A Short Post to Bid Farewell to Summer!



A refreshing green and cooling blue table immediately encourages one to partake in an unhurried afternoon

It is the end of August and as Labor Day approaches I bid farewell to what I call summer, although it really ends later in September (for those in the Northern Hemisphere).  That glorious season brings so many beautiful things to us – fresh produce, longer days, a breezy freedom in terms of how we live, what we do with our time, and how we entertain. It is one of the reasons I love a dramatic seasonal change. It inspires one to create with a fresh eye, informed by the nuances found in nature. This change keeps the eyes, the brain and creativity from getting lulled into complacency. From the fabrics we choose to decorate with, what we wear, the plants we select to feature in both our gardens and interiors, the food we cook – even the colors we bring to our creative endeavors and the scents we use in our homes and on our bodies. This transition is exciting, each season presents endless possibilities with which to celebrate the time of the year, a place and an environment, even our mood. The easy change in season offers us the possibility of expressing our vision of the moment, and of course to be reminded of, and honor Mother Nature’s perfection in timing.

Refreshing lemon sorbet - reminds me of Italian summers!

Refreshing lemon sorbet – reminds me of Italian summers! It works beautifully with lime (shown below) and orange also.

Lime sorbet

Lime sorbet – I learned to do this simple but elegant dessert years ago and it is always a hit.

Lemon or Lime Sorbet 
1 x lemon or lime peel, finely diced
2 cups of warm water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon or lime juice (from the scooped pulp)
2 egg whites, lightly whisked

For the shells :
4 lemons or limes
Slice the top off, about 1/4 of the way down, so you have a lid.
Remove the pulp with a melon baller or grapefruit knife.
Freeze both parts of the lemon or lime shells before filling.

Combine sugar, water and peel in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer, without stirring, for 10 minutes until mixture thickens.
Remove from stove and cool.
Strain sugar mixture, stir in lemon juice and place in an inch deep dish for freezing.
Freeze for 1-2 hours until almost firm.
Transfer mixture to food processor, adding egg whites, and whisking until smooth.
Scoop into lemon or lime shells, filling generously and freeze until firm.
Top with sliced lids, and garnish with mint leaves.
Serves 4.

*  Full disclosure from the chef – I have actually cheated on a couple of occasions, and used a good quality, store bought sorbet, in my home made shells. None of my guests seem to have noticed, unless they are just too polite to say! 

Limes and citrus inspired wrapping

Lime table piece and citrus inspired wrapping

One of the topiary watercolors I've been working on this summer

One of the topiary watercolors I’ve been working on this summer

Inspiration for my painting

Inspiration for my painting – a summer lunch at Weatherstone


An Aspen summer dinner table

As I sit at my desk in Aspen (before racing off to take my first oil painting class) I see the subtle changes in the undergrowth, the first sprinkling of yellow Aspen leaves and I know it is soon time to say goodbye to the cool blues, aquas, and greens that I so often use in hot summer, and prepare to work with a new palette of rusts, reds, deep oranges and warm browns. Each beautiful and so right for its time -. cr

51 thoughts on “A Short Post to Bid Farewell to Summer!

  1. Dear Carolyne,

    So lovely, I love the Aspen dining room.
    Whilst I love the summer colours there is something special about the autumn/winter colours, the russets, golds etc.
    Here in Australia we are going into spring and tomorrow I am going to Tasmania for a nine day holiday. There it will be colder than Sydney. I am told Tasmania is very English looking and I am looking forward to eating lots of seafood as it is an island surrounded by pristine waters and known for it’s seafood.
    Love your post.

    ??? Marie. ???

