Above is one of the many stunning gardens at Winterthur.
It is hard to believe that, after well over three years of work (taking pictures, making arrangements, working on layouts, reviewing text, checking proofs), my new book, Flowers, is finally out this week! The launch of the book will be this coming Thursday at the Delaware Antiques show at Winterthur, the marvelous museum created by Henry du Pont at his legendary home in the Brandywine Valley in Delaware.
I have never been to Winterthur, so I am very excited to finally see this premier contribution to American decorative arts. Beyond the wonders of the house and its collections are the gardens, the manifestation of another of Mr. du Pont’s obsessions, horticulture. Sharing this passion, I am delighted to introduce my new book at such a landmark place and event. I am hopping the train to Wilmington on Thursday and I’ll be ready to capture all of the beauty I am sure I shall see at Winterthur. I consider myself so very lucky.
I want to share a few photos of my new book with you, and I hope you will enjoy them. All of the blossoms in Flowers were grown at Weatherstone by me and the wonderful people who help me in Connecticut. The book is a celebration of the life of flowers: planting them, nurturing them, cutting armfuls for the house, arranging them, and – of course – photographing them. I started taking the photos because I wanted to attempt to record their beauty, to somehow make that moment last long after the flowers had gone. This book is the manifestation of my love for flowers. It is really as simple as that.
I love mixing colors! While paints and fabrics are fun to play with, to my mind no hues can match those created by Mother Nature, whose palette is infinite. The nuances of lilacs — mixed here with iridescent orange, light pink, deep purple, and a mid-tone chartreuse — blend, contrast, and harmonize in symphonic richness.
I love using different tones and shades of a single color, as in the lilacs above. It creates a subtly varied and resonant palette.
My favorite lilac is Sensation, above. I love the tiny white edge of each petal, which recalls piping detail in fashion design.
A final word on another subject. Tomorrow is the election and I hope EVERYONE finds time to VOTE. I feel so fortunate to have always had that privilege in my lifetime. We cannot complain if we do not make the effort to exercise our freedom to choose.