The 17th Annual A Writer’s Garden Announcement Soirée Revealed Details About the November 7th Symposium and Luncheon benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and A Woman’s Garden

(Featured photo: Mari Epperson and Sharon Ballew, A Writer’s Garden Chairs; Karen Sargent, President, Women’s Council; Ann Barbier-Mueller, an Honorary Chair. Not pictured are Honorary Chairs, Ann’s daughter Niña Tollett and daughters-in-law, Katelyn Barbier-Mueller and Bridget Barbier-Mueller.)*

The 17th Annual A Writer’s Garden Symposium and Luncheon, chaired by Sharon Ballew and Mari Epperson and benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, will feature Kate Markert, executive director of the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, speaking on A Garden for All Seasons and Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen, international designers based in London, speaking on An Entertaining Life: Designing Town & Country on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Wendy Hansen, hostess; JoAnn McCullough, Sarah Jo Hardin*

This exciting news was revealed at the recent Announcement Soirée graciously hosted by Wendy Hansen in her lovely home.  Karen Sargent, 2023-2024 president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, began remarks by welcoming the crowd and introduced herself as the new president.

She said this year’s theme is “A Garden of Possibilities: Cultivating a Brighter Future,” saying that also means reaching toward a new generation of women to carry on the legacy of this great organization. As part of that goal, she encouraged mothers and daughters, along with daughters-in-law, to support the Women’s Council by joining in and celebrating with this year’s A Writer’s Garden honorary chairs, Ann Barbier-Mueller, her daughter Niña Tollett and daughters-in-law, Katelyn Barbier-Mueller and Bridget Barbier-Mueller.

Mari welcomed guests and thanked everyone for attending this evening and their continued support. She presented Wendy a hostess gift in recognition of her generous hospitality and also presented honorary chair Ann Barbier-Mueller a gift, which included one of the speakers’ books.  In an insightful moment, she shared some personal background, saying that she has been involved in events as a volunteer, on nonprofits boards or event chair and involved in fundraising for 27 years and her co-chair, Sharon Ballew, has been involved in nonprofits and fundraising in many of those same capacities for over 30 years. They love teaming up together and are excited to serve as co-chairs for A Writer’s Garden.

Sharon gave a brief overview of A Writer’s Garden, saying the symposium and luncheon highlights literary presentations about horticulture, gardens, landscape design, historic preservation, interior design, and art featuring internationally renowned authors and speakers.

The time came for the big reveal as Sharon unveiled the poster announcing the theme for the 17th Annual A Writer’s Garden as “Homes, Hospitality & Heavenly Gardens”

Celebrating the 26th Anniversary of A Woman’s Garden, the speakers and details about the event. She encouraged everyone attending to join as a member of the event’s committee and support the Women’s Council.

Special thanks went to Preston Hollow Catering and Gold Crown Valet for their continued partnership with the Women’s Council.

Details about underwriting, sponsorships and tickets for A Writer’s Garden can be found on the Women’s Council’s website at

ABOUT THE WOMEN’S COUNCIL: Celebrating its 41st Anniversary.
Since 1982 the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden. The Women’s Council is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

ABOUT A WOMAN’S GARDEN: Celebrating its 26th Anniversary.
A Woman’s Garden is the only public garden in the nation conceived, constructed and maintained by the funding efforts of women. Ablaze with color in every season, A Woman’s Garden sits majestically as a living testament to the passion and vision of the Women’s Council founders and the boundless energy and devotion of its members whose commitment to creating a garden dedicated to the universal spirit of women across generations is realized in its inspired design. Our beautiful garden celebrates the power, creativity, resourcefulness, passion and unwavering commitment of the women who came before us and those entrusted with its care now, and into the future.   

*Photos by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden special events.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.