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Palm Beach Social Diary

Several hundred supporters of the Mounts Botanical Garden, the area’s oldest and largest public garden, attended Sunday night’s benefit held at one of Palm Beach’s most spectacular gardens.
Palm Beach garden hosts Mounts Botanical benefit
By Augustus Mayhew

The Mounts Botanical Garden’s 13th Annual Spring Benefit was held at a landmarked South End estate Sunday night. Merrilyn Bardes, the evening’s host, was the honorary chairperson. Polly Reed and Jean Matthews were co-chairpersons for the tropical gala with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. The loggias and terraces of the Volk & Maass designed house overlook the beautiful garden that includes a Golden Rain Tree and Banyan among its landscape wonders. Here are some snaps of the event and the historic house, believed to be first known as La Loma, “The Hill,” then later, Casa Alto y Seco, “House of High and Dry,” when it was owned by H. Loy and Therese Anderson, followed by a ramble around the Mounts Botanical Garden located in West Palm Beach.
The museum-quality banyan is the backyard’s centerpiece, located on the adjacent property owned by Lilly Pulitzer it might well be Palm Beach’s 8th Wonder.
Set atop one of the South End’s highest elevations, the house’s original façade has been maintained.
Entrance portal.
The entrance portal evokes an ecclesiastical ambiance.
Entrance portal stone detail.
Polly Reed and Jean Matthews were event co-chairpersons. Patsy Pulitzer Preston. What a pleasure meeting Patsy; we had spoken on the telephone but had never met.
Merrilyn Bardes, grandson Andrew Quinn having a pensive moment, and Tom Quinn.
Maurice Amiel and Cynthia Van Buren. Bob Vila and Diana Barrrett.
Charlie and Anne Pepper.
L. to r.: Cindy Hoyt; Catherine Ford Brister; Annie Falk.
The living room features multi-color leaded-glass windows.
Orchids add a touch of sculpture to the living room.
The colored-glass windows are almost prismatic, reflecting an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors.
The house has an array of ironwork.
The stone double-staircase is trimmed with tiles.
Clare O’Keeffe. Iris Austin.
Jackie and Richard Cowell.
Kathy Vaughan. Heather Braddock and Katie Fallon.
John and Anne Lippincott.
A view from the pool looking up towards the terrace and loggia beyond.
A view of the terrace fountain from a balcony above.
Multi-colored sprays of bougainvillea catch the sun.
Elizabeth Matthews, George Matthews, and Betsy Matthews.
L. to r.: Theresa Anderson; Leigh McMorrow and Pam Logan; Nancy Kennedy.
Lisa Heard and Scott Moses.
Will Graves and Rebecca Jackson.
Polly Reed and Leslie Mann.
Orchids were abloom.
A range of auction items were available.
An iron grille window cover. A Mizneresque lantern illuminates the loggia. Animal motifs highlight the walls and tabletops.
The loggia is half-walled with tile.
The house makes room for playful whimsy.
Palm Beach’s social jungle.
Another touch of whimsy in the loggia.
Between the entrance hall and the dining room.
At sunset, the dining room is filled with afternoon sun.
The dining room portal is crowned with ironwork.
Mounts Botanical Garden
531 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach
www.mounts.org, 561.233.1757


Mounts Botanical Garden promotes and celebrates gardening. It offers professional horticultural advisors and a variety of horticultural classes, garden-related events and workshops as a component of the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service and affiliation with the University of Florida.
The 14-acre garden is a showcase for more than 2,000 tropical and subtropical species, tropical fruit trees, bromeliads, and palms, featuring an herb garden, butterfly garden and sun, shade and color landscapes.
All the demonstration gardens are accessible.
A large spray of bamboo is the focal point for one of the gardens.
The Herb Garden.
John Genuard, at easel.
The tropical shade forest provides contemplative out-of-the-way niches.
A simply sensational garden bench.
The Escofet Lungo Mare bench overlooks the lake.
The Mounts celebrates the pleasure of gardening.
In 2009, NYSD’s Garden Grandeur endures at Casa Phippsberger took a look at the Eigelberger Border and toured Mr. Eigelberger’s signature gardening at Casa Phippsberger.
Educating Sarah. Robert St. Croix, sculptor.
These towering trees were once one of Palm Beach’s main attractions.
The rose garden provides a daily sense of wonder.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.


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