Garden Delights

A little River Oaks garden party produces a crazy $700,000 windfall: Only in Houston

A little River Oaks garden party produces a $700,000 windfall

The venue at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
The Bayou Bend Garden Party is considered one of the loveliest events of the season as guests party in a flower-decked tent. Photo by © Wilson Parish
Chris and Heather Enright, from left, and Carol and Michael Linn at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Chris and Heather Enright, left, with Carol and Michael Linn. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Michelle Foutch, from left, Ann Doggett and Laurie Liedtke at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Michelle Foutch, from left, Ann Doggett and Laurie Liedtke. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Jay Goossen and Kathy and Marty Goossen at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Jay Goossen and Kathy and Marty Goossen. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Todd Forester and Kelli Kickerillo, from left, and Mary and Vincent Kickerillo at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Todd Forester and Kelli Kickerillo, left, with Mary and Vincent Kickerillo. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Pat Breen, left, and Frances Marzio at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Pat Breen, left, and Frances Marzio. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Scott Caven, from left, Carol Linn and Vivien Caven at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Scott Caven, from left, Carol Linn and Vivien Caven. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Masoud and Sima Ladjevardian, from left, and Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Masoud and Sima Ladjevardian, left, with Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Gary Tinterow, from left, Carla Knobloch,  Christopher Gardner and Claire and Eric Anyah at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Gary Tinterow, from left, Carla Knobloch, Christopher Gardner and Claire and Eric Anyah. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Kristen Nix, left, with John Eddie and Sheridan Williams at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Kristen Nix, left, with John Eddie and Sheridan Williams. Photo by © Wilson Parish
Randy Powers, from left, Karen Payne and Bill Caudell at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Randy Powers, from left, Karen Payne and Bill Caudell. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Mary Cullen, from left, Elyse Lanier and Mary Kickerillo at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Mary Cullen, from left, Elyse Lanier and Mary Kickerillo. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Cynthia Petrello, left, and Carol Linn at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Cynthia Petrello, left, and Carol Linn. Photo by © Wilson Parish
The venue at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Chris and Heather Enright, from left, and Carol and Michael Linn at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Michelle Foutch, from left, Ann Doggett and Laurie Liedtke at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Jay Goossen and Kathy and Marty Goossen at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Todd Forester and Kelli Kickerillo, from left, and Mary and Vincent Kickerillo at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Pat Breen, left, and Frances Marzio at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Scott Caven, from left, Carol Linn and Vivien Caven at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Masoud and Sima Ladjevardian, from left, and Mitra Mujica-Margolis and Michael Margolis at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Gary Tinterow, from left, Carla Knobloch,  Christopher Gardner and Claire and Eric Anyah at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Kristen Nix, left, with John Eddie and Sheridan Williams at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Randy Powers, from left, Karen Payne and Bill Caudell at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Mary Cullen, from left, Elyse Lanier and Mary Kickerillo at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015
Cynthia Petrello, left, and Carol Linn at the Bayou Bend Garden Party March 2015

From the moment that Bayou Bend Garden Party chairs Carol and Mike Linn learned that Houston was once referred to as the "Magnolia City," they focused on that 1870s moniker as the theme for one of the loveliest parties of the season.

At the Linns' command and in the hands of McDugald-Steele and The Events Co., the open-sided party tent featured garlands of magnolia blooms and leaves that soared overhead and gleaming ceramic magnolias anchoring ribbons of fresh flowers that swept across tabletops.

In keeping with the southern graces that magnolia blossoms evoke, the Linns escorted the 450 guests on a genteel journey through the night. After cocktails, strolls through the garden and visits to the historic Bayou Bend home, guests were called to dinner by the Hustlers Brass Band, a touch of New Orleans. City Kitchen prepared the southern-influenced dinner that included short ribs with "Voodoo" sauce, sweet corn and grits cakes and okra — and for the finale white chocolate bread pudding. 

The $700,000 raised on this evening is "absolutely essential for the support of Bayou Bend and its extraordinary treasures," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston executive director Gary Tinterow noted. Scott Caven, regional manager for Atlantic Trust, the evening's grand underwriter, proclaimed the garden party "the best social event of the spring in Houston."

Among those stepping out in their spring best were Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, Vivian Caven, Bobbie and John Nau, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Cynthia Petrello, Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Frances Marzio, Ann and John Bookout, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Lilly and Thurmon Andress and Lynne and Joe Hudson.

Once the bread pudding was served, guests took to the dance floor grooving to the sounds of David Caceres and his band.