This morning’s wave break had a slight curl, the water was bliss, and shorebirds were increasingly scarce. April’s humidity suggests Palm Beach’s seasonal hiatus is well underway, its charitable convergence and social marathon more measured. The resort’s fabled settings are being struck and Bentleys garaged, ballrooms and dining rooms darkened, terrace and courtyard fountains unplugged. Cliff dwellers are packing away their dazzling stagecraft, designer gowns, make-up trunks, tea caddies, and jewelry vaults.
No more need for that deep breath and last-minute-look in the vanity mirror before stepping in front of a photographic tableau vivant destined for society pages and silver frames atop fireplace mantels and coffee tables. Lawns are tweezer spotless, hedges razor-sharp, and orchids remain in full bloom, as if not a day has passed since the Fall when it all began.
At a luncheon a few weeks ago, when my host was asked how a mutual friend passed away, she replied in a serious tone, “Brie and champagne. She wouldn’t stop, we warned her but she would only down champagne and brie.”
Of course, following lunch I immediately checked the PDR and the Mayo Clinic’s website to see if there might be an insurance code for Palm Beach Syndrome with specific mention of brie and champagne toxicity. Finding none, I thought it might have only been a metaphorical French reference to something found in Sartre’s No Exit.
Customarily, the Civic Association’s Toast to Our Town celebratory brunch and The Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden’s Spring Benefit mark the season’s final curtain. On Sunday, as offshore winds pushed the storm clouds to the west shortly before the event was set to start, Susanne and Douglas Durst along with The Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden welcomed more than 300patrons and friends for cocktails, exotic hors d’oeuvres, raffle drawings, and a silent auction. Founded in 1978 and set on 14 acres with 23 gardens, The Mounts is the oldest and largest public garden in Palm Beach County.
The event’s co-chairman Polly Reed and Sandy Smith were joined by committee members Meg Bowen, Bill Brady, Martha Gilbert, Julie Kime, Leslie Mann, Beverly Myers, Anne Pepper, and Paton White. Among the benefit’s sponsors: Rebecca and Randell Doane, Kit Panill, Diana Barrett and Bob Vila, Elena and John Brim, Beverly Myers, Bill and Sally Soter, Dean and Jane Woodman, Ruth Arneson and Rodney Johnson, Linda and Keith Beaty, Lucy and Nat Day, Edith Dixon, Frances and Jeff Fisher, Gillian Fuller, Patrick and Heather Henry, John and Lynn McAtee, Hawley and John McAuliffe, Lorraine Odasso, Caroline Sory, Anne and Charlie Pepper, John and Dorothy Spofford, Louise Stephaich, Susan Taylor, Templeton & Company, Cecily and Rodney Titcomb, William and Kathy Vaughan, and Elaine and Michael Zimmerman.
8 April 2018
19th Annual Mounts Botanical Garden Spring Benefit
North Lake Way – Palm Beach
At the Mounts Botanical Garden …
Back at the party …
At the Gardens …
Among them, a meditative Garden of Tranquility, Begonia Garden, Children’s Maze, Garden of Extremes, Garden of Well-Being, Gazebo Garden, Tropical Forest, O’Keeffe Rain Garden, Rose Garden, and a Tropical Cottage Garden.
Photography by Augustus Mayhew.
Augustus Mayhew is the author of Palm Beach-A Greater Grandeur