Monday, March 31, 2008

A New Houston Shopping Destination For Antiques



Look for the Fiesta Mart on Alabama at Dunlavy, and you'll be near a hot pocket of stores selling reasonably priced, yet very chic antiques.   One of my favorite bargain-hunting destinations for antiques  - Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy (3845 Dunlavy) shares the mall with this Fiesta.  And, another store,  The Country Gentleman, is just a few doors down.  Rumored to be closing its doors, Larry, The Country Gentleman himself, has taken on some partners and given his store a new look - he confirmed his store is remaining open for good.  Judging by the inventory I saw - this is welcomed news.    Besides these two stores,  a third one has now opened, making this Fiesta Mart Mall a force in Houston antiquing areas. 

While shopping there last week, I noticed this newly opened store called Boxwood Interiors.  It immediately called to me when, through the window, I glimpsed freshly laid seagrass matting stretching from the front door to the back.  It's amazing what spending a few extra dollars on seagrass will do to an old and ugly mall space.  The store is fresh and inviting with gleaming white walls and neutral colors.    But something about Boxwood seemed very familiar - why, I wondered aloud?  The ladies working there informed me that it looked familiar because Boxwood was actually owned by Foxglove, a small interiors shop doing business in the space up the street that Hien Lam Upholsterers once occupied.  Got that?  Foxglove, at 1420 Alabama, is a little off the beaten tract, and thus, it is still striving for big-time recognition.  With this new second store on the scene, it finally is  breaking out.   Helping out is neighbor Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy which has been attracting new traffic daily - their tenants just keep getting better and better.  Hopefully, Boxwood will benefit from all this business going on at  the corner of Dunlavy and Alabama.  Just look for the Fiesta!

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Boxwood and Foxglove specialize in lighting fixtures, many of which come from Alcon - the fabulous lighting store next door to Foxglove on Alabama.   Another speciality is iron based tables, as seen above,  that can be custom ordered in any size or shape. 

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They sell custom upholstery at both Boxwood and Foxglove.  The sofas have striking shapes - nothing is common here.  The pieces are covered in natural linen with nailheads, which give them an contemporary edge.  I love this high armed sofa.

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This sofa is a modern take on an antique shape. 

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This sofa has a painted wood frame.   There are piles of custom pillows everywhere - these are accented with trim.

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Lamps are another speciality.  Here, french wine bottles are ready for shades.

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The right wall is ceiling to floor cubby holes filled with goodies, such as:

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Burlap wrapped lampshades in drum and other chic shapes.

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Glass canisters of different shapes.

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Coral and candles.

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Stone shapes for plants or TV clickers, you decide.

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The cubbyholes, light fixtures, and seagrass goes on and on.

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Boxwood and Foxglove both used this handsome damask on armchairs and ottomans.

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How convenient - a wire basket filled with candle sleeves.

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I love this ottoman  - tufted, wooden french legs and all!

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There are lots of mirrors and garden seats, framed prints and lamps.

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Greeting you at the door is this wooden light fixture -  this shape is all the rage right now.

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 Bid Boxwood goodbye and go next door.

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Next Stop:   The Country Gentleman specializes in antiques from Europe - with an emphasis on Spain.

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A set of six:  Italian chairs newly upholstered in linen.

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A French settee upholstered in a Fortuny style print.

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Last Stop:    Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy.  An antique mall, with many different vendors - the quality keeps getting better and better.   Here a set of six chairs, slipcovered in linen hang out, waiting for a buyer.  I love these slips!

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A wooden French light fixture - this style is hot right now.

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A painted ottoman that would look as great  for the feet or as for a coffee table.

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A painted Swedish tea table - beautiful!

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I love the scale of this antique mirror.

If you are planning on visiting Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy, be sure to stop in at Boxwood.  And while you are there, go next door and visit The Country Gentleman.    Three excellent antique stores and a Fiesta Food Mart to boot!

