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Linda Spina and Robin Carreker

The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum 12th Annual “A Writer’s Garden” Literary Symposium and Luncheon A Passion for Gardens was held on November 14 in Rosine Hall at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The stellar lineup for the 2018 program featured Carolyne Roehm, internationally recognized style icon and gardener extraordinaire, and Colta Ives, renowned art historian and landscape designer. It was sold out through publicity and social media before the invitations were put in the mail. Over 300 guests attended and it is expected to raise a record amount.

Longtime supporter of the Dallas Arboretum and the Dallas community, Barbara Hunt Crow, was the Honorary Chairman.  Michelle Mew was event chair and Linda Spina is the Women’s Council President.

Colta Ives presented a program on the historic botanical boom of the nineteenth century and its effect on French art, culture, and gardening practices. She recently retired from the Metropolitan Museum with the title Curator Emerita and was a guest curator for an exhibition she conceived and from which her new book Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence was based.

Carolyne Roehm, one of America’s premier lifestyle experts, reminisced about the people and places that have influenced her. She started her career as a fashion designer working alongside Oscar de la Renta before launching her own fashion house.  Through her discerning eye and passion for beauty, she was led into the world of flowers and gardening, where her books are often referred to as the best in their field. Her new book Design & Style: A Constant Thread shows how her creativity and interest in nature, color, quality, and classicism have influenced and transformed her life.

Both guest speakers were overwhelmed with the warmth and hospitality they received and enthusiastically signed their books. Carolyne learned that guests were wearing her fashions and she eagerly jumped up to pose for photographs with the group.  

The night before the Symposium, an Intimate Evening With the Authors reception for Sponsors and Patrons was held in the Highland Park mansion of acclaimed interior designer Betty Lou Phillips. The beautifully decorated home, named one of the ten most beautiful homes in Dallas by D Magazine in 2010, was an unforgettable evening for attendees with a special signature cocktail was served. It was named Passion 82: passion for the garden and 82 for the year the Women’s Council was founded. It is a play on the French 75, using OG Cider from Bishop Cider Co. located in the Bishop Arts district.

“A Writer’s Garden” Literary Symposium is an annual Fall Fundraiser which has presented outstanding authors and speakers with extensive knowledge in the histories of garden design, architecture and art, and stories of extraordinary individuals and events.

Since 1986, the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the development and maintenance of "A

Woman's Garden," the only public garden in the nation conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women, and dedicated to the spirit of women.  “A Woman's Garden” celebrates the strength, ingenuity, creativity and determination of all women. It is a centerpiece garden of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Photos by Dana Driensky

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