A Passion For Peonies. . . And A Few More Garden Treasures

 Last night we returned from visiting our beach house and spending two days at the beach.  I wasn't able to see much of my garden until early this morning.  Heavy rains had come some time during the night and had damaged many of my Peonies.

So this morning I immediately set out to lift the ones I could save and cut the ones I could not.
The amount I had to cut was heartbreaking.

I was able to make three large arrangements and one for my neighbor.

 Below is the arrangement for my neighbor.

I can't begin to tell you how my kitchen smells.  The look, feel, smell and composition is outstanding.  Yes they fall apart very easily and they topple to the ground the minute rain hits them, and yes I wish they could last longer,  but taking all this into consideration, the Peony remains to be my favorite flower.  I found a wonderful company that carries so many varieties.  It's called Peony envy.  www.peonysenvy.com  I recently purchased a few and I am so happy to report that they arrived quickly and in perfect condition and are already in the ground and budding with flowers that should be opening in the next day or two.   
A few other suprises as I walked through my garden.
One of my late blooming Lilac variety bushes was in full bloom.

And my beloved Wisteria.

It's so wonderful to come home to so many surprises in my garden.  


The Kindness Of Strangers

A few years back I had the unforgettable opportunity of visiting Mary Carol Garrity's home.  In fact I was fortunate to have gone twice to Kansas for her open house tour.  (As you have all probably read in my posts about my trip.)
One of the lasting impressions I had was of the smallest room in her house.  Her kitchen.  On her island was a beautiful bakery stand.
I lay awake at night after the tour thinking about finding one just like it.  When I called the store (Nell Hills) they only had one and it was not for sale but the lovely ladies at the store said it could be ordered.  It was about 1,000 dollars with shipping and I knew my husband would need a defibrillator to resuscitate him after learning of my purchase.  So over time I withdrew the fantasy from my mind of having this lovely patisserie stand.
Every now and then I would look on ebay or etsy or just do a search but very few would compare to Mary Carols.  
Two weeks ago I received a lovely email from a woman in Lincoln Nebraska out of the blue.  Her name was Linda and she was writing me because she too was a MCG disciple  (haha) and was in love with it as well.  She had read in my blog that I was obsessed with it and had been looking for one as well.  
When I looked at the link, I almost needed a defibrillator.  It was absolutely what I had been searching for.  Almost identical to Mary Carols.  It was 830 am and I was in the bathroom reading Linda's email on my phone.  Partially dressed and out of the shower, I was reading that this woman, Linda,  had just received hers and was enamored and highly recommended it.  The fact that this was going for under 300 dollars was insane.  So, without hesitation,  I clicked the link, and clicked it to my cart and it was done.  Before 9 am.  
Well, the email came to me on May 19.  I received the Patisserie stand yesterday on the 25th.  Six days after I placed the order.  
Below is another shot of Mary Carol's kitchen.  I wanted you to see it before you see mine.

Now Linda told me the box would be huge and perfectly packed and it was absolutely packed safely and well.  It took me a long time to remove it from the box.  The base is very heavy.  It has a marble center.  The glass shelves are meticulously packed in foam and taped securely.  
Here it is below.  This is the Pottery Barn photo.  The metal poles are a lovely dark gold color.

They adjust very easily to your desired height.  
And below is my new patisserie stand.  I am smitten.  I know you will be too.

Thank you Linda, for being so kind and thinking of me and emailing me.  I am so in love with my stand.  
For those of you who fell in love with it too at Mary Carols or thought of getting one at Nell Hills this is a wonderful alternative.  


Trade Secrets Part Two

Bunny Williams home is the cover of her wonderful book "An Affair With A House."  
The world renown designer and gardener and author, Bunny Williams, added her house once again to the Trade Secrets tour.  Originally Trade Secrets began 16 years ago on her property.

Okay I would like to say that I snapped this photo and spent the rest of the day with Martha and Bunny but unfortunately I didn't.  I didn't even see the trade show part remember?  I got there on the second day for the tours only.  But I grabbed this from the trade secrets page on fb.

Her pool house looks like a Greek or Roman Ruin up on a hill.
Below was her latest addition.

Below was her newest addition inside.  A very bright open loft.

Below her Conservatory.

This guest house is truly a place I could get comfortable in.

The fire was roaring as we walked through the room.  Each corner complete with a comfy chair and plenty of wonderful books spread around in every corner.

Art, books and wonderful textiles filled this space.

Once could probably never have to leave this superb cottage.

The lilacs looked freshly picked.  My lilacs have withered away at home but here in Connecticut they were in bloom.  Although the weather very was very cold and damp resembling early November instead of May.
I spoke to Bunny briefly as I was entering on the grounds.  She was greeting everyone as they entered her guest house.   Wish I had more photos.
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