Rose gardens require significant effort.

(This article posted in 2012, so much of its information is now outdated.)

How could so many public gardens throughout the area get all the work that needs to be done in winter? There are roses to prune in both of the Rose Gardens of San Jose. Fruit trees in the Historic Orchard of Guadalupe Gardens need to be pruned. Even Village Harvest of Palo Alto needs to collect citrus fruits that ripen through winter. All this works gets done only because there are so many generous volunteers to help.

The gardens of Filoli are fortunate to get so many volunteers through the year. Nonetheless, the extra pruning that the deciduous fruit trees need in winter reminds us that more volunteers are often welcome. Not only are there big collections of modern and classic apple and pear trees at Filoli, but many are espaliered onto trellis-like supports. (‘Espalier’ trees are pruned onto trellises, fences, walls or other lateral supports, so that they can attain considerable width without much depth from front to rear, conserving space.)

The New Volunteer Recruitment Open House at Filoli is not until January 21. However, those interested in attending must register in only the next few days, before 4:00 p.m. on January 13! Registration can be arranged at or by telephoning 650 – 364 8300 extension 300, and leaving one’s name and daytime telephone number. The New Volunteer Recruitment Open House will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on January 21, at the Visitor and Education Center of Filoli, located at 86 Canada Road in Woodside.

Guests will learn about the many different opportunities to volunteer. More than 1,200 volunteers presently help sustain Filoli in areas such as house and garden self guided docents, member services, visitor services, the Ambassador Program, the Cafe and the Garden Shop.

Besides the sixteen acres of English Renaissance gardens that display an expansive horticultural collection, the 654 acre Filoli property includes a 36,000 square foot residence furnished with an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century English antiques, and is recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. More information can be found at


2 thoughts on “Volunteer At Filoli

  1. I visited Filoli on a California trip…gosh 25 years ago. I remember really enjoying the gardens. Amazing to think they were maintained with volunteers–who must have been either skilled or well supervised.

    Liked by 1 person

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