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Society / Featured Parties

This River Oaks Home Transforms Into the Ultimate Garden Fantasyland, Proving that November is No Obstacle

Towering Butterflies and a Party to Remember

BY // 11.13.17
photography Wilson Parish

Although the calendar indicated November, the setting for this Houston Symphony luncheon was a visual ode to spring as Rini and Edward Ziegler transformed their River Oaks home into a floral fantasy laced with a bounty of delicate butterflies. Those who know Rini as an artist and children’s book author were not surprised at the fantastical setting, billed as “The Ultimate Garden Party.”

Guests were greeted by the fluttering wings of a towering butterfly as they made their way through an archway of flowers (roses, hydrangeas, freesia, calla lilies and more) to be greeted inside by a bevy of white-jacked waiters offering champagne and sparkling water.

The luncheon was a reprise of the 2016 garden party event hosted by the Zieglers, also as a fundraiser for the symphony. If it were possible, this edition topped the previous. The addition of the butterflies in shades of blue and lavender provided the magic touch that had guests swooning. Flower arches throughout the house and a delicate mobile of butterflies dangling from the solarium chandelier set the indoor stage while in the garden a string trio performed, the fountain trickled and over-sized butterfly cutouts wafted in the fall breeze. Taking bows for the fanciful decor was Richard Flowers with The Events Company.

An added note to the gathering was this writer’s stand-up interview with Steven Reineke, the new Houston POPS conductor, who allowed that his energy level to maintain his active schedule comes from the joy in his conducting and composing. He serves as music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The affable newbie to the Houston scene was quick to win the approval of the adoring ladies.

Also winning their approval was the exceptional luncheon fare, a tribute to the new chef at the helm of Jackson and Company. The hefty menu (“I had to do that for Edward,” Rini allowed.) began with crab and avocado mounds, continued with beef filet and sea bass and concluded with individual cream cakes topped with roses and fluttering butterflies. During the luncheon, models from Neiman Marcus tempted with pieces from the emporium’s fine jewelry collection.

Madame butterflies: Beth Wolff, Zane Carruth, Mickie Huebsch, Sylvia Sullivan, Danielle Ellis, Alex and Astley Blair, Mary Ann McKeithan, Mady Kades, Ellie Francisco, Mary Lynn Marks, Jane-Page Crump, Jennifer Roosth, Susan Hansen, Vicki West, and Barbara Van Postman.

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