Bayou Bend Collection & Garden

 Bayou Bend Collection & Garden

Bayou Bend Collection & Garden

Address 6003 Memorial Drive at Westcott Street
Houston, TX 77007
Hours of Operation Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays

In 1925, Miss Ima Hogg and her brothers, Will and Mike, selected 14 acres of natural woodlands and winding ravines for their home in the newly developed Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. Miss Hogg began planning the gardens before construction began on the home in 1927.

The gardens at Bayou Bend reflect her love of beauty, flowers, and natural woodlands; her passion for history and all things classical; her meticulous eye for detail, proportion, and scale; her keen sense of color; her hands-on, experimental approach to gardening; and her continuous personal supervision.

Miss Hogg created formal gardens that reflect the Country Place era (1880–1920) in American landscape design, garden formats that were outgrowths of the classical architecture of the house, formal garden "rooms" extending from the house, and classical muses as themes. She selected a goddess (Diana) and two muses (Clio and Euterpe) from Greek mythology to anchor her north gardens.

The Bayou Bend Gardens were originally, in Miss Hogg's words, "nothing but a dense thicket" when she started to develop the property in the late 1920s. Undaunted, she created a series of gracious and beautiful gardens that were intended to be outdoor rooms for living and entertaining, not just views to be admired from within the house.

Miss Hogg's brother, Will, encouraged his sister to plant magnolias, crape myrtles, and other flowering trees with Southern associations. She also planted camellias and is credited with introducing azaleas to Houston. Most of Bayou Bend's gardens evolved between 1934 and1942 and changed little until 1957, when Miss Hogg gave her estate and collection to the MFAH.

In 1961, she invited River Oaks Garden Club to supervise the gardens permanently. Since then, the organization's volunteers have devoted their time and talent to preserving and enhancing the gardens. Thanks to River Oaks Garden Club, organic gardening methods were initiated, and Bayou Bend is the only formal public garden in Texas currently practicing organic gardening.

About the Camellia Collection
Total number of camellia plants:   100 +
Number of distinct camellia cultivars or species: 50

The heavily wooded 14 acres along Buffalo Bayou include eight formal gardens. Each is unique in its own way. Three of these are named for a statue of a goddess and muse that presides over their area, Clio, Diana and Euturpe. The other gardens are named White, East, Butterfly and Carla.

The gardens are noted for rare Duchess De Caze Pink Camellias that are no longer available in nurseries, along with varieties of Azalea, Gardenias, Antique Roses and seasonal plantings that keep the gardens blooming all year.