A Country Place for Reese Witherspoon

BUYER: Reese Witherspoon
LOCATION: Del Norte Road, Ojai, CA
PRICE: $6,950,000 (list)
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: A one of a kind Wallace Neff architectural masterpiece. Amazing equestrian compound. Perfect 6+ acre hideaway nestled in fabulous Ojai Valley, a short drive to one of LA's most sought after vacation spots. Beautifully re-designed by Kathryn Ireland. Fabulous new master suite. Incredible privacy. Fantastic opportunity.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oscar winning actress, major Hollywood power player, and dignified southern woman Reese Witherspoon prefers to do things on the down low. You certainly aren't going to see this ladee out at some velvet rope Hollywood hot spot flashing her baby maker as she gets out of her car, nor will she be ringing up the paps to come snap a few pictures of her as she crosses the parking lot at the Brentwood Country Mart to buy some lip gloss at Marie Mason Apothocary. Some initially called it a faux-mance, but even her year long relationship with Oscar nominated actor and well known privacy nut Jake Gyllenhaal has been conducted largely outside the blinding glare of flash bulbs and gossip glossies.

So it should come as no surprise to any of the children that just a few weeks ago, the recently dee-vorced mommy of two very quietly purchased an historic 6+ acre ranch in Ojai, a picture perfect slice of California gorgeousness just 1.5 hours outside of LaLa Land and just north of Ventura, a tawdry little town in which Your Mama happens to have spent a lot of time in our youth.

Just between us chickens and as a meandering aside, we have many fond and funny memories of our favorite foul mouthed Aunty Jennie, piling Your Mama, Sister Woman and cuzzins Lois and Toddaroohoo into her powder blue 1970 something Ford Galaxy–an automobile we all lovingly called The Blue Vomit–and heading down to the Golf and Stuff in Ventura that sits right up next to the Highway 101. As we pulled up to the front we'd each be handed five clams to last us until Aunty Jennie and Your Mama's Mama finished their mai tais down the road at The Elephant Bar. Your Mama can not tell you how many times we finagled free rides on the mini car speedway by acting penniless and pathetic. Good times. Good times.

Anyhoo, property records sort of reveal and our wickedly well informed pal Lucy Spillerguts confirms, that Miz Witherspoon purchased what is commonly called The Libbey Ranch in the Arbolada area just north and west of bustling downtown Ojai. Before Your Mama begins to bore the children with how green with envy we are over this place, let's have a bit of the history. The Spanish Colonial casa was originally designed in 1923 for glass tycoon Edmund Drummond Libbey by noted California architect Wallace Neff with later French Country style additions and out buildings by Austen Pierpont. The house has had a number of owners since 1923 including actor/director Harold Ramis and was most recently owned and fully restored by interior designer and textile goddess Kathryn M. Ireland. Before she sold the ranch to Miz Witherspoon, Miz Ireland (who is not the moe-dell Kathy Ireland by the way) allowed House Beautiful to snap some pretty pictures of all the rooms looking dee-voon, drowning in pillows and draped with a pleasing cacophony of brightly colored fabrics.

Property records show Miz Witherspoon closed on the property only a few weeks ago, but as of this morning Your Mama is unable to confirm just how much of her Legally Blond boodle she had to cough up to buy the place. Listing information shows the property carried a $6,950,000 asking price and a recent article in US magazine refers to her "new $5.8 million ranch in Ventura County." And guess what kids? They were right. According to Jim Nasium, a man who would know, Miz Witherspoon and her people drove a hard bargain and paid $5,800,000 for the historic compound.

According to listing information, the main house has a soaring beamed ceiling living room and gigantic fireplace, a large kitchen dining room, a library loft with fireplace and 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. An interesting quirk of the house, which will no doubt bug and bother some of the children, is that one must walk through an outdoor breezeway to get to the bedroom wing from the main house.

There are also two detached guest cottages, each with private bath and fireplace, a stable block for the equine inclined, a gatekeepers cottage, a four car carriage house garage, a stunning walled and private swimming pool, and a smithy, a somewhat obsolete feature where Your Mama imagines a burly, sweaty and seriously sexy man once used to forge the iron to shoe the horses and fabricate all the door handles and hardware for the property.

