The Orangerie in Parterre’s garden was a most special surprise Christmas gift in 1997, given to me by my husband, Jonathan, as we began our house building project.
While originally intended as a greenhouse (the glass roof opens), we early on made the decision to treat it as a centerpiece with summer entertaining in mind. And as summer 2019 winds down, we anticipated a small birthday dinner for a dear friend. Of course we held our breaths regarding the weather. Beastly humidity plagued us for weeks, including a few bouts of rain, but last Saturday night was crisp with a lovely breeze. Serendipity prevailed…out came the balloons!
Having just returned from touring luscious gardens in Maine, moss, ferns and lichen were on my mind…which just happened to be the pattern in a new tablecloth I’d been longing to use.
But what truly engaged me was romancing the details in the garden with candlelight…from pebble paths edged in cobblestones…
to a chandelier of multiple votives.
That chandelier (actually two tall wall sconces wired together) was dressed in ferns and greenery that repeated the woodland tableau centerpiece below.
Lanterns also took up their posts (excuse the pun).
As dusk turned to night, we proceeded down the terrace steps, turned right, and headed along the path to the orangerie.
The menu began with yummy summer tomatoes to kick off an evening of conviviality, conversation and shared common interests, sprinkled with laughter and wit. In what seemed like no time, we were bumping up against midnight…
“A good night was had by all.”
All images credit, unless otherwise noted, Michelle Pugliese for Private Newport.