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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Went to a Garden Party!

A few weeks ago, the arrival in the mail of an invitation to a garden party didn't come as a surprise because my friend and glass mentor, Florence, had been excited about party planning for weeks.  Not only did the party celebrate the completion of the garden but also the completion of a large addition to the house. 

It's totally o.k. that you thought of Ricky Nelson's song.  Go ahead and listen, you know you want to!
 
You may remember my previous posts about this garden in progress.  I'm only sorry that I didn't take pictures when I first visited the vacant lot filled with overgrown brush or later when the heavy equipment had made a muddy mess of the whole thing. The party took place last weekend and the addition of people to the garden made such a difference as gardens need an audience.   A blue sky and pleasantly warm temperature,  two of the joys of the PNW in the summer made everything sparkle.  Music was provided by Christolphe Chagnard, director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, and his jazz/folk fusion group Touche 6.  The event couldn't have been any more enjoyable. 
 
We are greeted by this lovely lady.  Not very talkative but then she seems to be worried about a possible wardrobe malfunction.

Do sign the guest book.
 
Previous posts about Paradeisos, this gardens name, have contained lots of images and information, including the gardener's philosophy and process so today I'll try to be less wordy and just let you enjoy some pictures of the party.
 


The panels in the lamp were removed and replaced with these that Florence fused.






 
Let's peek inside for a moment, shall we?  Florence has gorgeous glass from a variety of places and periods. 

This gorgeous Victorian was found by Florence and her husband in an old mansion slated for demolition a few years ago.  The place had been used for a variety of purposes over the years and this panel was actually covered by wallboard.  Researching the house, Florence found an image showing that the missing center medallion was originally a painted snake.  Instead of replicating that, the choice was made to design a floral center instead.  I love this panel!  (I love them all!)

Part of a sweet English painted panel.

A couple Swiss Panels.  These were made from the late 15th century through the early 19th century  in Switzerland and Germany and are usually fairly small.

I'm guessing that this one is older than the first. 
 
This piece is the first that Florence ever made many years ago.  I think that just about everyone saves his or her first effort.
Florence and Howard, having imported antiques from the Far East and Europe (emphasis on Italy) for years have amassed an incredible collection of gorgeous objects.  The advent of ebay and auctions being held online have added another dimension to their collecting.   The huge Jardinière currently in the center of the room was an auction find.  It had been custom made in Italy of glazed terra cotta for someone who for some reason didn't want it when it arrived and it was sold for a small fraction of it's original price.  How many people have space for a four foot tall three foot round Urn around the house?

 The house is full of wonderful collections and they are always being changed around.  Different glass panels, different icons, etc. displayed.  Every visit is an adventure in beauty and a lesson in history and art!  The leaded panel which Florence sized to fit this opening is a Victorian  from Philadelphia.



The dining room used to end at the doors where you see the fellow walking. 

Every corner of the place is packed with objects of beauty and interest.  Each has a story and Florence's thirst for knowledge leads her to research the historical movements that brought about the creation of objects in certain ways. (function, tastes, technological advances.)

I've always admired this piece.  Looks like Prometheus to me but I'm not sure if that's who he is.

Notice the detail on the door frame. (view into the butler's pantry.)

Always a fan of beautifully handwork, Florence has collected random fragments of carved furniture.  This one has found a great home here as part of the kitchen expansion/remodel.

Although most of us had a grand time, this couple seemed a little put off by the whole thing.

Now THESE folks know how to party!
Hope you enjoyed the party as much as I did!

28 comments:

  1. Love it all! Thanks for bringing us along. Great pictures of the inside of the house too. They have some marvelous stuff!

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    1. This is a tiny fraction of their collections. There were more rooms packed with treasures. They are always changing things around, putting some things away bringing others out and constantly finding interesting pieces. It's a treat to visit and each item has a fascinating story. There's nothing that hasn't been thoroughly researched!

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  2. Wow...that's a lot of dusting! (god I sound like my husband). Thanks for the tour, the garden makes a lot more sense now that I've "seen" inside the house. What a collection!

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    1. Dusting? Who does that? A house is not a home unless you can write "I love you" in the dust. I'm always amazed to see what's on exhibit as they rotate things through frequently.

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  3. Oh, Peter, so many wonderful things! I love stained glass, they are antiquity, nice colors, particularly those English panels. I liked the wooden furniture, lovely handwork!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing some of the things in this wonderful house. Florence is a big fan of things made by hand.

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  4. Ricki Nelson! We are really showing our AGE !

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    1. And don't tease me about it or I'll hit you with my walker! (If only I could lift it.)

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  5. That's a party, even without the party! I appreciate all that. Ricky Nelson...I forgot who did that...maybe even before my time:-)

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    1. I know, right? A visit to Florence's place is always fun. Luckily she lives within walking distance of my house so I can visit frequently. Before your time...listen here yunggun, we old folks don't take kindly to teasing:)

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  6. That is not your average collector house or garden! Wow.

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    1. So much about this wonderful couple is exceptional that, knowing them, their home and garden fit them perfectly.

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  7. I came frighteningly close posting a link to the ever-closeted Barry Manilows 'Weekend in New England' schmaltz-fest in todays blogpost on Deannes garden.Thank god I resisted. Ricky Nelson is way easier to process.
    What an astounding collection your friend has !

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    1. OOH, I'll zip right over to your post. It'll be interesting to see Deanne's garden through your lens! Too bad you didn't include the Manilow song; I'm a big fan of schmaltz.
      Florence loves beautiful hand made things.

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  8. What gorgeous photos! Love the stained glass and the art work!

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    1. Thanks. It's the kind of place where you can just point the camera in any direction and you'll find all sorts of cool things filling the lens.

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  9. You could spend a month in that amazing old-world house and not see all the amazing details! The garden party was a wonderful way to celebrate a garden renovation. Thanks for the tour of a spectacular collection!

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    1. You're right, there is so much interesting stuff that it really can't be taken in all at once. It's a good thing that they keep some pieces stored and rotate them through. It's a delight to share this!

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  10. Thanks for taking us along the garden party! The house and the garden are linked together so well and you can tell all the craft and creativity that went through it.

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    1. It's an interesting pairing alright! Hope your big projects continue to go fairly smoothly!

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  11. Oh how I wish I could have STAYED LONGER! I needed more time to take it all in.

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    1. It's one of my favorite places to visit!

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  12. Oh my!!!! what an interesting home and garden. That urn in the house would look great in my garden! LOL Thanks for taking us along for the visit

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    1. That urn would be awesome in your garden! The only problem is that it's terra cotta and although it's thick and glazed (not inside the pot though) I don't know if it would be frost proof and transporting it in and out would be a major production because it's so heavy! It's always a pleasure to have you come along!

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  13. I remember earlier posts about this garden. It is really coming together and makes perfect sense after seeing interior shots. Thanks for a lovely time peeking in on this party.

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    1. It's fun to share these interesting gardens and always a pleasure that you peek in!

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  14. Excellent post! You covered the topic well.
    Every corner of the place is packed with objects of beauty and interest.
    Function, tastes, technological advances may vary from places to places an people to peolpe.......

    Buy, sell, rent and lease post your needs today


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    1. Thanks for commenting Sofia. Happy gardening!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.