Your Mama can simply not say enough how covetous we are of Miz Witherspoon's new country digs. So we're just going to shut our big trap, spend the next few hours drooling over the dee-lishus photos of this California real estate dream and let the children praise and pick apart the details while all Your Mama's beloved Chicken Littles yammer on about how this place will only be worth a million in a year or two.

When not hiding out at her new ranch, Miss Witherspoon clearly prefers life behind gates where she can live her life without paps doorstepping her every move. As far as property records (and our spider web of sources) are concerned, she continues to live in the same 6,956 square foot house on Brentwood's guard gated N. Gunston Drive that she shared with ex-hubby Ryan Phillippe before they went splitsville. Property records would also indicate that in April of 2005 the $29,000,000 actress paid $760,000 to purchase another house on Moultrie Park in a gated community in the tony Belle Meade area of Nashville. As for her privacy loving boyfriend Jakie Gyllenhaal, you ask? When not camping out at Reese's place in Brentwood, he very discreetly pilots and parks his Mercedes up a long driveway on Woodrow Wilson drive in a house that is extremely well shielded from any prying eyes and long lenses that might be cruising up and down the street hoping to snap a shot of him pulling out of his driveway or wrapped in spandex and pumping his bi-cycle up and down the twisty streets of the Hollywood Hills.

They're sayin'...

...That surly, sour and filthy rich American Idol judge Simon Cowell has gone and bought a $5,000,000 house in the Bev Hills for British singing sensation Leona Lewis, who took home the top prize on the UK's X Factor last year.

Could be. But do we dare believe the British tabs? Since Your Mama has started this little blog they've been seriously wrong on the celebrity housing front. So truthfully kids, we're not sure. It certainly sounds suspicious. But who knows.

What we do know for sure is that Mister Cowell is putting the finishing touches on his newly built house on N. Palm Drive in the flats of Bev Hills, and Mister Big Time reported last week that Mister Cowell's ladee friend Terri Seymour recently paid $4,600,000 for a house on N. Doheny Drive. Property records to indeed show Miss Seymour as the buyer of the house, but could it be that the tabs and gossips across the pond think this is the house Mister Cowell allegedly bought for Miss Lewis?

Moby Needs Your Help...

...and he's willing to fork over $75,000 for it.

A few years ago, be-spectacled musician Moby thought it sounded like a good idea to move from his long time home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to a quadraplex in the tower of the legendary and dee-luxe El Dorado building on Central Park West. Yes, children, a quadraplex. That's four floors of lung busting and boo-tox toning luxury.

After spending $4,500,000 to purchase the 2 bedroom co-operative and quite a few more dollars renovating the quirky cake topper apartment, 'ol Moby decided he didn't actually like living in the upper reaches of Manhattan and last summer he high tailed back downtown and put the freshly renovated apartment on the market with a $7,500,000 asking price.

It wasn't long before a deep pocketed buyer turned up who was willing to pay something close to the asking price. However, the the all powerful co-op board rejected the buyer. Rejected. The. Buyer. Uh-oh. That might sound strange to all you single family residence homeowners, but in New York City, co-op boards hold and wield all the power to approve or deny potential buyers. They can reject a buyer for any or no reason at all and, are you ready for this children, co-op boards are not obligated to provide any explanation for a rejection. New York is a tough town folks.

Anyhoo, Moby's uptown digs have languished on the market ever since the rejection debacle and the one man band recently and reportedly sent out an email to his friends that said, "If you find someone to buy the apartment I'll happily give $75,000 to you or your favorite charity."

