Saturday, August 22, 2009

Filoli Fall Festival - Brilliant Color and Heirloom Fruit

Filoli 'Gentleman's Orchard,' photo by Jerry Barrack
6.8-acre landscape with over 670 trees: An eclectic connoisseur's collection of European and American varieties of fruits.
Filoli Autumn Festival - October 3, 2009

Kieffer Pear
Garden lovers from near and far are acquainted with the Filoli estate's celebrated landscape, the elaborate formal gardens embracing a wisteria-draped mansion designed by Willis Polk.

I would guess, however, that Filoli's orchard is less well-known. It is, in fact, the largest, and I must add, lovingly tended, heirloom orchard in private hands in the United States.

Families and friends in-the-know 'calendar' Filoli's Autumn Festival well in advance, in order not to miss this fundraiser with live music, orchard tours, floral design demonstrations,
and a host of activities to take part in for kids and adults.

Climbing Hydrangea


  1. Looks beautiful. I work in orchards and love it!

  2. Heirloom fruit is supposed to be tastier than that which was developed for mass production.... taste some for me!!

  3. I look forward to this every year. Not to be missed!

  4. flowrgirl,
    I didn't realize you worked in orchards. Must be fun when the fruit is ripe. Do you nibble as you go through the day :~)

    You're spot on! Filoli is engaged in an important process of maintaining diversity of species with their heirloom fruit trees. The staff is fervent about the wonderful flavors of the fruit; so much more intense than what we find in our supermarkets! The orchard encompasses extremely rare varieties.

    You said it - the event is great fun in a setting that couldn't be lovelier!

  5. When I was an intern at Filoli they never rotated us into the orchard for horticultural experience.

    I wandered into the orchard several times during my breaks, but never did I lift a pair of pruners there.

    wonder why ?
    As an intern we were rotated on 3 week shifts into the various gardens for practical experience.

  6. Ooooo ... pretty!
    In Southern California, everybody wants an orchard! Alas, most of us must settle for a few citrus and an apricot. Fruit trees really need room to stretch their branches! This is a remarkable garden - I haven't been there in YEARS ... thanks for the reminder! I must return! And what better excuse than a Harvest Festival to give us all a touch of pagan fun?
    Lovely, as usual dear Tendril!

  7. Michelle,
    Perhaps there wasn't as much emphasis on the orchard during the period of your internship?
    I believe at some point in the past ten years there was a push to revitalize the orchard, while getting the word out about this rare & wonderful collection of trees.

    Harvest season on the horizon? Uh oh... end of summer is upon us!
    I'm not sure if they're still doing so, but Filoli had a system where people could sign up to collect fruit, cook with it, and return to participate in tastings of the delicacies created with the heirloom produce.
    Tastings are definitely still part of the Festivities. Yum!