Palm Beach Social Diary: Spring Splendor on Palm Beach

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On the sunniest of South Florida afternoons, the Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden welcomed nearly 300 supporters to their annual Spring Benefit at Susanne and Douglas Durst's garden house on Palm Beach's North End.

Since January there have been more than 150 scheduled luncheon and gala benefits on Palm Beach, according to The Shiny’s “Society Calendar,” leaving some generous cliff dwellers with fashion fatigue and cash-flow cramps. Despite the arrival of double-decker auto transports stacked with departing NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY license plates marking the end of the formal season, the annual Mounts Botanical Garden Spring Benefit garnered several hundred green thumbs who found something to give and to wear. Susanne and Douglas Durst welcomed guests of Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest public garden to their North for an afternoon of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a popular silent auction, featuring uncommon plants rather than the customary jaunts and jewels. Over at The Colony Hotel’s CPB Lounge, author Wendy Moonan welcomed friends and signed her new book New York Splendor: The City’s Most Memorable Rooms. A former New York Times antique columnist whose articles have appeared in Architectural Digest and Town & Country, Wendy covers architecture and design for The Architectural Record and Veranda magazines.

April 7, 2019 – 5:30 PM
Mounts Botanical Garden Spring Benefit
North End – Palm Beach

The Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden’s Benefit Committee included Meg Bowen, Bill Brady, Martha Gilbert, Julie Kime, Leslie Mann, Beverly Myers, Anne Pepper, Polly Reed, Sandy Smith, and Paton White.  Along with its educational programs for children and adults, the MBG’s Garden of Tranquility, O’Keeffe Rain Garden, Windows on the Floating World, and its current “Cutting Corners: A Stickwork Exhibit” are some of its major attractions.


Bobbie Lindsay, Palm Beach Town Council member, with Polly Reed, president of the Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden.
Sandy Smith, president of the Mounts Botanical Garden.
Susanne Durst in her magnificent wildflower garden.
Susanne Durst, center, with Julie Flores and Jason Schwartz. Jason brought down some of the staff and products from the Durst famiy’s organic farm in Millerton, New York.
Organic compost from the Durst farm in Millerton, New York.
Guests gathered around the far end of the pool.


Former Mayor Lesly Smith and her daughter Danielle Moore, president of the Palm Beach Town Council.
Nat and Lucy Day.
Birgitt Hilton.
Bob and Judy Dwyer with Janet and Paul Lewis.
Sally Soter and Kit Panill.
Jennifer Garrigues and Cookie Donaldson.
Gale Langford and Dan Bailey.
Lucy Sholley and Ted Rabidoux.
Monique Ogilvie with Torrence and Rosemary Harder.
Jerry Gay and Catherine Ford Brister.
Hakan Nillson and Kerstin Holm.
Natalie Pray and Myrna Haft.
A touch of sun and shade … Mark Foley, Ryan Ruark and Richard Katzenberg.
L. to r.: Pat McLaughlin; A silent auction souvenir.
Ray Wakefield, Nat Day, and David Miller.
View through the orchid window.
The Gentlemen of the Garden (GOG), one of the Mounts Botanical Garden’s longtime supporters, hosts their 2019 GOGAGOGO 70s Disco Ball on April 20 at Casa Phippsberger. Contact GOG at 561-746-4484 for info on remaining tickets.

New York Splendor @ The Colony Hotel
155 Hammon Avenue – Palm Beach

Wendy Moonan, author New York Splendor: The City’s Most Memorable Rooms.
Catherine Daubek and Cynthia DeCarlo.
John Loring.
Joan McGivern.
Jean Yves Legrand and Virginia Witbeck.
Wendy Moonan with Patricia Toogood. I’d never met Patricia Toogood but when I asked her name and she said it, a rush of images from Ellen Glendinning Ordway’s diaries from 50 years ago went through my mind. “I loved Ellen’s photographs,” said Down Easter Patricia Toogood, who with her family were featured in many of Ordway’s diary chapters in Northeast Harbor, Maine. “Ellen was the best, no one like her, ever …”
Susan Hurley Bennett. Talking about Ellen Glendinning Ordway’s diaries, Susan said, “We lived on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue and knew the Lucius Ordway family. When I was a child I remember sitting in the living room listening to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s biographer Andrew Turnbull interview my father who knew the Fitzgeralds well. I was in St. Paul recently and I went from one end of Summit Avenue to the other, nothing has changed, still the same, just as it might have been a century ago.”
Jennifer Borg, Wendy Moonan, and Garth Wakeford.

Photography by AUGUSTUS MAYHEW.

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