Filoli's Gentleman's Orchard

By Pria Graves


At the time the Filoli estate was developed, between 1915 and 1929, a Gentleman’s Orchard was an integral part of any great estate. The Bourns originally planted 1000 trees, an eclectic collection of fruits selected for the enjoyment of the family.  Although many trees had died out by the end of the century, a few of the original trees remain and other heirloom varieties have been planted, bringing the total to 624 trees.  Having a wide range of fruit in the collection is important for maintaining Filoli’s historic integrity but also serves to conserve diverse genetic characteristics the trees represent. Historic fruit cultivars are living legacies.

The chance to depict these rare and wonderful old varieties is one of the many exciting prospects for Florilegium artists.

  • Photo by George Koerner