The Garden

Formal Garden Acres


spring bulbs planted


fruit trees


irish yews from muckross


original garden objects


full time gardeners in 1929


full time horticulturists in 2022


wrought iron gates


Creating and Caring for the Garden

Head gardener Louis Mariconi lived and worked at Filoli from 1915 until his death in 1965. He is shown in the Garden with Bella Worn, an innovative horticulturist who worked in tandem with landscape designer Bruce Porter to create Filoli’s Garden. Porter was responsible for the lines and structure of the Garden, and Worn filled it with the textures and colors we see today.

garden design

The Georgian-style terraces around the House highlight sweeping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their simple design is a contrast to the formal English Renaissance-style garden to the south, which features lush flower beds, yew-lined avenues, and centerpieces like the Sunken Garden (pictured).

seasonal plantings

Filoli blooms all year round. Our horticulturists draw on historic photos and oral histories to inspire seasonal plantings. The spring display features daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths contrasted with blue violas, while the summer display uses zinnias, roses, and salvias.

walled garden

Roughly an acre in size, the Walled Garden is enclosed within 10-foot-high brick walls. Clipped hedges separate it into many smaller, ornamental garden rooms, each intended to be enjoyed as an individual experience. Blossoming crabapple and cherry trees provide shade, scent, and ephemeral beauty in the Walled Garden during spring.

beyond the formal garden walls

In the large working garden to the south, you’ll find rows of fruits, vegetables, and flowers growing. Winding paths through the Daffodil Meadow and Family Orchard lead to the High Place — a “green theater” that originally featured views of the Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Recreation in the garden

Filoli’s Garden was designed for beauty and recreation. Both families played croquet on the Bowling Green, as seen in this Bourn-era photo. A clay tennis court was later paved and is now an outdoor event space. 

Pool pavilion

The Pool Pavilion was added in 1946 for Bill Roth’s exercise and rehabilitation after he suffered a stroke. Lurline Roth and Bella Worn designed it to fit seamlessly into the Garden’s original design, even transplanting yews from elsewhere in the Garden to create a new allée.