Excellent Flower Adventures :: Filoli, Woodside, California

Awhile back I emailed Laurie of Fleurie Flowers, Reedley, California to ask if she’d like to join me for a lecture at Ron Morgan’s Antique Store, LOOT, in Oakland, California. What started out as one lecture soon evolved into a two day flower excursion in the Bay Area which we dubbed “The Excellent Flower Adventures of Alicia and Laurie”. We thought of all the places we’d like to visit and wrote them down, knowing we’d never make it to all of them, but prepared to hit as many as possible. Well, I’ll tell ya, we sure did have a great time and had plenty of adventures! We met on Sunday morning at our hotel in Berkeley and drove to Filoli Gardens in Woodside where we spent most of the day exploring the beautiful gardens. How is it that I’ve lived in San Mateo most of my life and never made it too Filoli in Woodside, I’m ashamed of myself! Next we drove to Flora Grubb in San Francisco which was on Laurie’s list of must visit locations. It truly is an amazing place, we were the last to leave Flora Grubb when it closed – surprised they did not have to physically push us out! Next we headed back to Berkeley, however neither of us were done with our flower hunting – we heard of the Berkeley Rose Garden and headed out to see it, so glad we did! Next was the huge adventure, where sometime around 11pm I developed severe pains in my right side and we ended up in the Emergency Room in Oakland at midnight! If you know Laurie, ask her about her adventure in the waiting room (yikes!) … I’ll tell you, I knew Laurie and I would be fast friends when I first met her in Santa Barbara at Florabundance Design Days last January – we definitely bonded after 7+ hours in the Emergency Room! (Doctors never did pinpoint why I was in severe pain. Even a subsequent visit to my Doctor did not answer my WHY questions. It was actually my first visit ever to an ER for myself .. and hopefully the last!!). I was released around 7am, Laurie and I went back to our hotel and took hour long naps. We did miss our trip to the San Francisco Flower Mart, I’m sad about that. However, we did rally and made it to the Lecture at LOOT Antiques at 10am, where Marian of Savage Rose Flowers joined in on our Excellent Flower Adventures. After the lecture was over Laurie and I headed over to Oakland’s Morcom Rose Garden where Laura of Laura Miller Design joined us for a walk and a relaxing afternoon of visiting and chatting about the flower industry.
ER visit aside, it really was a fantastic trip, I love surrounding myself with floral designers who are equally as passionate about flowers and the floral industry as I am!

Now grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit back, because I’m about to fill this blog with a lot of photographs of pretty flowers – it’ll take awhile to look at all of them! Most of the Filoli, Flora Grubb and Berkeley Rose Garden photos were taken by me. Laurie took the majority of the photographs from the Ron Morgan lecture and the Oakland Rose Garden.

Today I will start with Filoli ….

clematis and wisteria

When we turned the corner into the gardens this was our first sight, I cried out with delight. Laurie says – yes, we are definitely going to be friends .. ha ha!

Filoli Garden Woodside

foxglove flower garden

White Foxglove




yellow peony


ranunculus garden

Beds of Ranunculus

tree covered in moss

This photo is for Laurie, she loved this moss covered tree

filoli mansion with foxgloves


pink tree peony

pink peony

tree peony

climbing hydrangea

lily of the valley

flowering pink tree

peach garden rose

Just Joey Rose

Filoli Gardens

yellow climbing banks rose

yellow climbing bank rose

Filoli Garden

Filoli Gardens

rose gardens at Filoli

peach orchid plant

flower arrangement at filoli



huge cactus

large garden roses

peach and pink garden rose


flower arrangement

One of the floral displays inside the Mansion

flower arrangement

They had a few floral displays in the Mansion, all designed by volunteers.

flower arrangement

trailing clematis

That’s a clematis, just in case you were wondering. I was quite pleased to just stand and stare at it for awhile.

clematis and wisteria

What do you think of the beautiful flowers and gardens of Filoli?
I’d love to visit there throughout the year to see how the gardens change with the seasons!

Tomorrow I will post the photos from Flora Grubb 🙂

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  1. Omg!!!!! It’s amazing. I’m sure there are plenty of stories from that weekend of adventures.

  2. Wow! That clematis, that wisteria, aaaaahhh!! Gorgeous!!

  3. As I told Alicia at about 2 a.m. in the Oakland ER, once you go to ER together, you are friends forever. So fun to tour gardens and be with someone who sees the same things, and likes to just be….

  4. Michelle Elwell says:

    Breathtaking! Laurie, I’m green with envy.

  5. Absolutely amazing! I grew up in the Bay Area, very close to Filoli Gardens and never went either! I know my Mother and Mother inlaw would go often, both gardening fanatics! When we go to visit, I am planning on going and taking my Mother inlaw!

    • Kristi, I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only one who didn’t go to Filoli while living close by!! Definitely go there next time you are in the Bay Area, it was great!

  6. What a great story! I love how you both bounced back after a night in the ER and continued your adventure.

  7. One of my FAVORITE places on earth and you captured it beautifully.

  8. I was so nice to meet up with you Laura! I’ll be sure to call before I go to Filoli again!

  9. Thanks Michelle! I was pretty darn special!

  10. *it*