Out & About: A Writer’s Garden

The 17th-annual Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon brought supporters and featured authors to Rosine Hall at the Dallas Arboretum.

The event benefits the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Karen Sargent, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, said this year’s Women’s Council overall theme, “A Garden of Possibilities: Cultivating a Brighter Future,” also means reaching toward a new generation of women to carry on the legacy of this great organization.

Each year, the symposium and luncheon highlights literary presentations about horticulture, gardens, landscape design, historic preservation, interior design, and art featuring internationally renowned authors and speakers. This year, guests heard from Kate Markert and Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen. 

Markert, executive director of the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, discussed A Garden for All Seasons, which is a book about Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood Estate. The estate was visited by dignitaries such as former First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson. Created in 1913, the gardens were meticulously designed by Ms. Post’s collaboration with a few landscape architects in ongoing efforts for years. Showing Hillwood in all seasons, Markert’s presentation was a delightful journey into that wonderful era and ending with an invitation to visit.

Moschino and Vergeylen, international designers based in London, spoke on An Entertaining Life: Designing Town & Country. The two spoke of how they met and shared personal stories about their experiences with clients, including princess Diana, and shared love for their dog, Jack. Moschino and Vergeylen served high-profile clientele and traveled all over the world designing south-of-the-border haciendas, a hotel originally bought by Oscar de la Renta, and a mountainside retreat to a villa in central Italy.

Sargent thanked Mari Epperson and Sharon Ballew, chairs of the event, for their work on the event as well as creating a Garden Variety of Fun this year by adding some mini fundraisers leading up to A Writer’s Garden, such as the Barbie-themed party also co-chaired by Jolie Humphrey, who hosted the event at her home with Lori Routh, a sunset cruise on White Rock Lake, which sold out, and the special buying event at Swoozie’s in Preston Center.

The guests enjoyed a three course meal and got to talk with the authors one-on-one during the book signing. The room was decorated with textured leafy rich green tablecloths and brightly colored fuchsia cloth napkins, some topped with tall white trees and others with gorgeous floral centerpieces of hydrangeas, ranunculus, greenery, pomegranates, and roses.

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