Thursday, February 26

Bayou Bend

More often than not, it seems as though most of us become oblivious to our surroundings and that which is familiar. Certainly, I know that I am guilty of this habit. Distance is usually a good catalyst, and when I return home to Houston I see things with a fresh eye. I am once again inspired by the gardens at Bayou Bend. A peaceful fourteen-acre oasis in the midst of a modern metropolis.

Bayou Bend was designed as a private residence for the legendary Texas collector and philanthropist, with the most unfortunate name, Miss Ima Hogg.

Designed by prominent architect John F. Staub, the house is a combination of eighteenth-century Georgian architecture with elements that are distinctly Southern and Spanish Creole. Bayou Bend is one of the many elegant, but unpretentious, Houston homes built between the 1920s and the early 1960s.

A garden enthusiast, Miss Hogg studied architecture, landscape architecture and garden design. Reminiscent of large public gardens and parks, she adapted her personal gardens to a domestic scale and the Houston Gulf Coast climate.

The heavily wooded grounds along Buffalo Bayou include eight formal gardens.
The gardens are noted for rare Duchess De Caze Pink Camellias that are no longer available in nurseries, along with many varieties of Azalea, Gardenias and Antique Roses.


In 1957 Miss Hogg donated her home and her collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Bayou Bend opened to the public in 1966, while Miss Hogg continued to collect for her beloved Bayou Bend until her death in 1975 at the age of 93.

The collection at Bayou Bend consists of 4,700 objects that reflect historic and stylistic periods from 1620 to 1870. Miss Hogg's impressive collection is installed in 28 period rooms showcasing American decorative arts from 1620 through 1870.

17 comments:

red ticking said...

thank you for this lovely post...surely needed it today with all the snow on the ground here in seattle!
very refreshing

Kevin Graves said...

All hail Miss Ima, First lady of Texas History and Culture.
Her father, on the other hand, should be dug up once a year and slapped for that humiliation on his daughter.

ALL THE BEST said...

Kevin you always make me laugh!!
xoxo

ALL THE BEST said...

Red Ticking I was happy to leave cold Scotland behind for a few days.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah. Spring does exist somewhere.

Meg Caswell Malee said...

What beautiful gardens. I can only imagine what the interiors look like. And I agree with Kevin!
Her name doesn't come close to describing her great taste and style!

Karena said...

Aren't parents that do that to their children just awful, I would have changed my name! Those hydrangeas are gorgeous as is the estate

Tamara said...

These gardens look stunning - you should do a follow up post on the interiors as well! I'm dying to have a look inside.

Jessica Condatore said...

Distance is in fact, the best catalyst. Totally agree. Stunning gardens! I'm finally back to blogging and catching up on everyone's blogs and yours was one I missed the most R!

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up- the daughter of Texans- I was told of the Hogg girls. Rumor had it their names were:
Ima, Youra, and Theyra. Texas humor?

Christine said...

Hi Ronda. This is way out of sequence, but I was searching for more of Lynn Von Kersting's work and ended up here! I wondered if you got more images that you were asking for? I have lots, including 4 that I haven't seen elsewhere. One is called "Paradise Found", "Sleight of Hand", "Long Distance Decorating" (My favourite!) and "A Regal Roost". If you don't have them and have any interest still in seeing them, please let me know and I will scan them and send them on. Christine

annechovie said...

What a beautiful place, Ronda. Almost makes you forget the terrible name. Hope you are having a wonderful time visiting family and friends!

pve design said...

"One has to travel far to return home and really see."
pve

Coffee with Cathy said...

You are so right that we take our own backyards for granted. Thank you for reminding us of the treasures we look at every day. At the same time, I love your blog for taking me out of my own neighborhood and giving me peeks of fabulous places without even leaving my kitchen table!

ALL THE BEST said...

That would be great Christine! Thank you!

Thank you for your kind words Cathy!!
xoxo

Laura [What I Like] said...

Stunning...looks like some of my favorite gardens in Europe. I can't even fathom the size of the gardening staff necessary to maintain this though!

ALL THE BEST said...

No, there was no Ura. Although it was rumored that Hogg had a sister named "Ura Hogg", she had only brothers.

Ima endeavored to downplay her name by signing her first name illegibly and having her stationery printed with "I. Hogg" or "Miss Hogg".