In the Garden
The front courtyard of the Filoli House is framed by magnolia trees. They are known for their large, sweet-smelling flowers that can grow up to 10 inches wide.
Look for Filoli’s collection of bonsai, which means “tree in tray” in Japanese. It is an art to create and care for these miniature replicas of full-grown trees in nature.
The impressive wicker “peacock” chairs that Mr. Bourn and his grandson Billy are enjoying in this photo were original furnishings in this garden retreat, where they still live today.
Filoli’s second owner Lurline Roth loved camellias, which have glossy green leaves and bright flowers that bloom through the winter months. The garden features nearly 300 shrubs and 125 different varieties -- see how many you can spot!
You’ll have to look up as you walk through the garden to find this Filoli crest! The design separates each syllable, hinting at Mr. Bourn’s motto that inspired the estate’s name: “FIght for a just cause, LOve your fellow man, LIve a good life.”
The Bourns made this sundial the centerpiece of one of the garden rooms. It’s no longer perfectly accurate, but you can still try using the shadow to tell time!
Each year, thousands of daffodils emerge in the Family Orchard. Some of them come from 100-year-old bulbs planted by the Bourns, the original owners of Filoli. If they aren’t blooming yet, can you spot the telltale shoots of green coming up through the soil?
Don’t miss the High Place, a green theater at the southernmost point in the Garden. When Filoli was first built, you could see the reservoir from this spot, but in the 100 years since, trees have grown to block the view.
In the Woodland Garden, search for this statue of a mischievous satyr (a half-man, half-goat from Roman mythology).
In summer, these rare Camperdown elms provide a leafy canopy of shade, but winter exposes the trees’ sculptural limbs. Original to the garden, they escaped the Dutch elm disease that wiped out much of the population in the mid-20th century.
The Bourns loved the carved wooden door from their San Francisco home so much that they brought it with them to Filoli! As you leave the garden, notice how the view back into Sunken Garden looks a little different today than it did in this historic photo.
Did you find everything?
We hope you enjoyed and learned something new!
Explore more on Filoli below
Before becoming a country estate, Filoli was home to ranchers, settlers, and the Indigenous Ohlone people
Exquisitely beautiful and ever-changing, the Garden at Filoli offer visitors the chance to learn about the estate’s renowned horticulture practices or to simply enjoy the beauty.
Though the Filoli House is currently closed, it stands as California’s most triumphant example of the Georgian Revival tradition and is one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.
Filoli spans over 654-acres and 5 distinct ecosystems. The land has been home to many different people, animals and plants that you can learn about here.