Mary Ann Mears’ Sculpture at Ladew Topiary Gardens

Mary Ann Mears is an international sculptor based in Baltimore, Maryland. In the Spring of 2017 Ladew Topiary Gardens in Harford County,Md installed her works in their meadows including the "Tulip Poplar Seed Pods" blowing in the wind. Listen to the following podcast as Ms. Mears reflects on her work's inspiration and join her and Carlisle as they view her metal works inspiring young and old to play with nature!



Currier and Ives and a Happy New Year

Courtesy of Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA
Courtesy of Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA


  Date: Undated
Artists: Currier & Ives
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 14 x 10 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-106
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert supplemented with Springfield  Museum Acquistions Funds


Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

In November 2013, the Springfield Museums unveiled a new exhibit of Currier & Ives prints from the collection of the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. The display, titled The Connoisseurship of Currier & Ives, is on view through June 15, 2014. The Museum is home to one of the largest permanent collections of Currier & Ives prints.
Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives branded their company as the creators of “cheap and popular prints” marketed towards middle class Americans. When the firm closed in 1907 as a result of advancing technology, the advent of photography and changes in popular taste, much of their material was considered out of date. However, after World War I many Americans yearned for simpler times and sought comfort in nostalgic images. The availability and cost of original prints led to a surge in merchandise created with Currier and Ives imagery as well as reproductions of the original images.
  This exhibition traces the connoisseurship of Currier and Ives over the last century. The images which inspired 20th century artists and collectors to create Currier & Ives themed works will be juxtaposed against original 19th century influences for the firm’s designs. A special section of the show is dedicated to authenticity and explores the differences between original and reproduced Currier & Ives lithographs. This information was provided from the site of Springfield Museums.

Patience Strong’s Book of Homes and Gardens

What is felt from a house facing south?  Shadows on the wall are good.  How fortunate you are if when you look out your front door you see something of beauty.  These are subjects discussed in short yet lovely fashion in  Patience Strong's Book of Homes and Gardens.
by CarlisleFlowers
A Vista of Atlas Cedar by CarlisleFlowers
  "If you cannot have a vista" out your door with some pretty plant or tree, "make yourself a glimpse," Ms. Strong counsels.  Her book,  first published in 1953 by Frederick Muller Ltd. of London, reminds one of a coffee table book, pretty pictures with not a lot of text. Her book measures 8" x 5 1/2" so it can be placed upon a guest's bedside table. Returning to a house "Facing South," Ms. Strong wrote, "How good it is to look at a house that stands squarely in the full light of the sun."  She activates the sunshine by its saturation into a home's brick, stone or timber. The sun's "warm glow must surely linger on" when winter descends.  Just that thought, a bank of sun draws interest in winter months of rain and snow.

Figs Delight

A September Crop, Picture Credit:
Figs with Gorganzola, Picture Credit:
Drum roll please.  Last night to benefit Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton, Maryland,   husband and wife chefs donated a six course meal paired with wines from their own cellar. The third course was fresh figs stuffed with Gorgonzola in a bed of baby spinach with a sherry vinaigrette. The dinner was served on the screen porch of Pickering's main building, a house overlooking Pickering Creek. Mirval Rose, from Provence, a vineyard owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie produces dry and crisp pale pink wine and it was paired with the plump figs,  a word which could also describe the sweet Choptank oysters served with the second course. Tonight we ate figs stuffed with Gorgonzola in honor of our Audubon friends.

The Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen Museum & Library House Beautiful Series, Hillwood: Living Artfully with Marjorie Merriweather Post.

