Thursday, June 09, 2011

Houses and Gardens II

While I enjoyed visiting the two beautiful homes with their lovely gardens this week, I had the privilege of actually staying in two other beautiful homes with lovely gardens.  One belongs to my sister in Massachusetts and the other to my mother in Maine.  They don't have the resources the other two gardeners have, but I think their handiwork rivals any I saw in public.

I have long envied both my sister and mother their flowers, but until the past 10 months I never lived anywhere that I could have my own garden.  Now that I do, I am trying to figure out how to bring the color of these two gardens to my small desert gardens in AZ.  When I get back home later this summer, I will work on that...being inspired as I have been this past week.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Houses and Gardens

I'm back in MA/ME for 5 weeks and am quite happy to be here. Today, my sister and I visited two public homes and gardens for the sheer enjoyment of the sight and smell. In the morning (fairly early), we went to the Glen Magna Farm in Danvers, MA to walk through the gardens. The place smelled amazing, and was so peaceful with the dew still on the flowers. There was just one small act of violation: a female snapping turtle was tearing up one side of the gardens presumably looking for a place to lay her eggs. We steered clear of her!

In the afternoon, we joined an open house/tour of the Willowdale Estate in the Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, MA. Mr. Palmer founded the company that eventually became Gillette and was very well to do, to put it mildly. This estate was his "country cottage" that he left to the state of MA when he died. His instructions were that it was to be maintained for the enjoyment of all, free of charge. Built in 1901, it comes out of the "craft" era of design and is quite charming with its field stone facade and open-beamed ceilings. The gardens' designer took us through the gardens which consisted of mostly native, non-invasive butterfly-and-bee-attracting plants. Yet another sweet-smelling visual feast!