Bayou Bend

26 March 2012

If you don't know about Ms. Ima Hogg, and her Bayou Bend home, pull up a chair; I have a story that will make you a better person for knowing it.

Ima Hogg was the daughter of Jim Hogg, Texas' Governor from 1891-1895.  She never married and had four brothers.  She was well educated and had many loves, including the symphony, fine art, crafts, formal gardens, history, preservation, and promoting the wellness of her community. There are awards, foundations, and charities that bare her name; I think the most exquisite of which is Bayou Bend. 

Clio Garden at Bayou Bend

Bayou Bend was Miss Hogg's home on Buffalo Bayou in the River Oaks section of Houston (a neighborhood that her brothers founded).  Ima named the home Bayou Bend in 1928, and she and her brothers (different ones at varying times), lived in the home until 1966.  The home is full of classic American furniture that Ima loved to collect.  She saw the value of American antiques while the rest of the country was still enthralled with Europe. 

For the last ten years that she lived in the home, Miss Hogg worked to turn her home into a museum, taking out all of the personal effects and working with her architect to alter the layout so that it was conducive for a museum.  Her collections are laid out so that each room takes you to a new era in American furniture and design.  The home is magnificent. 

Woodland Trail at Bayou Bend

The gardens are an equal partner on the 14.5 acre estate.  The meandering paths, the slowly revealed hideaways, the stunning fountains, the expertly trimmed and maintained trees, flowers, bushes, grasses!  I can't get enough of the place.  I dream about having gardens like this, even just one of them.  But, then again, my hamstrings are still feeling it from 2 hours of gardening on Saturday.  And that was just the front yard.

But oh, how I could stay here and daydream for hours.

Now we have visited Bayou Bend on a couple of occasions, and we have seen the glorious camellias and magnolias, but we have never seen the azaleas in bloom.  So Sunday we set out to take in the flora-rific beauty that is tucked away in the heart of Houston.  The azaleas were a bit passed their peak, so the show was not as magnificent as hoped.  None the less, Bayou Bend makes me one happy girl.

My heart is full.
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