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October 08, 2019

The River Oaks Garden Club’s Azalea Trail Cited as the "Event of the Year"

“The Event of the Year” in River Oaks, Houston is the GCA’s River Oaks Garden Club’s Azalea Trail, reported as such by The Wall Street Journal on July 16, 2019 in “Everything’s Bigger in Texas…” And “big” is the trail: azaleas and flowers in full bloom, beautiful museum mansions and gardens, significant private homes, horticulture and pollinator education, and philanthropy.

For eighty-four years, the River Oaks Garden Club has been hosting the Azalea Trail as a welcome-to-spring event. Guests are invited to visit seven locations: four private homes and gardens that change every year, plus the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Rienzi (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and the Forum of Civics. Members of the River Oaks Garden Club (ROGC) enhance the splendor of the homes and mansions with show quality floral arrangements.

Azaleas bloomed and prospered in River Oaks, a beautiful residential community in the center of Houston, Texas, as it started to grow in the early 1920’s. Enthused by discovering how best to adapt azaleas with Houston’s growing conditions, the ROGC created the Azalea Trail to provide horticultural education to the public. At the Forum of Civics, which is the home of the ROGC, twenty horticulture and pollinator experts are on site and club members demonstrate the art of floral design. 

Funds raised from underwriters and ticket sales enable the ROGC to make 8-12 grants for city beautification, horticulture, and conservation in its community. Additionally, money is allocated to the Bayou Bend gardens, which are managed by the ROGC.  

Club President, D’Anne Anderson says, “Houston is a very philanthropic city. We are gratified that we can combine beauty and education with philanthropy and attract visitors year after year. We are already planning for March 6-8, 2020, our 85th Annual Azalea Trail.”

Top photo: front seat from left to right: Soraya McClelland, Betsy Garibaldi (2019 chairs). Back Seat from left to right: D’Anne Anderson, club president, Julia DeWalch, Elizabeth Stone (2020 Chairs). 

Left photo: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, an annual stop along the Azalea Trail.


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