Posting from the road today, currently in sunny Viña del Mar, Chile, after spending last weekend in Santiago with my wonderful friend María Cecilia at her stunning home in the hills above the city. (If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen some of these images throughout the past week already.)
María Cecilia and I have been blogging friends for over three years and first met in person two years ago. We’ve always hoped to meet again for a longer visit (and to do some dedicated antique shopping). Last week I returned, spending several days in her beautiful mountain retreat. And with her expert advice and guidance through the maze of the Santiago flea market, I collected wonderful pieces for use in upcoming photo shoots. But the highlight was absolutely the time we spent together and I am very grateful for her kindness, generosity and joyful spirit. Many of you know her from her blog Casa Dulce Hogar and if not, you are in for a wonderful treat as you explore her breathtaking, rose-filled posts, all photographed at her exquisite house and garden. The serene and peaceful atmosphere she has created there is magical – soothing and rejuvenating. And her enthusiasm and energy are a pure delight. (More photos from my previous visit can be seen here. )
Thank you, Chichi, for sharing your beautiful world with me! Without the connections of blogging, I would not have met this lovely friend. She, and all of you, are so important in my life.
Wishing you each a wonderful week ahead.
Hello, dear friends!
Autumn is truly here with its lacy golden and crimson leaves but that needn’t preempt our desire for roses!
Early in the summer, I had the great fortune to meet up with Dawn, a passionate flower grower in the Skagit Valley an hour north of me, whose beautiful farm, All My Thyme, specializes in David Austin and other sumptuous English garden roses. You can imagine that I was in heaven walking the fields with her and seeing all the varieties she grows. We spent hours discussing the finer points and challenges of so many favorites.
We embarked on a project (not yet complete) to photograph each one, so I began creating these petit bouquets. (The first one above features blooms from my garden and the rest showcase individual varieties from Dawn’s farm.)
Each image was photographed in my studio on a plain, charcoal-colored background. To create the impression of a chalkboard, I used the Chalkboard texture from my friend Shana’s wonderful Florabella texture collection.
In other news, we’ve just returned from a fantastic visit to New York City, where we were greeted by glorious weather and the first hints of autumn color. We stayed here (with a stunning view over the San Remo apartments and Central Park) and ate in fun Upper West side bistros like this one. But mostly we were up (painfully) early to photograph the sunrise in various locations, including Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. Will be sharing those images here soon.
Wishing you all a very happy and fulfilling week!
Bonjour, mes amis! Today we revel in the sumptuous roses and iconic architecture of the Palais Royal in Paris, an oasis of calm and peacefulness away from the perpetual bustle of the city. From The Louvre, you cross rue de Rivoli and rue Saint-Honoré to Place Colette, home of the state theatre Comédie Française, and enter the Palace through a beautiful colonnaded portico.
Pass through the courtyard of the Cour d’Honneur with its black-and-white striped Buren columns and grey-and-white striped awnings, a motif that I love juxtaposed with the riot of random color and shape in the gardens, which extend beyond through the arcade flanking the courtyard.
Quiet instantly envelops you, and the carefully placed chairs and benches beckon, populated more by local Parisians than tourists.
Taking your seat, a bright sea of bloom greets you from every direction.
Not only roses, but white anemones, orange rudbeckia and all manner of summer flowers abound.
Wandering the dreamy abundance of the floral displays feels like walking through an Impressionist painting.
The gilded finials on the black gates of the arcades surrounding the gardens are another well-known feature. I love the contrast of the precise architectural symmetry with the exuberant wildness of the roses.
Double rows of clipped lime trees filter the light, adding a golden sparkle to the scene.
Hours can pass quickly, but as you reluctantly leave the gardens, returning toward Place Colette, stop by the delightful theatrically-themed gift shop for the Comédie Française, and then savor refreshment and people watching at the stylish Café le Nemours (I can recommend the warm chèvre salad and chocolate soufflé).
Palais Royal is a stunning retreat in which to recharge from a busy itinerary. Its proximity to major landmarks merely heightens its appeal – a welcome respite awaits mere steps from The Louvre.
Thank you so much for joining me! Á bientôt!
(I’m very happy to be able to share these images from my trips last year. Currently, I understand the Palais is undergoing renovation and the views and photo ops are somewhat marred by scaffolding and construction.)