River Oaks Garden Club Hosts Annual Azalea Trail
By Ellie Leeper
Photography by Marilyn Winters
THE SCENE: The River Oaks Garden Club in Houston hosted its 79th annual Azalea Trail throughout homes in both the River Oaks and Tanglewood neighborhoods. Members have organized garden pilgrimages since 1935 – this year Sallie Mansell and Sally Matthews co-chaired the botanical bonanza. The theme for the 2014 Azalea Trail was A Houston Tradition…Come Discover Your Roots!
THE VIBE: The home on Pine Forest was a fabulous example of a gracious Acadian Louisiana plantation designed by Dillon Kyle and constructed by Bill Rademacher, reflecting the owners’ love of cooking and entertaining. Bright yellow flowers mixed with blue and white china accented the kitchen and the great room area. The gardens were bursting with color from the Azaleas to the red bud trees.
The Crab Orchard home was designed in 1884 by Architect Preston Bolton. The garden club members took creative license with this home, matching the dining room arrangement to the home owner’s china, a whimsy pairing of butterflies and orchids. The kitchen was accented with bursts of red ginger and gladiolus while the pool area boasted milkshakes and cupcakes that were all made of flowers.
THE CAUSE: A member of The Garden Club of America, the River Oaks Garden Club was founded in 1927. The club has raised funds for the Houston community in the areas of conservation, horticulture, education, and civic beautification. The organization has made contributions to many organizations in the Houston area, such as: Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Camp for All, Student Conservation Association, Peckerwood Garden, Quentin Mease Hospital, The Harris School, Tanglewood Park, and River Oaks Park.