Given that rather large number, Your Mama suggests the children get bizzy running through their Rolodex of rich friends and associates who might have seven and a half million clams to spare on a four floor Manhattan aerie. What are you waiting for? Go!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jonathan Sheffer Makes Beautiful Real Estate Music in East Hampton

SELLER: Jonathan Sheffer
LOCATION: Ocean Avenue, East Hampton, NY
PRICE: $18,500,000
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Circa 1888 restored charming village 1880s published Dutch Colonial house with 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths set on multi-acre site steps from village and ocean beach. Gorgeous gunite pool and spa, all weather tennis court and separate cottages with gym, 2 car garage and guest house. One of a kind compound.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama has become quite accustomed to listening to some of the Honda driving children wax, whine and complain about the obscenely pricey properties in Malee-boo sitting far too close together and that for eighteen some millions of clams of their money they would require enough land not to be subjected to the sounds of neighbors farting and fornicating. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter happen to L.O.V.E. us some Malee-boo and aren't so bothered by the proximity to neighbors, but we can certainly understand the desire many have to put a little distance between themselves and the crabby Mrs. Kravitz next door. With that in mind, Your Mama is pleased to start the week with some multi-acre Hamptons happiness which offers plenty of room to roam and enough privacy to sunbathe nekkid, nood and in the buff without being watched by the porno loving neighbor who's always trying to snap photos of your naughty bits with his mobile phone camera.

Located on Ocean Avenue between East Hampton's boo-teek lined downtown drag and the swanky sands of Main Beach, sits this dignified Dutch Colonial with the well preserved shingled skin of another century stretched over updated interiors that have been fitted and kitted with all the mod-ren conveniences required by the pampered princes and princesses of the East End who do not care to rough it on summer weekends.

Property records show the owner is a gentleman named Jonathan Sheffer who some of you–although not likely many of you–will know as the young and charismatic composer and conductor of the Eos Orchestra in New York City. Before Mister Sheffer set up shop with Eos, he studied under the Mister Leonard Bernstein, and scored a slew of cinematic treats such as Zits, The Omen IV and Grandpa's Funeral. It's true. Look it up. Mister Sheffer also conducted the orchestras for films like The Good Sheperd, Interview with the Vampire and the Batman and Robin franchise.

All of which, apparently, paid may-jor money because Mister Sheffer was able to buy, maintain and go to town de-ko-ratin' a generously sized compound in the Hamptons that he recently put up for sale with an impressive $18,500,000 asking price. Listing information for the property shows that there are 6 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms as well as several detached buildings that include a two car garage (where the Dr. Cooter would park the vintage 450SL, natch) and a large and lofty guest house at the rear of the property. A home gym occupies another small cottage on the property. Your Mama realizes that many rich, vain and well toned people spend the big bucks to have private gyms installed in their homes, and we understand they're convenient and all that crap. However, if we're being truthful, and we always are, home gyms usually make Your Mama cringe and (no offense intended) feel a little sorry for the owners of the torturous exercise contraptions. It's something we're working on with our lovely lesbian therapist, but for now we're still a little creeped out by them.

Other features of the sprawling and high-hedged compound include acres of lawn for running the dogs and playing gin and tonic fueled Bocci tournaments, a spectacular in ground swimming pool shaped by several interconnecting hexagons, and an all weather tennis court tucked into the back of the property. Can anyone explain an "all weather" tennis court to Your Mama? Who plays tennis in the rain or snow? Generally speaking, isn't tennis a fair weather sport and not an all weather sport?

Anyhoo, moving inside, Your Mama is loving the large living room with its dark floors, two fireplaces and warehouse full of white slip covered furniture. (We can't help it, we love white slip covered sofas. It's a sickness we can't explain much like we're unable to explain our dysphoria regarding home gyms.) The children will note the artwork casually placed on the mantles and Your Mama would like for Mister Sheffer to give us that shin bruising but gorgeous gnarled wood coffee table because it would look amazing in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's beach house living room too. If we had our way, we would instruct someone to immediately remove the slip covered slipper chairs which make us gag a little (too much of a good thing is just too much) and surely there was a more elegant solution for the flat screen than sticking it to the wall like a used piece of chewing gum, right?