  2. Amen! LOVE the dramatic seasons of the Northeast…and anywhere. Thanks for taking the time to share the beauty.

  3. Carolyne,
    Beautiful way to start the day with fall thoughts from you. Exquisite as always!
    Wanted to share an alternate for the lemon and lime shells that is so good from
    NORTH CAROLINA ART SOCIETY COOKBOOK…..Mother’s Lemon Milk Sherbet Serves 4-6…Doubles or triples easily for a frozen asset
    1 1/4 cups sugar.. I run in Vitamix at top speed to pulverize/dissolves easily
    grated rind of 1 lemon
    1/3 cup fresh lemon squeezed lemon juice
    2 cups milk (I use skim and it thickens when added to lemon juice)
    Combine all in blender and then pour in cartons and freeze. Can smooth our in Cuisinart with steel blade and make creamy for serving…..for really special guests
    Happy Day,
    Pour into cartons and freeze (I keep on hand in freezer for pop in guests)

  4. Another lovely reminder that we should embrace he seasons. Fall is my favorite season in Delaware, although I live on the coast. The beach is beautiful in the fall and less crowded. I love the scent of the salt air and the pine trees. Fall is a perfect time for picnics at the beach.

    I love your table settings, especially the topiary napkins. I like the way you use fruit as part of your centerpieces. I’m looking forward to another post with pumpkins and the colors of fall.

    Have a wonderful day.

    • Thank you for the kind words Brenda. I’m sure a fall post will be just around the corner! cr

  5. With great pleasure I open your posts as they are always so beautiful and inspiring.
    I am delighted to receive them.
    I live half the year in France and half the year in Dallas so wherever I am I can enjoy your beautiful blog.

    Merci Beaucoup
    Audrey Friedman

  6. Love your watercolors! Sublime – all of them – lucky to have seen them at your studio this past spring.
    Look forward to your autumn posts.

  7. Your tables are so beautiful, please give some information on the plates in the first photos. I have used white flowers all summer, but have added green leaves, because of your photos. I am looking forward to how you will use the new palettes for Fall.

    • Sorry Lillie as I told a couple of others I no longer the plate—I do sales everyone in a while —or my cupboards would overflow—alas with my memory I no longer can remember cy

  8. Carolyne, your topiary watercolor is very fine, your skill is evident. Congratulations

    • Thank you very much Virginia, though I feel I have a long way to go. I have been trying to focus on my painting this summer, and have just started a class in oils – which is giving me even more respect for oil artists; incredibly difficult! cr

  9. What a beautiful way to bid farewell to summer. Remiinds me of my neighbor and friend, Aly, who also sets a beautiful table with delicious food.

  10. Carolyne

    I was just bemoaning the end of summer to my associates at work, and how I am almost depressed each and every end of summer/beginning of Fall. Low and behold, I open your email with your beautiful and uplifting farewell to summer post! It was truly a gift and I thank you.


  11. Stunning, yummy and beautiful as always. The oil painting looks great. I recently bought 2 more of your latest books for a dear old friend of mine and she worked for Ralph Lauren and she remembered you for your fashion line, but was unaware of your other talents and you now have another avid fan. She just loved the books and refers to them often for inspiration and design. Enjoy Aspen, looking forward to your next post.

    • Hi Peter –thank you for being a supporter of my work!!! The painting is a little watercolor I did a couple of weeks ago. My oil painting is struggling —not sure the medium is for me–think I may stick with watercolor—be well. cr

      • They are beautiful, please stick to it so I can add more torn out copies from your books to my growing collection of CR oil painting copies, they look beautiful in my home office!!1

  12. Thanks so much for the beauty. I am recovering from an illness and finally feeling inspired again. I always drool over your photos.

    • Very honored to hear that I can help provide beauty and inspiration, and do hope you are feeling better soon, cr

  13. Hi, I enjoyed this post so much. I am wondering who makes the green faux bamboo flatware? Thank you so much. Rosanne

    • Sorry I can no longer remember and I also am not sure if I still have them—I do sales every once in a while cr

  14. I would love to live like this. My husband has demeanor and his facility is very expensive and then my rent. I love to see all these wonderful pictures.

