Much Madoo

July 16, 2015 § 5 Comments


Charlotte Moss and Frances Schutlz were at Madoo to talk gardens and read from their excellent new books. Get them both — they are wonderfully diverting.

One of my favorite gardens by the beach is Madoo, which was founded by the artist Robert Dash back in the late sixties. I’ve been visiting this place for years and never tire of its extremely personal and heartfelt design. Mr. Dash died a few years ago, but The Madoo Conservancy has kept the spirit of the place very much alive, and they always have a number of events throughout the year to celebrate all that is wonderful about life in the garden.

Most recently, Mr. H and I attended a lunch featuring a talk with Charlotte Moss and Frances Schultz about their love of a good garden and making a home. Since these are two of my favorite topics by two authors and designers that I adore, I was pretty excited at the get-go. And the day didn’t disappoint….

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Who gives out corsages anymore?!? More importantly, WHY did we stop??  I think I would have left mine all day if the rest of my day didn’t include dog walking and making dinner.

Upon arrival at the lunch, everyone was given one of these delightful corsages. Almost all the attendees were game enough to wear them, even the men, some of whom who nattily tied them to their belt loops. (Very chic.) Talk about setting the mood! It was the perfect, transporting little detail that is a hallmark of the place.

Then we were treated to wine and nibbles under a tent-covered pergola (it was a slightly rainy weekend) that looked out onto one of the more formal parts of this rather informal garden. After some book buying and chatting, Charlotte and Frances  read a bit from their excellent new books and then had a fun panel discussion about their life in the garden, which really isn’t very different from anyone’s  — in the good way.

Next up was tucking into our delicious lunch that concluded with these cuties…


I don’t really eat many sweets, but the pot de creme in a terra cotta pot could not be resisted.

Totally charming and awfully tasty. So much so that I almost forgot to get my book signed by Charlotte Moss. Thankfully I did not but I did turn into a complete Nutty Fan who just had to tell Charlotte Moss how much I loved Winter House — to be truthful, my actual words were “that one killed me”. She looked up, concerned, and then asked “how?” And I fumbled and just said something like “oh…just the whole thing…the perspective on lifestyle…you know…detail…”. I mortify myself sometimes…

Charlotte was cool about my complete un-coolness and somehow I felt like it didn’t matter because (aside from the fact that there was probably some kind of security) we shared a love of gardens. Which is was what makes visits and events at Madoo so wonderfully different: There is no posturing, no looking to see “who’s here” or deciding who was wearing the best or worst outfit. It is always about the garden…learning, sharing and connecting with people who have this one, marvelous thing in common. Given how easy it is to feel disconnected in these highly “connected” days, I find this to be a hugely comforting thing.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Trust Me on This

July 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

For instant refreshment, especially if you, say, are trying to run in the early morning and come back covered in sand and sweat, nothing is as lovely as cucumber water. Just add a few slices to a pitcher — preferably an attractive one — of filtered water and keep in the fridge. The slices will need to be replaced every other day or so, and that is it!



(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Just a Quick Reminder…

July 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

I lost a friend today.

We worked together a million years ago when she lived in New York and remained friends all these years later. She was the first person to take me to Takashimaya on 5th Avenue, where the flower shop on the first floor was always an inspiration. She also showed me how to tie a ribbon around a package without leaving that funny bump. (I promptly forgot.) And we had countless laughs at the nuttiness we experienced at work and in life when we were younger.

I remember the madness of the week before her wedding. How pretty and happy she looked in the photos from that day. And how her husband looked at her with such love and affection every time I saw them together.

I remember a wonderful afternoon we spent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she later worked, and that she was expecting and that I brought her a little gift from Petite Bateau. We caught up on a bunch of things, including this new guy I was seeing…yes, it was Mr. H.

I also remember our last meal in the city where we had a great time but also she mentioned that she was sick…and that she would beat it.

She did for many years, but since that time I didn’t get to spend much time with her. She was living in New Hampshire and had two boys and you know the drill…

But tonight I so very much regret this fact. I could have visited her there. I could have invited her here. I always thought we had time, even though I knew that we didn’t, really. So, just a little reminder to take the time, be with the people who make you happy and who you love. It is important.


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