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15 Dec
Thu / 2011

Gardens in the Rain

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I arrived at Rienzi a few minutes early this morning, coffee in one hand, my lunch of leftover saag paneer in the other. I was a little on edge, for my a.m. drive in was unnecessarily stressful. When I entered my office, which is an off-view bedroom at Rienzi (nicknamed the Septapus Room after a psychedelic, seven-armed octopus painted on the walls) ironically, I felt an instant calm.

Psychedelic murals aside, the Septapus Room has two floor-to-ceiling, glass pocket doors. The view from these windows is spectacular. One looks over the Waterfall Garden into Buffalo Bayou while the other has an angled view of the Reflecting Pool. I often tell my family and friends how much I love this space—even though Rienzi is located in a hopping area of Houston, on Kirby, near the busy Allen Parkway, the 4.4 acres of land surrounding the house museum are a natural, tranquil retreat.

This morning, with the rain creating a delightful glistening effect on trees, and with the sight of an occasional red or yellow ombre leaf, the peacefulness of the natural landscape instantly transformed my mood. I snapped a few photographs of this morning’s view, and they can be found in the slideshow.

If you need a retreat from the daily bustle of Houston, stop by and take a break in Rienzi’s gardens. Open to the public daily, free of charge, they are a delightfully serene reading and reflecting space.

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About Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan joined Rienzi as education assistant in 2010. She received her B.A. in art history and history from the College of the Holy Cross, and her M.A. in art history from the University of Houston. At Rienzi, the Massachusetts native works with docents, tours, and other public programs. 

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