Saturday, March 7, 2009

Azalea Trail

Nice finger, dumbass.

This weekend is the Azalea Trail tour of homes and gardens in River Oaks. All afternoon I was in Rhododendron heaven. I took some photos, which you can see on flickr. I couldn't take pictures inside any of the buildings, but here are a few garden highlights:

Statue at River Oaks Garden Club, with white azaleas just starting to bloom.

I had never been inside the River Oaks Garden Club building on Kirby at Westheimer. It's a nice little building, and the gardens are, obviously, something to see. I also met a rep from a company that blends custom mulches for specific types of plants. There was also a very nice display put on by the camellia society.

The first house I went to was beautiful inside, and had this fantastic potting porch:

Don't miss the barometer on the outside window frame:

I think my mom needs a pool like this, with potted orange trees at every corner:

The second house was a 12,000 square-foot pile on River Oaks Boulevard, described in the brochure as "Tudor-style" and possessing "old world elegance." It was built in 2005. Some of the plantings still had price tags on them. River Oaks, you so crazy.

The sidewalk on the east side of the house had these bushes -- are they some kind of double roses?

Close-up of the double roses (?)
UPDATE: Anne thinks they're red camellias in bad shape.
Possibly so -- they were in full sun, which would be bad for camellias, I think.

Impressive lantern at front door.

Lots of dark wood, and dark everything; an enormous painting in the style of a Dutch still life. The kitchen was done all in brown toile. I had to touch the wall for myself, of course, and it didn't seem to be fabric. Maybe it was wallpaper. In the hallway were papier-mâché trays painted with dogs. My favorite, favorite part, though, was the coffee table in the library: it displayed both Bungalow Nation and The Not-So-Big House.

Water lily pond on the south side of the house.

A mountain laurel in Houston? Just go with it.
They smell nice. Kind of like floral beer.
Well, maybe you'll have to take my word that it's a nice smell.

Finally, a house that was first on the Azalea Trail 38 years ago; it also had a great pool:

I like the jasmine that's been trained along the back fence in a criss-cross pattern.

Just to the side of the pool is this seating area.
The floral arrangement is in a wine crate.


  1. Red camellias. Not terribly healthy looking ones, IMHO. And if you've got a good spot for them, I think they are much nicer than roses.

    That is also partially nostalgia - I absolutely do not have a good spot for them here and I miss them. Sigh.

  2. What gorgeous surroundings and what a great thing to do. I'm jealous!

  3. What fun! I am also jealous. Houston has some great looking gardens from the pictures you have.
    I have a camellia plant and can confirm that is what it is. Mine aren't doing too good either-- I don't think I've watered enough.
    Our Mt. Laurel is blooming too and the kids said the blooms smelled like grape koolaid!