French Garden Retreat

IMG_1399 IMG_1400Look at the Baccarat–clear sky above the Hameau de la Reine {the Queen’s Hamlet} in these photos, this tranquil cottage on the grounds of Versailles has become my inspiration for the gardens at Heath this spring. I have been researching information on how Marie-Antoinette enjoyed this quiet hamlet as a refuge from the pomp and ceremony of her court. Imagine an exclusively secret garden where no one may enter without an invitation.

IMG_1403 IMG_1418Though I am not compelled to do what André Le Nôtre, Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Jean-Baptiste Colbert did for Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette in designing the layout of the gardens at Versailles by removing woodland and shifting huge amounts of earth to create canals, fountains, flower beds and the Orangerie.

But, I am dreaming of creating my own escape with beds filled with parrot tulips, hydrangea, grape hyacinths along with night blooming jasmine and orange blossoms. There is nothing like being in the fresh air and wide-open spaces during the weekends, and having a body of water close by makes this secluded area and absolute {re}treat.

Garden stylishly in the French fashion,

Whimsical Gardens

IMG_1418 IMG_1433Garden catalogs are arriving daily at Heath and it’s that time of year where I like to sequester myself with paper and pencils to draft a layout of the grounds for spring, summer and fall.

I enjoy choosing a yearly theme and color scheme so; the gardens flow colorfully from one season to the next with a flourish of blooms.

IMG_3131Using photos from Versailles {my favorite gardens}, books and magazines for inspiration I am attempting to create a dream garden where one steps into an enchanted world that speaks of “once upon a time” and all that is luxurious and whimsical. A coveted spot to enjoy during each of the seasons.

Plan and create stylishly,



Gardens of Versailles

IMG_1399 IMG_1403{The Queen’s Hamlet- Marie Antoinette’s private cottage and gardens on the grounds of Versailles}
I have been passionate about flowers my entire life. Growing up my mom was a prolific gardener and would plant beautiful flowers as well as vegetables around the house. And, when the weather warmed I always enjoyed picking the floral arrangements that would decorate the table for family dinners. It was a euphoric feeling seeing the various colors and textures laid out within the garden. So, when I studied drawing it seemed natural that my eye focused on the leaves and stems to the blossoms for which I had a great affinity. Pouring through art books on Boucher, Chardin, Fragonard and my absolute favorite artist: Anne Vallayer-Coster who was painter during the Court of Marie-Antoinette with her exuberant still-life paintings.

 As I continue to pour through books reviewing the details in drawings and paintings of flowers and herbs grown during the eighteenth century plus, remembering the sweet smell of lavender; mimosa and violets from the Versailles gardens with camellias used as decorations in several of the rooms. These scents and flowers are my continued inspiration for the upcoming gardens at Heath.

 Plant stylishly,