It’s come to my attention that perhaps I am not the best blogger. (This is a slight understatement) I’m not ready to let my blog die quite yet, but I don’t think I’ve quite decided what it is that I’m doing. I’m a person that operates in the confessional mode primarily, and in some ways blogs aren’t the best medium for the kind of writing that I like to do. That’s what my personal journal is for I suppose. It’s a tension I feel because I like getting my thoughts out there, but I’d also hate for someone in my real life to know exactly what I’m thinking as I’m also a relatively private person. There are blogs I admire, but I’m not a fashionista, a great cook, a outdoor loving mommy or live in London. I’m a bit stuck, you see. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep plugging away because the discipline might be good for me and perhaps I might find my groove, eventually.
I did want to share about the last trip I took to the Filoli House and Gardens. Filoli is located about 30 miles outside of San Francisco. Before I visited or knew very much about it, I imaged the house had a very romantic history. A name like Filoli made me picture a family of Italian immigrants who made good in America and built themselves this beautiful home that reminded them of the country they’d left behind. The truth struck me as a little more prosaic. The house first belonged to the Bourn family who made their money through gold mining and water supply. Since this is California this story probably makes more sense, but I was a little sad to have to let my version of history go.
I was more impressed by the grounds than the house itself to be honest. I couldn’t help being dazzled as the gardens are laid out beautifully and are so lovingly maintained. Filoli struck me as the perfect place to write poetry with its benches shaded by bowers and lovely view of the rolling hills nearby.
The decor inside wasn’t particularly grand. It served as a country home so perhaps the family didn’t feel it needed their best things. I found the library underwhelming, which is always a disappointment. There was a severe lack of leather couches, not to mention books. I found out later the the family had several libraries in the house, which somehow made me feel better. What’s money for if you can’t have an amazing library?
I felt really calm at Filoli. Perhaps it was the fresh air, or the sun, but I just felt really relaxed by the quietness of the place, the beautiful flowers and the prevailing sense of peace. There’s something to be said for a cultivated garden. I’m not a huge fan of the outdoors. I like my nature tamed, so Filoli hit my sweet spot with its controlled and civilized beauty.
I had lunch in the Filoli cafe and it the offerings were adequate, but not outstanding. I would probably bring my own picnic to eat next time. You aren’t really allowed to eat on the house lawns, but there’s a nice area outside the grounds where you can sit and eat. I bought myself a small plant from the gift store and I think that was the perfect memento to bring home from a place known for the beauty of its gardens. Now if I can only manage to keep it alive!