Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, and Winter is in full swing, it’s time to cozy up by the fire with some good books! There’s not much to be done in the garden these days but an inspiring read is a great alternative to time outside. Here are two recommendations.
The biography of the late Bunny Mellon, by Meryl Gorden, is a wonderful portrait of an influential gardener and tastemaker. A self taught designer, avid horticulturalist, art collector and philanthropist, Bunny (a nickname… her give name was Rachel) was perhaps best knows as designer of the White House Rose Garden (at the request of President JFK). She also designed her many homes throughout the country (and Caribbean) and built a horticultural library next to none. Though one of the richest women in the country, she always worked in the garden herself (albeit in designer clothing!). A great read about a fascinating woman.
Once you learn about the woman herself, it is fascinating to see photos of her homes and gardens. She reportedly had a style that looked very natural but was, in reality, very precise and choreographed. She would even go as far as to scuff up furniture so it looked “worn”. The Kennedy Rose Garden is perhaps the most formal of her designs, and endures today as a great example of balance and scale. Her private estates, though, provide wonderful imagery, inspiration and insight into her very privileged life.