The past four months have been a glorious blur of travel — revisiting favorite sights, chancing upon design inspirations in the most unlikely places, taking a fresh look at things that I had heretofore taken for granted.
And all the while feeling so fortunate to be experiencing spring in all its incarnations up and down the Atlantic seaboard. My last stop for book and lecture presentations was the Eastern Shore, specifically Talbot County, which gave its name to the productive garden club that graciously extended me an invitation to be part of their civic fundraiser (ably chaired by Kim Eckert).
Of course, I made the time to capture some representative, and for me, iconic images of this special part of our country. It does have a wonderful “flavor” all its own! Starting with the delicious view from my guest room window at this waterside estate.
Then on to a garden tour at Harleigh, “a working farm where life is all about the land — preservation and conservation; plants to welcome butterflies, birds and wildlife; gardens and grounds to enable farm-to-table eating and a cutting garden to bring the outdoors in. Historically, the 19th century house overlooking Trippe Creek sits on land patented in 1663.” (quoted from the Talbot County Garden Club’s 2016 GardenTour brochure)
Chip and Sally Akridge have done an elegant job of accenting the already sylvan landscape with handsome wooden structures, whose colors are so “spot on” that I found myself asking for paint names and numbers in one breath and plant identifications in another.
Talk about jaw-dropping gorgeousness! I shall never forget the poolside, Oriental-inspired open-arched pavilion…in highly lacquered Chinese red.
Humor plays a part on the property also; in the woodland, just past the stumpery, artistic license was brought to a dead tree where a peaceable kingdom of animals cavort, hide and nest among the branches.
Too creative not to include…a birdbath at Harleigh made of cement and oyster shells from the Chesapeake Bay.
I finished my three days with a stop in historic Annapolis, seeking out a garden folly that had been posted on Instagram. It fortunately belonged to one of the most elegant eighteenth century brick houses I’ve ever seen — the William Paca house — with its two-acres of meticulously maintained pleasure garden.
…and the tidiest raised vegetable beds!
Now I am home in Newport to await a New England spring, which is still two to three weeks away…making it all the more welcome when it does finally arrive.