big fan of places that have a story to them. The property was owned by two families and eventually (and generously!) donated.
the plants for your own garden
Oh how I wanted to take some of the curated collection of plants home! From colorful flowers to adorable succulents, you can take a piece of Filoli with you. As a bonus, they offer classes on horticulture and floral design so you can learn to take care of your own flower beds.
the gardens & greenhouses
Let me just say that you don’t have to venture to Vienna, London or Paris to see lovely, curated gardens. I’ve been to all three of those cities, and Filoli definitely rivals them all. Plus, the gardens range from decorative to practical with cutting and vegetable gardens strategically placed. The lovely flowers made me want to sit and wile away hours documenting them my watercolor journal. A stroll through the grounds definitely clears the head and offers inspiration.
the out buildings (& pool!)
One fab thing about Filoli is that you can host an event on the property. It would be so fun to pretend that it was yours for the day. Of course, just exploring does the trick, but just look at those lovely buildings…and that pool! Art and sculptures also make appearances here and there throughout the grounds.
the manor house
Filoli also has a gorgeous manor house – 54,000 square feet at that! I think I was so enamored by how lovely it was because I forgot to take photos inside. Oops. But the outside is gorgeous and stately. A bit of the history of the interior of this Georgian home can be found here. I can’t imagine claiming it as my home. Beautiful!
For those of you who adore shopping, the Clock Tower Shop offers many lovely things to take home. One of my favorites were the herbs that were grown in Filoli’s gardens. What a fun souvenir! If you decide to spend the day on the property, they also have a cafe so you don’t go hungry.
the intricate details
Aside from the big picture of the house and gardens, I would encourage you to soak in the details. See how intricate the door is? And be sure to look up…I did! The ceiling on the porch was so lovely – although I did want to straighten the door knocker and the light fixture. But there is also beauty in imperfection if we look around enough, right?
I truly hope someday that you get to explore this gorgeous place. It made a great impression on me, and I’ve already started making plans to head back someday! For more information about Filoli, be sure to see here. And if you are searching for other things to do in the area, the fab folks at the SMCCVB are there to help.