When the skies are gray for days on end I find myself retreating to my little glass house at Weatherstone. It is like being transported to another climate: warm and humid with signs of life from the topiaries and geraniums that I keep there in the winter. As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, I recently did an overhaul of the old glass house. It was functional but rather a mess, it needed some tender loving care, and at that moment I needed a project. (This was before I bought the Charleston house.) I took it upon myself to be actively involved in the dirty work, not just the decorating part (perhaps you remember that awful photo of me cleaning?). Now my little house has turned into a place of serenity in the spring and summer, and a refuge from the harsh winters of New England. This weekend I took a pot of tea and a breakfast roll up there to look over the seed catalogs in preparation for the coming summer’s garden. My iPod, a light snow, two of my pups with me, and I was in heaven! What a perfect way to spend a Sunday.
I wanted to keep the greenhouse rather simple, using zinc and glass hurricanes and rustic tables and chairs. As far as “decorating, ” I have found a wonderful source for garden-oriented things in a tantalizing shop called Pergola located in New Preston, CT. The owners, Peter and David, have the most sophisticated eye and have collected a refined and interesting selection of products mixed in with plants, books, and furniture. They create beautiful vignettes with items made from simple materials such as concrete, ‘found wood’ in interesting shapes,and the work of a few artisans with whom they share an esthetic. One such artist is Christopher Marley, whose work I have started collecting. I have always been fascinated by the concept of cabinets of curiosity. (The term cabinet originally described a room rather than a piece of furniture.) I used to live near Deyrolle, the famous taxidermy shop in Paris where one could wander for hours, fascinated. Well, this is my beginning collection, modern-day version, and I thought it would be perfect in the redone greenhouse. My intention is that someday the walls will be covered with these extraordinary creatures.
Pergola found a man who makes wonderful molds of old baskets, books, and animals, and then recreates them in concrete. Pictured in this story are a little hedgehog and baskets made in concrete — I think they are so chic!