A Garden Party

This week, some friends and I hosted a garden party for our garden club…and we couldn’t have had a more beautiful day. Sunny, no humidity. The one thing we couldn’t control was the weather, so once we knew we had that…the rest was easy.

My friend, Julia, allowed us to have the party at her beautiful home that has a bucolic, English style garden. Lush and welcoming, it was the perfect entry point for the party.

Using the invitation as a starting place, the focal point for the decor became these bright, printed Scalamandre tablecloths – which had been purchased at last year’s Central Park Hat Party (also known as the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon) by a few of our friends.
One of our garden club members with a really bright green thumb did all of the flower arrangements to complement the linens…each prettier than the next. Thanks, Chris!
We had tables set up inside as well, but everyone took advantage of the beautiful weather, and chose to sit outside, on the patio or the lawn.
At our planning meeting, we were drinking out of mason jars, so someone had the fun idea of everyone buying a set for themselves and that’s what we used for water and iced tea, punctuated with coordinating orange striped straws.
We served a chicken salad, a shaved brussels sprouts salad, spinach strawberry salad, tea sandwiches and deviled eggs. We were amused that the sandwiches and eggs were the first things to disappear! 
Copper mugs have been the rage, primarily for Moscow Mules, but they also make darling containers for smaller flower arrangements.
And, as with all good parties…we had a sweet ending. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, iced with flowers that mimic those in the invitation.

Wishing you a sweet weekend, in the garden or wherever you may be!

Peek of Peonies

My favorite flower, along with tulips, is the peony. I love how they unfold like a rose, only with a larger bloom and none of those pesky thorns. I get more than a kick out of my peony bushes because they’ve been through a lot. Transplanted twice – once in the back yard and then a few years ago moved to the front and side, they have continued to bloom and flourish. I think they are floral warriors.

Based upon their proximity to sun, they bloom at different times, so that there is a steady flow of blooms.

So, every day or so, I’m out snipping a few and bringing them inside. They accent almost every room.

This is just a peek, as they haven’t reached their peak. Just gives me more to look forward to.

Hoping that things are blooming in your garden and that you have lots to look forward to this weekend!

My Secret Garden

Finally! I never dreamed I would find such joy in a simple fence, an arbor and some gates. After 8 years in our home and frustration with an oddly shaped back yard (long, not deep), we are in the home stretch on our garden project. 
As you can see through my new arbor, it appears to be the front of the house. But, it’s not. Well, not really. We’re on a corner, so we actually have 2 front yards, according to the city records. What it does mean is that the foot and car traffic along the “side” of our house is as busy as a typical front yard. That left me feeling too exposed. I craved some sense of privacy.
Sometimes what can be seen as a problem or obstacle is just an opportunity to do something unique. We had an existing footpath into the back yard from our earlier landscape design. Instead of ripping everything out, we kept it and put in a little “folly” gate. It works, but it’s not something you or I would go through. But, perfect for children. Almost like their secret entrance. 
From this view, the secret gate is in the corner, under the hydrangea tree.
Here is the view from our side yard.
And, here is the view from my favorite chair, seen above. 

There are a couple more finishing touches that we hope to get to, but overall, I’m really happy with how it’s coming along. At last, I feel like I have a little backyard oasis…my secret garden.

Do you have a secret place?