Filoli is a 654 acre estate south of San Francisco near the City of San Mateo, California. It is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The formal gardens are displayed behind a Georgian style mansion.

Today the garden is maintained by fourteen full-time horticulturists, student interns, and over one hundred garden volunteers.

Images from July 2004
Images from April 2011

Filoli Center
86 Cañada Road
Woodside, California 94062

Telephone 650/364-8300
Fax 650/366-7836

In 2004, we visited this garden on a sunny, Sunday afternoon which turned out to be a bad decision on two counts. First, Cañada Road where the gardens are located is basically closed every Sunday so that bicycles can use it all afternoon. Second, the gardens are closed on Sunday.

We ended up going on a day when there was a jazz concert on the grounds. One end of Cañada was open as far as the gardens. We parked and noticed people dressed up and wearing name badges emerging from the other cars. We walked up to the brick fence and found an open gate.

As we walked in, a nice lady walked up and said the gardens were closed and that the volunteers were just arriving before the crowd showed up later. Then she said, "I don't think anyone would notice if you wandered around a little." So, we did. It was actually a nice visit since we were the only ones in the gardens.

BTW, they are beautiful, formal gardens and I suspect that the mansion is worth a visit too. Just avoid Sundays (unless you call ahead to see if they have changed their schedule.)

Our 2011 visit was in April when the tulips and wisteria were at their peaks. Wow! The garden impressed us even more this time around.

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