South American Sanctuary

Maria Callas roses in the garden of Marîa Cecilia, Santiago, Chile

Hola, friends!

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. )

My dear friend María Cecilia in Barrio Italia, Santiago, with the first of the vintage finds for the day

María Cecilia’s amazing home in the Andean foothills above Santiago, Chile, where I was very fortunate to spend a few days

Santiago flea market finds and lovely gifts, displayed on the terrace at María Cecilia’s home

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.

Muchos cariños!


New York City: Golden Light

New York City from the top of Rockefeller Center, twilight


View south from Rockefeller Center



Central Park and the Upper West Side, from the “Top of the Rock”, dusk


Empire State Building from the “Top of the Rock”


Twilight arrives on Central Park Drive


The Brooklyn Bridge, dawn


The Empire State Building seen through the Manhattan Bridge at dawn


Empire State Building and the Manhattan Bridge, dawn


A quiet dawn at the lower passage, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park


First rays of morning sunlight strike The San Remo, seen across the lake, Central Park

Dusk and dawn.

A fair amount of time had passed since either of us had visited the city, when, somewhat out of the blue, an opportunity for a short trip presented itself. With a small handful of sunrises and sunsets ahead of us, and graced with perfect weather, we set about capturing the grand and iconic scenes, photographed countless times yet perpetually in demand by our agencies and clients. Great cities change on daily basis, skylines morph and fresh images are always desired.

Taxis, plentiful and swift, were our chariots, zipping us across the urban landscape on early mornings and mauve tinted evenings. I lost count of how many wild, dawn-and-dusk rides we took, chasing the light from Central Park to Soho, from 42nd Street to Brooklyn, calculating how to be at three locations at once – balancing a tripod on the bouncing Brooklyn Bridge in the still-dark morning, catching the first rays of sun across Central Park or the dawn illuminating Bow Bridge, reflected in the still waters beneath it. After some years, we are pretty adept at these maneuvers but they still get the heart racing. Very healthy for the circulation, no doubt. :)

In spite of the early mornings, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. New York welcomed us and impressed us with friendliness, cleanliness and a feeling of safety not always experienced on previous visits. I’m so glad we got reacquainted! And of course there was an abundance of pizza, cheesecake and coffee to soothe the weary soul. :)

Thank you so much for visiting! Much more New York to come. We hope you are all well and will enjoy coming along for the ride!


G (and D)

Chalkboard Roses

David Austin English Roses from my garden: Eglantyne, Lady Emma Hamilton, Graham Thomas, Othello, A Shropshire Lad

David Austin English Rose Eglantyne from my garden


David Austin Rose Geoff Hamilton from All My Thyme Farm


David Austin Rose Geoff Hamilton from All My Thyme Farm


David Austin Rose The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild from All My Thyme Farm


David Austin English Rose Queen of Sweden from All My Thyme


David Austin English Rose Queen of Sweden from All My Thyme


David Austin Rose Queen of Sweden from All My Thyme Farm

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!

Much love,


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