Thinking Gardens…Inside and Out #15

Monk's house weekend, 1931- the Woolf's at home,
Vanessa Bell visiting
 illustrated by Amanda White

Today was 'garden' day…in the midst a brilliant white landscape we had to put on our garden hats and think green…and retaining walls. 

We had a meeting of artistic minds, architecture, gardens and stone. The topic was retaining walls...the medium, size, location and the impact they would have in the 'big picture' of Tahilla Farm. 

From there we moved onto garden 'rooms' around the property...east, west, north and south. They were referenced as the 'New Hampshire' garden, 'Japanese Zen' garden, and 'Bloomsbury' garden. 

A delicate and simple balance from one to the other, each sitting into the landscape in a gentle manner. 

I had to laugh though…when our landscape designer, Gordon Hayward, turned to me and said "Jeanne, of all the clients I have had you are the one who provided me with the most direction". My first thought, was "oh no, I am one of 'those' clients"

He then added "and it all came from your blog". He proceeded to unroll his drawings and with each one was a photograph or two from posts I had written over the years about landscapes and gardening. They went as far back to our days living in England when the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and rambles around National Trust properties were a regular occurrence. There have been many times when I have been thankful for what this blog has brought into my life and this was one of them. 

Gordon noticed a theme, something I had forgotten, and it centered around the Bloomsbury group and their homes and gardens. He pulled out the book, Charleston, having marked the pages that inspired his drawings. In particular, it was the connection of the interior space to the garden, a continuous space to nurture and encourage the thoughts that stir within. 

It was an incredibly productive meeting…we all felt it. I can't wait for the next…when the snow is melted and spring is in the air.

On that note, I will leave you with a few paintings from my 'Bloomsbury' board on Pinterest. With special thoughts to those of you dreaming of spring in the midst of mountain high snow banks. 

Think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz..tap your winter boots and say…"There is no place like spring in the garden, there is no place like spring in the garden". It will come, promise! :)

'Window, South of France'
painted by Duncan Grant, 1928
at La Bergere, a farm cottage attached 
to chateau Fontcreuse, north of Cassis

'The Room with a View' 
by Duncan Grant 1919
Painting of Vanessa Bell 
at home in Charleston, Sussex
'View into a Garden', 1926
by Vanessa Bell
''The Garden Room'
by Duncan Grant

If you would like to read further, try….Vanessa Bell, 1879-1961, British painter and interior designer;  Duncan Grant, 1885-1978, British painter and designer; Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941, British writer; Bloomsbury Group ; Charleston HouseMonk's House and for the definitive word on the Bloomsbury Group visit Sunday Taylor's blog, Ciao Domenica, start with her post The Bloomsbury Girls.  She is a Bloomsbury girl at heart.

One last one….a room to love in Dorset, the studio workspace of Philip Jacobs, a design artist with Kaffee Fassets Studio. Thinking gardens, inside and out. 

Studio workspace: Philip Jacobs is a freelance artist 
of furnishing and wallpaper designs. 
His studio sits in an old converted stable 
at his home in Dorset.

February 16, 2015
28 Day Writing Challenge, #15
From the hearth side
New England time

28 Day Writing Challenge
Posts to Date

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  1. I loved this post and that your designer had picked up on the vision you have. Can't wait to see the actual gardens some day. Marken

  2. The kiss of the sun for pardon, the songs of the birds for mirth, there is no place closer to heaven, than a garden here on earth. Love Jeanne♥

  3. Pensar en jardines es sinónimo de equilibrio, pensar que la primavera está en el aire con montañas de nieve alrededor es sinónimo de optimismo, en todos los casos proyectar un jardín es sinónimo de bienestar interior asegurado durante mucho tiempo. Jeanne puedo imaginar como te sientes en estos momentos y te felicito y envidio por ello.
    Se que en este post nr. 15 no propones opiniones, ya tienes tus propias decisiones y experiencia y los sabios consejos de tu paisajista. Si me permites valora, si no lo has hecho ya, colocar en el lugar mas indicado un "mar de hostas". Hace años pude ver el que Martha Stwart tenía en su jardín, decidí hacer una réplica a menor escala en el mío, nunca me arrepentí.
    Feliz pre-primavera.
    Esther-D. Abad

  4. Jeanne how lucky you are to have found someone that gets you! I know it is going to be absolutely wonderful. I cannot wait to see it!!

  5. This BLOOMSBURY GROUP........I know VERY little about!I need to re-search.ANd I do follow MADAME SUNDAY!Love love love the fact your garden designer went back...........back far to DIG INTO YOUR DIRT!
    I can just see how PLEASED you and MISTER H will be!
    On a side note for VALENTINES DAY I gave MY MISTER K an old drinking fountain......well vintage the kind we would have grown up with JEANNE!A white porcelain be placed in the garden!!!

  6. loven your post. + how blessed you are to have someone that understands

  7. It sounds like some wonderful things are coming! Can't wait to see them! And that last picture absolutely speaks to my soul. Lovely lovely lovely!

  8. What an inspiring post, Jeanne. And thank you so much for linking to me! Your home in New Hampshire is going to be beautiful because of all the love and focus you are pouring into it. I'm sure it will reflect the beauty and graciousness that always comes across in your blog. And the Bloomsbury group is the perfect place to find inspiration for the garden. Have you seen the new garden book "Virginia Woolf's Garden" by Caroline Zoob? Another wonderful source for garden ideas. Can't wait to see your blog posts about the finished house! xxoo Sunday

  9. Jeanne, how wonderful and productive your garden meeting sounds. I think Gordon is a very smart and intuitive man to have gone to your blog for inspiration!

    It sounds like it is going to be a beautiful combinations of your travels!

    Have a great night!

  10. How incredibly lucky you were to find a landscape architect who took the time to get to know you - thru your blog! - and use it in a good way for your gardens-to-be. It will make the whole thing so much easier. Can't wait to see what happens.

  11. In Hillwood Estate & Gardens in Washington,D.C., the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, there is an "English garden path affectionately called the Friendship Walk...Beginning at the Rose Garden and ending with the circular Four Seasons Overlook, this secluded path is flanked by boxwood, rhododendrons, and azaleas. The overlook is shaded by magnolia, Crape myrtle, white pine, and American Holly trees.”

    Cheri and I visited Hillwood Estate in November, last year, when we were in Washington,D.C.


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