Entertaining, Everyday Chic

Romancing the Orangerie

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What could be more romantic than four rare ‘Hally Jolivette’ cherry standards, swathed in tiny individual shell-pink blossoms that sway in the soft breezes of a mid-April dawn. They are so special that I plan my spring trips to Europe around their bloom period. Just seeing the branches fluff up and fill out over 2-3 weeks, the first blooms on our property, makes me sigh and feel that all is right in the world. If that isn’t the meaning of romance, what is?

And then the Eden roses in the same pink, draping the eastern side of the Orangerie, come along in early June to add more romance to the scene.

Newport’s signature blue hydrangeas follow in July, providing centerpieces for some of the luncheons that take place over the summer.

While stunning purple clematis drape the wall leading down to the Orangerie from the Fountain Garden.

But it is in the evening when the Orangerie literally glows with captivating promise.

Credit: Maaike Bernstrom Photography
Credit: Maaike Bernstrom Photography

Dressing her for her closeup photos is a ritual I so anticipate. My favorite photographer, Nick Mele, is always on the scene, capturing the party activity throughout the evening.

As candlelight in many forms, from the trees to the paths, provides a star-studded route to dinner al fresco.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Courchesne

What awaits inside varies from party to party, but the two side tables (one with an old tin-lined sink) add a note of formality and welcome resting spots for entertaining essentials.

For two Augusts in a row we were honored to have a special dinner guest who also celebrated her birthdays in the Orangerie.

Credit: Maaike Bernstrom Photography

Now, fall is upon us. Soon these brilliant green leaves of summer will give way to shades of orange, russet, and golden brown….and then blow away in the wind, to be swept up and added to the very important compost bin. As one season closes another comes along…and then the cycle begins all over again….the Orangerie standing steadfast through it all.

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