After fun filled, although sometimes frustrated search (favorite Anthropologie planters sold out!) my Roman inspired garden mood board is ready. Now the hard part, making it happen. I cannot wait to share the results!
Clockwise from top left:
Planters: Pottery Barn Umbria planters
Outdoor sofa: Patricia Uroquiola “Foliage sofa” at Hive Modern
Aged scalloped planters: Jayson Home
Plant pot with saucer: Ikea
Nasturtium “Gleam Salmon”: Floret Flower Farm
Jardin Bistro Folding Dining Set: West Elm
Rosemary in clay pot: Burpee
It has been rather unseasonably cold in Boston this spring. My courtyard garden as well as the community plot are still looking gray and drab. It was tough to get inspired to create this year’s theme for the garden. That is correct, this year I want to create a themed backyard. Subtle, inspired by my latest upcoming travel destination, and really an ‘interpretation of’ rather than imitation. The idea crystalized on the same day that I received lovely message from one of the hosts of my photography workshop. “Count the days!” she wrote, and I am. The same day I was attending landscape architecture lecture series at the Gardner Museum and it all came together, as I was marveling at the cascading nasturtiums: A Roman fairytale.
Part 1 of garden inspiration: Inner courtyard at the Gardner Museum.
My recent trip to England started with a whirlwind day and a half in London. From the moment I resurfaced from the tube station at Holborn coming from Heathrow Airport, the game was on. I was meeting my brother for a day (him en route to Scotland, me making my way to rural Dorset), the time was short. We bumped into each other outside the station, what are the odds. Our meeting place was carefully pre-arranged at the hotel cafe, with plan B and C of course, knowing me…We dropped the bags and instantly headed down the first street that looked interesting. We meandered through Soho, posed for touristy photos in West End, hid from the rain in the National Gallery (free!) and listened to a recital practice at St. Martin in the Fields church. And then, there was a lot of talk and catching up in the hole-in-a-wall Bradleys Spanish bar, which felt more Tangier than London. Follow along!
Stay: Hoxton hotel. Just to be super thorough, I stayed in both locations, Holborn and Shoreditch. Different vibe neighborhoods, but the same great service and decor!
Eat: Hoxton Grill (above) and Lyles, which I adore for interiors and coffee. I caused some raised eyebrows, walking from the street and insisting on purchasing bag of beans. As a souvenir. Without properly sampling the cuisine, that is. All worth it though, it ended up being one of the best coffees ever, according to Carl. Now I will be forever searching Belleville Brûlerie Paris…
Neighborhood pick: Shoreditch. In a nutshell, Cambridge, MA meets Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a little more edge.
Accessories: This trip was done with carry on luggage only, I brought two bags. My shoulder bag is Jack Wolfskin Camden Town . Mine is gray, purchased 4 years ago and still in perfect shape (machine washed several times). It serves as my camera bag, since it fits perfectly my Nikon DSLR5100 with 24-70mm lens. The other one is Everlane Twill Weekender bag purchased specially for this trip. Works for the city and the country. I really could not picture myself rolling my regular suitcase down the country lane in my wellies…
I saw the Gold Hill in Shaftesbury on Instagram some time ago and frankly, I thought it was at least a little bit doctored image…How could this fairy tale really exist! When I arrived in Shaftesbury recently for a photography retreat with Marte Marie Forsberg, I made sure to arrive the afternoon before. I needed my time with Gold Hill. I left the bag at the hotel and instantly went for a stroll through town. I admit, I was a bit chocked up when two minutes later, following the crooked path behind the church, I saw the cottages of Gold Hill. I even took a selfie (gasp!) for my parents.
At 4pm in the afternoon, there was no one there, I had it all to myself. Eventually, I shared ‘the view’ with a gentleman walking the dog (very proper English, I might add) and a couple of kids returning home from school. Another words, a bliss. I walked up and down several times.
Some of the cottages are well lived in, one was undergoing renovation, others I hear, are vacation rentals these days. Since it was mid March, the season has not really started yet. I could smell grass and wood branches being burned on nearby fields and cleared gardens, but for the most part it was a lovely, sleepy mood, draped in hazy, steel blue skies.