    • Glad you enjoy the pictures Sally, I think beauty can be found in very simple and inexpensive ways (fruit as decoration, flowers from the supermarket) and hope to provide inspiration for this through the blog. I’m sorry to hear about your husband and the suffering that dementia brings, cr

  15. What lovely cool color combinations! September is such a wonderful month to enjoy the cooler days and watch nature change her wardrobe into the dazzling fall colors. Enjoy your oil painting class…perfect for the season.

  16. Hello Carolyne!
    What a beautiful post!
    The recipe fo the tomato tarte works – love your recipes!
    Also love your new book “At Home in the Garden”!
    Beste regards from Germany!

    • Thank you Gudrun. Delighted to think of you using my recipes in Germany – isn’t technology wonderful?! cr

  17. Dear Carolyn,I have been following your beautiful arts for over ten years. I often check your blog to refresh and restore me throughout all the seasons. I thank you for sharing your talents with the greater public. Seeing the Aspen table and the Aspen light makes me breathe deeper as I remember a fresh mountain breeze in the last of the horrid heat we have had in Nashville for the summer months. I am sure Charleston has been the same. If I could grow gorgeous dahlias, I could ease my pain!

    I wish I could see you in person in Columbus, but my school schedule does not lend itself to a trip at this time. You have a following here in Nashville that would adore to have you come and speak at the Antique and Garden Show!
    Be well.

    • I’m sorry I won’t see you in Columbus, hopefully another time. Thank you for your lovely words, and I do hope you give the dahlias a go! cr

    • Thank you Pat. As yet they aren’t available but it’s something we’re considering, and will let you know through the blog if this happens, cr

  18. Just trying to get on your email list. A dear friend has been kind enough to forward these to me in the past. I love your posts.

    • Thank you Martha. The subscribe link is in the bottom right corner of the homepage. Once signed up, you will receive notification every time a new blog is posted – the wonders of technology! cr

  19. If ever there is an extra guest needed please let me know.
    Oh, so beautiful! I am inspried by the post of your table settigs. Thanks for sharing

  20. Lovely post! I’m currently in Italia and one of my favorite things is the sorbetto di limone but I’m passionate about lemon in any form! Can you tell me who the lovely green and blue plates are made by? Many thanks. Ciao, Dee

    • Me too! Several people asked about the plates and the faux green bamboo flatware–. I sold these things on my web site years ago sadly I also sold them off in a super tag sale and no longer have them although I think they are chic as can be—but with this middle aged brain I can no longer remember where I bought them sorry

  21. Autumn and Spring are my favorite seasons, for many reasons. Your display is simple, but well appointed – love the colors and textures you have applied. Obviously, you are very talented painting, too, since watercolors are not easy to accomplish; oils you can paint over, but not so with watercolors. I have all your books and have always enjoyed your recommendations. Have you thought about writing a book about china – from fine to every day use; patterns, versatility, etc.

    • Good idea as I so love table ware of all sorts— hard and soft paste porcelain, ceramic, ironstone, creamware, and on and on…. cr

  22. Did I see you mentioned having tag sales?????? Surely you have to let us, your loyal readers, know when you are having another one. I live about two hours away, but would gladly make the trip to see what treasures you may be selling.

    I am enamored of your topiary watercolor. I adore topiary in all forms, so you clearly had my attention with that one. As always, thanks for sharing your little corner of the world. I’d love to see some snaps of the trees in Aspen if you have the time.

    • Kelley—yes to all— next tag sale notification, yes to topiary things and yes to the beautiful aspen autumn—cr

  23. Oh clever, elegant Carolyne, you make me so happy with all these greens (my favorite colour). WHERE did you get those beautiful green ginter jars?

    • I bought them several years ago—and cannot remember if it was Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn or Pier oOe. I have seen them around still so if you search on the internet you may find them – they also came in white…sorry cannot remember where but places are still selling them, cr

  24. Exquisite, always. I miss not being able to purchase your beautiful gift boxes and wrapping paper and well curated home and table items.

    • Thank you Barbara, I too loved designing and selecting it. Unfortunately it just wasn’t viable in the end…..maybe one day, cr

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