The Johns Hopkins University's Evergreen Museum & Library concluded its House Beautiful Series with “Hillwood: Living Artfully with Marjorie Merriweather Post” .  The Executive Director of Hillwood House and Gardens, Kate Markert marked  the storied life and career of the "American Empress" Ms. Post.  Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress of  the Post cereal fortune, was an only child.  Her father sat her in the boardroom of his burgeoning business at an early age.  A woman of fine taste, business acumen and political savvy, she wielded considerable influence during the 20th century.  That broad timeframe continues even today after her death in 1973.  Hillwood, her home, is a Museum, in Washington, D.C., open to the public.  Ms. Markert described Marjorie Merriweather Post's singular Russian art collection including her two Imperial Faberge eggs. Like the interior of Hillwood, Ms. Post's  gardens (Noted below) are of museum quality:  French parterre, a Japanese garden and if one can call flowers a work of art, freshly cut floral arrangements from the Museum's greenhouses which daily adorn the Hillwood House.  Fittingly, from her summit lawn one can see the spire of the Washington Monument.  Kate Markert described  Ms. Post's time in Russia with her then husband,  Ambassador  Joseph Davies, and after as hostess to presidents and political leaders in her Washington Hillwood Home. Ambassador John Work and Alice Warder Garrett's Home in Baltimore, MD The Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen Museum & Library House Beautiful Series was held in Evergreen's private theatre designed by celebrated Russian émigré Léon Bakst (1866-1924), best known for his set designs for the Ballet Russes. Built in 1858 for a Baltimore entrepreneur,  Stephen Broadbent, Evergreen belonged to the Ambassador John Work Garrett (1872-1942) and his wife Alice Warder Garrett (1877-1952).  The Garretts made their home an artistic and cultural center soon after inheriting the property in 1920. The Gardens of Hillwood, Washington, D.C. The twenty-five acre estate in northwest Washington, DC, was purchased in 1955 by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Between 1955 and 1957, after she purchased the estate, Post hired prominent landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel, to expand the existing gardens. Thirteen acres of formal gardens flow from the house in a progression of “outdoor rooms.” Each of these rooms, meant to complement the 1926 Georgian mansion’s indoor spaces, is decidedly private yet connected to adjacent gardens through subtle transitional features. The layout reflects not only the design vocabulary of the landscape architects, but also the distinctive taste of Mrs. Post. The Innocenti and Webel-designed French Parterre, featuring typical formal elements of an 18th-century French garden, serves as a complement to the 18th-century French art and furnishings. Just beyond, lies the Rose Garden, redesigned by landscape architect Perry Wheeler. Other highlights of the gardens include the Shogo Myaida-designed Japanese-style Garden, a testament to the taste for oriental gardens influenced by the reintroduction of Japanese culture to America during the 1950s; the Friendship Walk, a colorful, flowering monument honoring Post’s lifetime of philanthropy; and the Lunar Lawn, a large, crescent-shaped lawn that provides a view of the Washington Monument.    

“Best in Show” at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2013

Royal Robe Designed by Rob DeBillis of Egg Harbor City, NJ, a member of the American Federated Floral Designers
Royal Robe Designed by Rob DeBillis of Egg Harbor City, NJ, a member of the American Federated Floral Designers
Ms. Maggie Smith Dressed in Flowers from Downton Abbey
Ms. Maggie Smith Dressed in Flowers from Downton Abbey
For podcasts of Philadelphia Flower Show go to: Just when you think how can the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society pull off a better flower show than the year before, here it is.  Brilliant!  Indeed that is the theme of the salute to Great Britain.  England has many flower shows like next month's Chelsea Flower Show in London, a time honored tradition.  We too celebrate flowers with shows around the U.S.  To see the crowds of Americans who have grown up going to the Philadelphia Flower Show and now walking their young ones in strollers to begin the tradition again makes a flower lover at heart quite happy. The Philadelphia Flower Show gets "Best in Show" from this awe-struck writer.  The exuberance, playfulness, creativity, color and shear magnitude of flowers shout Brilliant.  Here are some "Best in Show" pictures.
Subaru Main Sponsor of Philadelphia Flower Show Salutes the Pop 60s Music
Subaru Main Sponsor of Philadelphia Flower Show Salutes the Pop 60s Music
Subaru Main Sponsor of Philadelphia Flower Show Salutes Music of the 60s
The Entrance to the Philadelphia Flower Show 2013
A Flower Fastener Workshop at the Philadelphia Flower Show
A Flower Fastener Workshop at the Philadelphia Flower Show