antiques, art, gardens, inspiration, interiors

the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages

8D448D06-9EED-4CD8-8514-E12932238CFA

Who among us hasn’t pressed a flower between the pages of a book and been charmed at the outcome? Pressed flowers and foliage can be a lovely way to add a garden element to a room, and so I’m always on the hunt for antique herbarium pages. I recently purchased a set from the 1940s. I love the earthy, delicate, understated quality of herbarium pages: there is something so personal and enchanting about someone, somewhere taking the time to pick the flowers and foliage, label them with their correct botanical names, press them, and preserve them. Continue reading “the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages”

gardens, inspiration, Seasons

ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant

9052E125-4421-4261-AE7A-B6C5F909FB46

When fall begins to arrive, we expect to see potted mums and pansies and pumpkins, but more and more we are also seeing ornamental cabbage as part of the autumnal shift in our gardens and our decorating repertoire. I don’t remember when I first became so fond of them. Never a big fan of the potted mum to ring in the season (my mother and I had a long standing debate about this), the ornamental cabbage must have caught my eye as an antidote and it has risen in status in my mind and around my house. Continue reading “ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant”

gardens, inspiration

nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers

 

8BB22101-E6CA-4EEA-A65E-0CEE9A29B575Not long ago, on the terrace of a restaurant near a lake, I saw nasturtiums tumbling out of urns. They were accompanied by some herbs: rosemary, thyme, lavender and so on. It reminded me of my love for nasturtium that began years ago when I had a sunny garden and grew them from seeds. It also reminded me that I had bought some packets of nasturtium seeds early this season with the intention of planting them in containers on our rooftop deck, but sadly this didn’t happen for various reasons (lots of rain and forgetfulness). Continue reading “nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers”

inspiration

favorite things: peonies

2601BA51-F7E8-4BEB-8D41-894CC31B22A3

There is something about peonies: their lush, feathery petals, their intoxicating smell, their rich, dark green foliage, their old-fashioned beauty…and they don’t get as much attention as the rose, but they should. They don’t have thorns, and they are easier to grow. All you have to do is stake them when they flop or better yet, clip them and bring them inside. I’d love to have a field full of peony bushes like Martha Stewart does at her country house above, but since I don’t, here are a few of my favorite things that would add a touch of elegant country style to a home wherever it might be. Continue reading “favorite things: peonies”

gardens

the gardens at Monticello

 

7A117160-9390-4384-8D7C-B1A230E2F570

Monticello was Thomas Jefferson’s attempt at creating an American villa rustica, or gentleman’s farm. Jefferson wrote: “…cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty & interests by most lasting bonds.”

antiques, gardens, inspiration

peacocks and potted hydrangea

ECS_peacocks and potted hydrangea

This is what I would call an enchanting entrance, and it leads (so I am told) to an enchanting place. Who wouldn’t want to follow that dirt road?

Furlow Gatewood, in his late nineties now, was born and raised in Americus, Georgia and his cluster of houses, where he currently resides, are part of his families’ original property. There is a main barn, three houses, and several outbuildings and gardens. After some time in Manhattan and Savannah, Gatewood returned to Americus and began his work designing, decorating, and living here.

He is self-taught and often begins a project without planning but relies, he says, on his vision and instinct. His knowledge about architecture, design, and antiques (not to mention “the art of living”) is widely respected and sought after. Those who know him describe him as the quintessential Southern gentleman with an exquisite eye for what is beautiful and interesting to him. There is a touch of whimsy to his style that is utterly inimitable. (See one of his rooms in previous post here.)

What I admire so much about Furlow Gatewood’s philosophy is his unstudied, yet classical approach to outfitting a room, and his willingness to take small risks that seem to say: “Just don’t take it all too seriously.”