The Newport Flower Show theme this year at Rosecliff — Fêtes des Fleurs — might just as well have been talking about what was going on next door at Parterre, friends and houseguests (from Toronto to Miami), flowers galore and fête’s that didn’t stop…with the addition of a special guest of honor, Iris Apfel.
This is always a big weekend (for me, possibly the biggest of the year, given the season and my love of gardens). This year at the Show: a Jeff Leatham luncheon and floral demonstration and Opening night party on Friday, Eric Haskell luncheon on Saturday, interspersed with garden visitors and shopping. That last item, shopping, brings me to a delicious “meant-to-be” story (my male readers may wish to sign out at this point as the post is about to become a “chick lit” piece).
Iris decided to drop off a few pieces of her famous jewels to sell at the Preservation Society booth. One of my house guests just happened to have a chance conversation with a gentleman on the back lawn who mentioned the jewels. Head over we did to that booth and lo and behold, within the selection there just happened to be one that spoke to each of us. Sucking in our breaths, price be damned, we plunked down our credit cards and headed home. It was only as we were each pulling out our already selected outfits for dinner that we realized each piece of jewelry we had selected matched each outfit perfectly! The true finishing touch…
The look on Iris’s face when she arrived at Parterre with the four of us lined up to greet her…wearing her former jewels…was priceless.
The rest of the evening seemed a blur of new friends arriving for cocktails, old friends strolling through the parterres, chatter and invitations flying for the following week’s Mark D. Sikes arrival, sips of champagne. Here are some glimpses…
First step and always one of my favorites… prepping, in the Orangerie which is the centerpiece of the gardens.
…and photographed by Newport’s own Nick Mele, a-Slim-Aarons-for-the-Millenial-set (as I like to describe him).
Although Iris’s birthday is two months away, I wanted to surprise her (as we had last summer) with a fête cake…but this time instead of bracelets, the cake was decorated with flowers, to celebrate the Flower Show. What a finish to a special night.