Escaping The FFFFFrigid ….Cold



DSC00837Escaping from a world of gray … boy oh boy, it is so cold outside!

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.



The little hedgehog and the copy of an antique basket used as a planter are made out of concrete.


A pot of tea and even a candle on especially dreary days make the glass house cozy for me as I peruse the flower and seed catalogs.


DSC00905Pergola 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!


These copies of lovely old baskets are made in concrete.


Nature never ceases to amaze me.   Isn’t this guy wonderful?


Christopher Marley


My beau Simon bought me all of these wonderful bugs and butterflies for Christmas.



Look at the amazing iridescent blue!

17 thoughts on “Escaping The FFFFFrigid ….Cold

  1. I too adore Deyrolle in Paris + I like you, could wander that place for hours.(someone said Deyrolle burned & good clients helped rebuild) I have a fondness for anything that is taxidermy! No a passion would be more like it. Concrete, metal, plants must visit that shop.

  2. Absolutely breathtaking, but then your tates has always taken my breath away!! I have folloed for years and years… Always the the best of taste!!

  3. Absolutely breathtaking, but then your taste has always taken my breath away!! I have folloed for years and years… Always the the best!

  4. Have you ever been to the Butterfly Conservatory here in Key West? It is right down the street from my winter home and it is always sunny and humid and has many species of butterflies flying around. They light on your shoulder and you can study them close up. It is quite lovely and educational. (a film at the beginning helps to orient)

  5. Your photos are really gorgeous! The creature that looks like a leaf is incredible. Would you care to share your camera style and manufacturer?

  6. As someone who spent many years in both Litchfield County and South Carolina, I have to ask what you’re doing in CT in January. I share your love of the area but not in January.

  7. Adore your teapot!
    The concrete baskets are a REAL FIND!
    Your little abode is adorable.Happy turning corners down!!!!I would imagine there will be a few!

  8. Love love love your amazing “Glass House”. I appreciate well appointed homes but I love simple elegance. You inspire and teach that good decorating does not mean “everything but the kitchen sink”.

  9. I have been such an admirer of your taste for such a long time.
    Just this weekend, I brought your book ” A Passion for Blue”,
    to a coffee planning meeting for a bridal brunch.
    Thank you – have to ask – are the small topiaries real?

  10. I love everything about the greenhouse, but especially the armillary. Can you tell me about it- looks like an antique, where did you find it?

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