St. Louis is a town I’ve longed to return to since my last visit, forty plus years ago. With a “thank you” to the Garden Club of St. Louis, for inviting me to lecture, I recently had the opportunity.
What always lingered in my mind about St. Louis was the charming small town feel of a major regional city that also truly captured the gaiety of the old Broadway musical (“Meet Me in St. Louis”). And the gracious, happy residents with an easy-peasy approach to everything. These wonderful thoughts of this special town with its mid-western sensibilities were reaffirmed when I was a houseguest in the Ross family home.
All comfy and cozy with such a lovely view from my window of this white-washed brick home (and its back courtyard). A welcome retreat anytime of the day…
Spring was in full swing in another courtyard, reminding me that a view always seems more appealing through wooden gates.
And blue hydrangeas were a welcome sight to this Newporter!
Opening onto the courtyard scene is a dining room whose walls are lacquered just that delicious hydrangea color, perfect at any time of the year but especially in the spring.
I also had another very compelling reason to visit St. Louis…the Parterre Bench had just taken up residence at Michelle Trulaske’s home (replacing, I am honored to say, the Chatsworth bench designed years ago from one at that English stately home by Oscar de la Renta). Doesn’t it look as though it had been created specifically for this spot? Framing the width between the raised brick border, the two back curves of the Parterre Bench repeat the half circle at the top of this handsome crescent-shaped wall.
A true centerpiece of Michelle’s elegant garden, The “Parterre green” shade complements the blue iris blooming around her pond.
Walking around Michelle’s parklike property…
…included a peek into one of the prettiest formal vegetable gardens I’ve ever enjoyed (notice that the spindles on the surrounding wooden fence are narrow enough to keep out bunnies and squirrels). Centered by a greenhouse (just the right size!) and sturdy (the operative word) wooden tuteurs, there are many take-aways from this creation.
There’s even a chicken house.
In addition to garden visits, my time included lunch at the impressive St. Louis Art Museum, a divine dinner following my talk at the St. Louis Country Club, a stop by the needlepoint shop, Sign of the Arrow and on the way to the airport a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden (the oldest in our country) with its fourteen acre Japanese Garden. I’m already looking forward to my next trip!
Mark your calendars…next week, on June 7th, I will be featuring 12 insights on garden design gleaned from St. Louis gardens. See you then.