Chilly Conditions Cannot Nip This Garden Party — a Record $773,000 Evening at Bayou Bend: These Flowers Aren’t Kidding AroundBY Shelby Hodge // 04.12.18
The elegant evening resulted in a record $730,000 in proceeds.
Bayou Bend Garden Party chairs Murry & Polly Bowden
Cherie & Jim Flores
Eliza Stedman, Laurie Morian, Michelle Foutch
Christopher Gardner & Gary Tinterow
Anne & Albert Chao
Joe & Tina Pyne, Michelle & Frank Hevrdejs
Honoree Johnny Steele
Diane Lokey Farb, Mark Sullivan
Lucie Harte, Kelly Barnhart
Pat Breen at the 2018 Bayou Bend Garden Party. Photo by Wilson Parish
Phoebe and Bobby Tudor
Sheridan & John Eddie Williams
Mike & Carol Linn
Leslie & Brad Bucher
Lacey & Matthew Goossen
Elegant patio heaters warmed the sophisticated Bayou Bend Garden Party coterie numbering 380.
Cavid Caceres Orchestra
A standing ovation for honoree Johnny Steele
Table settings at the Bayou Bend Garden Party
Basketball sized hydrangeas, chilled champagne and fur wraps — the unlikely trio on an al fresco evening in April speaks to the capriciousness of Houston weather. Even though the annual Bayou Bend Garden Party has seen its share of complicated elements, Sunday night’s chill presented a special challenge for the fashion savvy.
Black, the most practical color for the nippy evening on the lush grounds of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, is practically verboten on this night that typically soars on a palette of spring colors. And so it did in spite of the unseasonal chill. Pashminas, fur capes, fur stoles and oodles of pastel-hued cashmeres saved the night.
And what a sublime night it was, raising a record $773,000. Applause, applause for chairs Polly and Murry Bowden. And congratulations to Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, who, along with landscaping expert Bart Brechter, have been working for eight months toward restoration of the property that suffered serious damage from Hurricane Harvey flood waters. The Diana Fountain, a beautiful backdrop to the evening, had been under eight feet of water while the John Staub mansion had had water licking at its doorstep.
With Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow at the helm, the evening honored landscape architect Johnny Steele, who has been a part of Bayou Bend landscaping interests for 45 years, since his first visit to the gardens in 1973.
As is tradition, the beautiful garden party tableau was awash in flowers, this year a lavish bounty of purple, white and blue hydrangeas, the centerpiece a floral chandelier soaring over the dance floor in the middle of the elegant party tent, which was erected on the Bayou Bend back lawn. Insuring that no one suffered from the chill, grand patio heaters, resembling oversized floor lamps, circled the festive array of dinner tables.
While the David Caceres group provided dinner music, City Kitchen presented a perfect spring menu beginning with Helen Corbitt’s spring pea soup with crème fraiche and mint and continued with the entree of grilled lamb chops with Bordelaise and tomato herb salsa, wild rice and barley pilaf with almonds Romanesco and baby heirloom carrots and for dessert mango sorbet with blackberry ginger compote, almond tuile and spice wafer.
Before the coffee was served, many among the gathering of 450 hit the dance floor for a spirited end to a fundraiser that ranks among the favorite of both the old guard and the new philanthropists.
Garden partyers: Judy and Charles Tate, Karol Barnhart, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Lynne and Joe Hudson, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Diane Lokey Farb, Christopher Gardner, Lynn Wyatt, Cherie and Jim Flores, Bobbie Nau, Jenny Elkins, Linda and Dr. Walter McReynolds, Holly Moore, Elise and Russell Joseph, Pat Breen, Rose Cullen and Stephanie and Frank Tsuru.