We know some of you will not like it, but Your Mama thinks the dining room has been magnificently pared down to the barest necessities required for eating...a shiny table (that beautifully mirrors the gorgeous glossy wainscoting), 8 or 10 mixed and matched chairs, and an austere chandelier (on a dimmer, of course). The kitchen, while not blazing any new paths of high design, is fully functional and looks like a nice place to make coffee and eat donuts.In truth, as the children might expect, the only real issue we have with the kitchen is that crazy pot rack hanging above the sink waiting for just the right moment to give the dishwasher a concussion. Mister Sheffer, please understand that in the main Your Mama adores your house and the simple beach house day-core, but your potentially lethal pot rack gives us hives and has us reaching for the Xanax.

The bedrooms at Mister Sheffer's, at least some of the six of them, appear to provide guests with sitting areas perfect for smoking pre-dinner joints and playing before bed checkers. Sitting areas in guest rooms are really great if you like to make your house guests comfortable enough to want to extend their stay well beyond your invitation, which Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter most certainly do not. Our guest rooms are tiny. Cute. Comfortable. But tiny. Makes 'em ready to go back to their own damn home after just a day or two, which is just the way we like it. In and out.

In our humble and totally meaningless opinion, Mister Sheffer's East Hampton getaway is a nice change of pace from the old-school chintz and Chinoiserie palaces that are all too common in the Hamptons. It looks and feels like a kick off your flip flops East Cost beach house done up for an arty farty (and very rich) New York City fella and Your Mama is down with that whole bizness.

Your Mama feels deep in our ever expanding gut that the house will be sold quickly to someone really rich who will pay a premium get their nice gay decorator in there to whip the place into shape before the East End social season begins in earnest on Memorial Day. We wish Mister Sheffer well as he moves on to wherever it is he may be going...and seriously, dude, have your people call Your Mama's people if you're looking to get rid of the coffee table.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend Mish Mash

It's baaaack. After disappearing from the market several weeks ago, the much altered but still lovely to look at Richard Neutra designed house in Bel Air that was built for Teledyne tycoon Henry Singleton and is currently owned by octogenarian hair guru Vidal Sassoon is back on the market with an asking price of $19,950,000, which is exactly the same asking price it was listed at before.

Due to it's architectural pedigree, the house garnered lots of publicity and attention when it first hit the market last summer. Your Mama even heard that talk show maven and house hopper Ellen Degeneres went up for a look see. But alas, no one with big bucks and modernist dreams stepped up to buy the 5-acre Mulholland Drive property.

Now, all you architectural purists go scream and yell in the comments section about how Mister Sassoon butchered this house during the renovation, because we know you want to.

The $22,500,000 house in the Holmby Hills that every gossip glossy thought Ben Garner and Jennifer Affleck (or whatever their names are) were gonna buy is back on the market with a substantial $3,000,000 price reduction. Perhaps the new $19,950,000 asking price will attract some filthy rich exercise nut who will gleefully consider the exceptionally long walk from the motor court to the front door as an opportunity to work a little extra cardio into their day.

Aussie singer/actress Olivia Newton John seems to be getting sear-ee-us about selling her Malee-boo mansion and recently karate chopped the asking price of her 6,482 square foot sprawler up in the guard gated enclave of the Serra Retreat from $14,000,000 to $12,950,000. Miz O.N.J.'s 5 bedroom and 6 bathroom crib sits di-rectly next door to the Love Shack where much on the mend Britney Spears and her Fed-Ex used to live in wedded bliss before she lost her damn mind and starting flashing her baby maker all over town. Remember those days kids? Your Mama is happy as a clam that Miss Spears is pulling her shit together, and Miz Newton John is prolly even happier that those two young muffins sold their house next door because hovering helicopters filled with paps trying to snap pix of their tawdry doings might have been a real problem for a potential buyer.

All the New York City real estate gossips and property fiends are on pins and needles waiting for deceased society doyenne Brooke Astor's Park Avenue duplex to hit the market. The NY Observer reported earlier this week that Mrs. Astor's suspicious son Anthony Marshall and his rather controversial wife Charlene (who left her preacher huzband to be with the Astor heir) recently interviewed a handful of high end brokers to determine who would get the plush and plum listing.

