Filoli Historic House and Garden Comes Alive in Winter to Celebrate Lunar New Year and the Spirit of Orchids

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Orchid Show Returns with Ever-Popular Orchid Doctor, Mushroom Hikes, and  Greenhouse and Architecture Tours; New Daily Garden and Room Talks Added 

WOODSIDE, Calif., January 2, 2020 — Filoli Historic House and Garden, a site of  the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the last country estates  reminiscent of the Gilded Age, today announced its schedule of events for the winter  2020 season, running from Saturday, January 4 through Sunday, March 1. In addition  to the live performances in the Ballroom Cultural Series, the highlights of Filoli this  season are the Lunar New Year celebration and orchid show. Nearly 50 orchid blooms  will take over the visitor center, house, and greenhouse. Orchid doctor Paul Bourbin will  be available to diagnose ailing orchids and demonstrate proper orchid care, while artist  Ming Lee will capture The Spirit of Orchids through an exhibition of Chinese brush  paintings in the visitor center. 

“While our camellia collection—with over 275 shrubs of over 100 varieties—is the key  player in Filoli’s winter garden, orchids take the spotlight indoors in lush floral displays  and living arrangements everywhere you look,” said Jim Salyards, Head of Horticulture  at Filoli. “We’ve enlisted the participation of respected orchid societies and artists from  around the Bay Area to give guests a truly immersive, almost spiritual experience. You  won’t want to miss the archway of orchids in our front foyer, where you can take a photo  surrounded by stunning orchid blooms.”

New in 2020, garden and room talks will be offered daily at Filoli, now open every day  of the week. Filoli will also offer a new, monthly series of adult classes that offer curated  access to interior and exterior spaces as well as Filoli experts. A new family program  offers elementary-aged children the opportunity to craft an orchid-themed Valentine  card inspired by the orchid displays in the house. Crafting, along with calligraphy, will  also be part of the Lunar New Year celebration. Back by popular demand, specialty tours  will immerse guests in the worlds of Georgian-style architecture, greenhouse nurseries,  and mushrooms. 

“Our 2020 winter season comes with offerings for the whole family,” said Kara Newport,  CEO of Filoli. “Music, cultural events, art, tours, the celebration of the Lunar New Year,  and, of course, orchids make this a perfect time to enjoy a visit to Filoli with family and  friends. Orchids are flowers long associated in China with luck and abundance, and we  can think of no better way to kick off a new year than being surrounded by lots and lots  of them.” 

2020 Winter at Filoli Schedule of Events 

Unless otherwise stated, these events are free with purchase of Filoli admission. Filoli is  open Monday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm. 

The Spirit of Orchids: Orchid Show and Art Exhibit 

Daily, January 4 – February 24, 2020 

Throughout the winter season, orchids of unique species and cultivars will fill the  interior spaces of the estate. In addition to plants from Filoli’s collection, the show  features orchids from local organizations including the San Francisco Orchid Society,  Santa Clara Valley Orchid Society, Gold Coast Cymbidium Growers, and Pacific Central  Branch of the American Orchid Society. To complement the horticultural displays and  arrangements, artist Ming Lee will capture The Spirit of Orchids through an exhibition  of Chinese brush paintings in the visitor center gallery.

Mushroom Hikes 

Saturdays, January 4 – February 22, 2020 (11:00am – 12:30pm) Mushroom hikes are for visitors new to the world of mushrooms and enthusiasts  interested in discovering what fungi are fruiting on Filoli’s nature preserve. Hikers will  learn about the important ecosystems of fungi and how to spot mushrooms on the forest  floor. ($15 plus the cost of Filoli admission) 

Greenhouse Tours 

Fridays and Sundays, January 5 – February 23, 2020 (11:00am – 12:30pm) Visitors will tour Filoli’s historic greenhouses and learn the history of the greenhouses  and nursery, their historic and present uses, and view the incredible plant collections.  ($15 plus the cost of Filoli admission) 

Architecture Tours 

Fridays, January 10 – February 21, 2020 (2:00 – 3:30pm) Visitors will explore the design of the historic house as originally conceived by architect  Willis Polk and learn what makes Filoli a unique example of the modified Georgian  style. These tours afford access to rooms in the house that are closed to the public,  including portions of the upper floors. ($15 plus the cost of Filoli admission) 

The Orchid Doctor Is In 

Saturdays, January 11 and February 8, 2020 (2:00pm – 4:00pm) Orchid doctor Paul Bourbin returns to diagnose ailing orchids and demonstrate proper  orchid care. With 30 years of experience growing and rescuing orchids, Paul will offer  repotting demonstrations and plant identification. Visitors may bring their own plants  or photos. 

Lunar New Year Celebration 

Saturday, January 25, 2020 (11:00am – 3:00pm) 

Filoli and Sound of Hope Radio will host this celebration to ring in the Year of the Rat, a  zodiac animal seen as a sign of wealth and surplus in Chinese culture. In addition to the 

beautiful displays of orchids, visitors will enjoy traditional New Year crafts and a  calligraphy demonstration. 

Family Orchid Tour and Valentine Craft 

Saturday, February 8, 2020 (10:30am – 12:00pm or 2:00pm – 3:30pm) Visitors will tour the colorful orchid display in the house, then create a three dimensional, orchid-themed Valentine card. This activity is designed for elementary aged children who must be accompanied by a registered adult. ($15 per person, Filoli  admission not included) 

Daily Room and Garden Talks 

These 15-minute talks highlight what’s blooming in Filoli’s historic garden and offer in depth information about the collections in the house and the people who lived in and  cared for Filoli. The year’s first set of talks include twice-daily talks on the camellia  collection in the garden and the Asian art collection in the house, as well as a  special, Friday-only talk about the orchids on display in the kitchen. Check the daily  schedule posted in the visitor center as topics, times, and locations will change. 

Inside Look: New Adult Class Series 

In addition to the many art, horticulture, and floral design classes, Filoli will now offer a  new monthly opportunity to learn from Filoli’s head curator and collection manager,  head of horticulture, or nature education supervisor. Each class includes a 90-minute,  behind-the-scenes tour or hike followed by lunch. Students will be Discovering the  Botanical Secrets of Winter on Tuesday, January 21 and learning about Caring  for the Collection on Tuesday, February 18. To register for adult classes, visit ($60 per person; Filoli members receive a 20% discount off of  the fee for every class.) 

For more information about these and other winter events at Filoli or to purchase  tickets, click the links above or visit:

About Filoli 

Located south of San Francisco in Woodside, California, Filoli boasts 654 acres of  beauty nestled along the slopes of California’s coastal range. Originally built as a private  residence in 1917, Filoli was open to the public in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit  organization and site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The property is  considered one of the finest remaining country estates of the 20th century, featuring a  54,000+ square-foot Georgian revival-style mansion, 16 acres of exquisite English  Renaissance gardens, a 6.8-acre Gentleman’s Orchard, and a nature preserve with over  seven miles of hiking trails. Filoli is dedicated to connecting our rich history with a  vibrant future through beauty, nature, and shared stories, so that one day all people will  honor nature, value unique experiences, and appreciate beauty in everyday life. For  more information about Filoli, visit 


Filoli Historic House & Garden 

86 Cañada Road 

Woodside, CA 94062 

(650) 364-8300