Archive for June, 2013

Harmonious gardens…thoughtful layers of formality and naivety blend ever so gracefully together…for me, there is a seductive yet quiet freedom to each and every one of these timeless masterpieces…I hope you enjoy this lovely selection of gardens designed by the one and only Arne Maynard

Happy weekend!

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A manor house in Oxfordshire

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A mill house by the river Cherwell

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A 17th century farmhouse in Devon

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Bowling Green in Derbyshire

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A country house in Norfolk

all photography from Arne Maynard

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I recently discovered master gardener Arne Maynard in The New York Times Style Magazine, Culture Summer 2013…the minute I finished the article, I knew I wanted to learn more about this soulful and talented spirit…fortunately, for all of us, his website is brimming with a gorgeous portfolio, insightful narrative and a number of atmospheric films featuring his home Allt-y-bela in South Wales and The 2012 Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden installation…for me, the films offered the intimate experience I was craving…filmmaker James Aiken created a feast for the senses pairing Allt-y-bela’s visual beauty with Arne’s heartfelt words of wisdom…dawn at Allt-y-bela is something I will never forget…click here to view these exceptional short films

“For me it’s really important to celebrate the morning…even before the sun has risen, dawn at Allt-y-bela is the most magical experience…and to experience the whole garden starting to wake up, especially when the sun starts to rise, it doesn’t hit the house terribly early, but it starts to hit the woodlands beyond the house, and it’s amazing light, and slowly the light rises, and then the garden is completely bathed in this very, very soft low light…there’s something really nice, that connection you make with the garden at this time of day.” ~ Arne Maynard

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Allt-y-bela ~ Welsh for “high wooded hillside of the wolf”

Allt-y-bela is a medieval renaissance tower house cradled in a valley between grazed and wooded hillsides. It could not be a more dramatically different setting to my previous garden which was in the flat fenland of Lincolnshire. Here I wanted to use a restricted palette of favourite elements: fruit trees and vegetables, topiary and wild flowers, roses and bulbs, but had to evolve a very different way of planting them to suit the garden here. I found my beloved symmetrical formality was at odds with the house and landscape and so I have been prompted to develop exciting new ways of designing. My topiary here are like characters at a party, congregating around the house, and bold new sculpted banks at the back of the house are amassed with jewel like bulbs in long grass. Roses will tumble out of trees and the vegetables are tended in raised oak beds that sit in a simple, almost naive, oak and hazel enclosure.” ~ Arne Maynard

Above and below ~ photography from Arne Maynard’s portfolio…click here to visit his awe-inspring website

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Below ~ photography by Tom Mannion for The NY Times Style Magazine…click here, to read the NY Times article

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“I know that I have achieved a ‘sense of place’ when the garden begins to ‘sing’: to speak to the landscape around it.” ~ Arne Maynard from the NY Times

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art in bloom

Let’s celebrate the summer solstice with art in bloom!

Happy weekend!

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Nude gathering Flowers ~ Pablo Picasso, 1958

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Gaspe Pink Sky ~ Milton Avery, 1940

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Tulips and Statuettes ~ Edouard Vuillard, 1919

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Peonies ~ William Merritt Chase, 1897

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Dutch Tulips ~ Karen Tusinski

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The Park on the Caillebotte Property at Yerres ~ Gustave Caillebotte, 1875

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A Vase of Roses ~ Vincent van Gogh, 1890

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The Flower Picker ~ John William Waterhouse, 1895

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Too Blue ~ Karen Tusinski

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Roses under the Trees ~ Gustav Klimt, 1905

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Woman in a Blue Apron and Straw Hat, Picking a Spray of Flowers ~ Henri Martin, 1919

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Flowers in front of a Window ~ Henri Matisse, 1922

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Longer days and warmer nights invite us to spend more time outdoors…breakfast in the garden, dinner on the veranda, cocktails under the stars, or perhaps a midnight dip in the pool…may these tranquil and beautiful outdoor rooms sweep you off your feet (and into a comfy hammock or chaise lounge!)

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photos from Elle Decor, Veranda, House Beautiful, Lonny and The Gifts of Life

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Perched high above the Concord River, there exists a secret garden brimming with irises, peonies, columbine and rhododendron…this intricately laid out network of paved stones and steps offered me a beautiful view of the terraced gardens and riverscape below…with every twist and turn, this magical place had a story to tell…a garden with an old soul if you will…I’m so glad I took the time to listen

Wishing you a wonderful summer weekend!











below ~ the Concord River and surrounding landscape, taken on my way down the hill



photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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Plucked straight from my brother Gary’s garden, these ethereal white peonies commanded my attention this morning…a perfect muse for a summer day!

Wishing you a lovely weekend!
















photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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Yesterday, while en route to Concord, a large black bull caught my eye…he was just one of the many cows and bulls grazing (or reclining!) in the warm afternoon sun…what a picturesque sight to behold!


“At evening, the distant lowing of some cow in the horizon beyond the woods sounded sweet and melodious, and at first I would mistake it for the voices of certain minstrels by whom I was sometimes serenaded, who might be straying over hill and dale; but soon I was not unpleasantly disappointed when it was prolonged into the cheap and natural music of the cow. I do not mean to be satirical, but to express my appreciation of those youths’ singing, when I state that I perceived clearly that it was akin to the music of the cow, and they were at length one articulation of Nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, excerpt from Walden, chapter four titled Sounds

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photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

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