It's expected that the two floor terraced co-operative apartment at hoity toity 778 Park Avenue will have an eye popping asking price of $46,000,000 or more. That gigantic number isn't so difficult to fathom when you consider that this is the very same super swank building where billionaire industrialist Ira Rennart recently and ever so generously forked over $33,600,000 (in cash) to purchase Vera Wang's full floor 14-room apartment for his daughter Yonina. Lucky damn Yonina.

Anyhoo, Miz Astor's legendary duplex reportedly includes several fireplaces, three to five bedrooms depending on who you ask, extensive staff quarters, a separate apartment for guests or staff, and interiors by the inestimable high society decorator Albert Hadley who famously did up the library with lacquered red walls.

There has been much public hullabaloo and scads of private outrage over the care Miz Astor received in her last few years (or the lack of it by some accusations) as well as serious questions regarding her wills and wishes since her death in August of 2007. If you care to read up, here's a good article that covers the salacious situation.

Friday, March 28, 2008

UPDATE: Joe Babajian

All the children who follow the trials and tribulations of high end real estate in Los Angeles are more than well acquainted of the once high, mighty and extremely successful real estate agent Joe Babajian and his spectacular, very public and much discussed by Your Mama fall from grace last year when he and his bizness partner Kyle Grasso (and a number of other industry folks) were indicted on several uglee charges of fraud and money laundering charges.

Shortly after the indictment ol' JoeBabs put his house in the Bev Hills house on the market with an asking price of $6,995,000 which very quickly had a sliver of a reduction to $6,985,000. After several months of not selling and a few short weeks off the open market, the house was re-listed in January 2008 with a proper price adjustment to $6,595,000. Sure enough, a buyer soon responded to the decrease in asking price and bit the bullet and bought the fully renovated 3 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom house on Carla Ridge in the Trousdale Estates.

Thanks to Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills, Your Mama has learned that the house sold and closed very recently with a sale price of $6,510,000. The owner is listed as a limited liability corporation, but thanks to a quick call to the insanely well informed Lucy Spillerguts Your Mama has learned that it appears the buyer is a young Serbian playboy named Marko Miskovic who is the son of one of Serbia's richest bizness tycoons Miroslav Miskovic.

According to an April 2006 report in the Times Online, the ol' JoeBabs crib is not the only property that is owned by the jet setting dilettante Marko. Sometime in early 2006 it was reported that Mister Miskovic the elder dropped a stunning £25,500,000 to purchase a mansion for Mister Miskovic the younger in London's posh Kensington neighborhood. The lucky scion also reportedly maintains a £550,000 yacht in Montenegro and has a thing for dating Serbian pop stars.

Watch out Britney Spear because now that you're back in your right mind and wearing panties under your mini dresses, young Mister Miskovic might be looking for a piece of your American pop stardom.

The Antique Rose Emporium


The antique rose:  Marie Pavie.

The Round Top Antiques Fair is just around the corner - April 2 - 5, 2008.  If you're in the area and get tired of antiquing, you might want to visit the Antique Rose Emporium for a change of pace.  Located outside of Brenham in Independence, Texas, it's about 37 bluebonnet-filled miles from Round Top.  As it's name implies, The Antique Rose Emporium specializes in antique roses.   Some of the roses they sell were "rustled" from cemeteries  and from the sides of highways where they were given names such as Caldwell Pink or Highway 290 Pink Buttons.  Antique roses are a hardy bunch - they thrive with little or no care.   They don't require pesticides to bloom and they need little or no pruning.  The owner started the Antique Rose Emporium in 1985 after he found an antique rose blooming and flourishing despite decades of utter neglect.  Helped along in collecting more varieties of antique roses by the Texas Rose Rustlers, Mike Shoup, the owner, opened his doors after building the visitor's Display Garden.  Over the years,  Shoup's  venture  has grown from a small nursery to a large, international presence in the rose business.  Today there are two Display Gardens - the one in Independence and a newer one in San Antonio, Texas.  The Display Garden in Independence has changed greatly over the years. Today there is a lovely country chapel on the property where couples can marry, there's a children's garden, a gift shop, and a supplies store.   It's best to visit in the spring  when it's at its prettiest with the roses just starting to bloom.  If you've never been to the emporium and you're in the area for Round Top, The Antique Rose Emporium is a must see.  And, if you go, be sure to purchase an antique rose or two. 



