Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
No, I have not been traveling in Spain, or even in California or Florida. Believe it or not, this garden is about two or three miles down the road from my house in New Jersey. It was originally designed for the family of mining industrialist Evander Schley, by the famed landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman in 1926. It has been restored by the firm of Statile & Todd, Inc. as a part of the designer showhouse and gardens, Mansion In May, to benefit Morristown Memorial Hospital. Here are some more views:
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
After all my stressing, my cleaning frenzy and my Triple Red Alert, I'm happy to report that my son's girlfriend is an absolute sweetheart. She even brought me flowers! Next time I get this crazy, I hope someone will remind me of this.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. As fun as the weekend has been, I'm looking forward to getting back to my normal routine, and being able to visit you all again. I have some great garden pictures to share with you, and I feel the need to set a pretty table soon, too. :)
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
Christian hymn, Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon, 1922
Thursday, May 22, 2008
My son turns 21 today, but I can remember him as a one-year-old as if it were yesterday. I suspect it is like this for most mothers, especially with their firstborn. We enjoyed a very warm summer that year, and we spent many days sitting on a blanket in the garden.
sitting in the grass,
the sun on my back
and you in my lap,
a daisy clutched in your fist.
And all my memories will spin --
as petals circle the center,
as planets circle the sun --
and radiate from this day,
from you, my bright morning star.
I will forever remember this day.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Just a few more photos of our Lilies of the Valley. I only wish I could post their scent as well. :) I'm sorry for all the flower posts, but I can't help it. I love spring flowers! I already told you how my mother planted the original pips at our Little Red House years ago. Lilies of the Valley also remind me of May Crowning at our grammar school.
I went to a Catholic grammar school, and each May we always brought in fresh flowers to put in front of the statue of Mary, Mother of God. We also held a May Crowning, where one child (always a girl) was chosen to place a crown of flowers on the statue. I was chosen to do that when I was about nine or ten. All the girls got dressed up in our Sunday best, including white gloves, and the boys wore dark jackets and little ties. We processed into church side by side, singing hymns to Mary. We recited prayers and received holy communion. Then it was time for the crowning.
The statue was a tall one, placed on a plinth. The whole thing was about ten feet off the floor.
I am afraid of heights.
I had never been so frightened in my young life. My legs shook as I climbed the ladder to place that crown on the statue. Luckily, the crown slid right on and I was able to climb back down quickly with no mishaps. But I can never smell Lilies of the Valley without thinking of that day.
I really can't name just one favorite flower, but there are not too many that evoke such strong memories.
Do you have a favorite flower that triggers a memory from your childhood?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
It looks like the gate to a secret garden, doesn't it? It actually leads to the Cross Estate Gardens, a beautiful historical site hidden in the rolling hills of New Jersey's horse country. The gardens date back to the early years of the twentieth century, when the surrounding area was a summer retreat for wealthy New Yorkers.
One of the main features is a wonderful wisteria-covered pergola, which spans the length of the garden. At this time of year, it is alive with the buzz of bees who feast on the long purple racemes.
Tucked amid the tall trees is a lovely natural shade garden, whose meandering paths offer a place to stop and appreciate the wonderfully fragrant air. I wish that you could smell the air, heavy with the scent of wisteria and lilac.
The house, originally built in 1905, was purchased in 1929 by Redmond Cross. His wife, Julia Newbold Cross, belonged to the Royal Horticultural Society and was also a president of the New York Horticultural Society. Along with noted landscape architect, Clarence Fowler, she made extensive improvements to the gardens. The house was remodeled in 1940, after the death of Mr. Cross.
The formal garden is surrounded by a stone wall, and divided into four quadrants paved with old bricks. Large terracotta jars adorn this English garden, surrounded by lavender and veronica. The air is heavy with the drone of bees.
The Cross Estate gardens are a project of the New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation in cooperation with the National Park Service. For more information, visit http://www.crossestategardens.org/.