The Antique Rose Emporium parking lot:  pulling up to arches and picket fences and cobblestone walkways, you know this is not your typical nursery.


A  specimen tree greets you in the parking lot.


The omnipresent windmill towers over the property.


Here is the windmill after climbing flowers have been allowed to take it over.


The cottage garden in full bloom.


Antique rose specimens are grouped together in masses in order to have a full appreciation of their growing traits.


Here is the nursery with pots available for purchase.  In the back, you can just see an old log cabin.


Wildflowers mixed in with the antique roses.


A view of the roses in pots for sale.  In the background, you can just see a wooden pergola covered in evergreen vine.


In this area, a circle of roses are planted in chronological order of their beginnings withmarkers telling their historical significance. 60292736_g32006_04_09uploadtopbasegazebo1

A gazebo where weddings take place.


The walkway leading from the gazebo.


The walkway to the gazebo in full bloom.


A border of "Old Blush."


The old greenhouse and windmill.


The greenhouse with roses in full bloom.

Springtime at the Antique Rose Emporium.   Picture courtesy of


Roses cover a picket fence.

The sign says it all.  Picture courtesy of


A new attraction - The Children's Garden is surrounded by a purple picket fence.

The Yellow Brick Road leads to the Children's Garden.  Picture courtesy of


Spring flowers in the Children's Garden.


Birdhouses in the Children's Garden.

Spring daisies and sculpture.  Picture courtesy of

A cemetery of broken flower pots.  Picture courtesy of

One of the old structures that houses a store on the property.  Picture courtesy of


A chapel was built on the property for wedding ceremonies. 


Texas bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush grow in the fields next to the chapel.


Alongside the property line, roses grow on the picket fences.


One of the water features on the property. 


A picture from the early days of the Antique Rose Emporium. 


A picture from the beginning before the chapel, the gazebo, the history garden and the Children's Garden.



If you go to Round Top and want to visit the nursery - here's the route to take:  highway 290 to 390 to Independence.   Look for the picket fences and windmill!

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The Shlenker Elementary School, Class of 2010's Rose Garden

On a personal note:  Years ago, when my daughter graduated elementary school, I was put on the committee in charge of decorating the room where the graduation luncheon was to be held.  Of course, the budget was small and we were desperate to stretch the dollar.  I came up with the idea of a living gift that the class could present to the school.  Instead of cut flowers, each table would have a pot of blooming roses which we would then donate to The Shlenker School in honor of the class of 2010.   I drove up, with a friend in tow, to Independence to the Antique Rose Emporium to load up our cars with the bounty.  It was on this trip that I discovered the "real" Antique Rose Emporium, the fields where the roses are grown.   About 1/2 mile from the visitor's Display Garden are rows upon rows of blooming roses as far as the eye could see.  The average customer has no idea that these fields even exist, believing as I did, the Antique Rose Emporium consisted of the Display Garden only. 

If I recall correctly, on that day I bought 10 pots of 5 different rose varieties to place on all the luncheon tables.  The ride home was heavenly - the scent of the roses in my car was intoxicating.   After the luncheon, we gathered the pots up and took them to the school.  There was a large, empty median in the school's parking lot where the carpool line is.  This is where we planted the flowers - each variety was planted in mass.   The small plants grew and thrived without much care, just as they are advertised.   Some of the graduates returned a few years later to weed the flowerbed to satisfy some type of charitable activity.  If you ever happen to be in the parking lot of Temple Beth Israel in Houston and you come upon a bed of formidable antique roses, think of those graduates from the class of 2010 and the Antique Rose Emporium.


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These roses were really blooming today when I took these pictures at The Shlenker School.

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So was this variety.

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And more.