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personalized teacher signs Inspired By- The Gardens of Bunny Williams personalized pillow cases vintage

Updated: 2019-09-09 04:49Font Size: LMS

There are a few certainties in the design world: trends come and go, but quality lasts for decades; every season, a variety of experts will proclaim a color—not necessarily the same one—the “new black”; and Bunny Williams, interior decorating icon, will have some of the most exquisite gardens in the Northeast. Need visuals? We took a trip last week to Bunny’s home in Falls Village, Connecticut, where the roses are lushly creeping, the veggies are exploding with color and fruit, the parterre is looking particularly Euro-gorgeous, and there are beautifully blooming surprises around every corner. Come on in.

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In her book On Garden Style, Bunny says, “Great design, wonderful plant material, and delightful ornament: A garden becomes a work of art when these three elements are at play.” Thus her gardenspersonalized teacher signs, situated over 12 acres and full of inspired plantings and unusual antiques and accents from her worldly travels, have been a 34-year labor of love.

Eric Ruquist, Bunny’s chief gardener, notes that when Bunny and her husband, John Roselli, bought the property, the gardens had been long abandoned by previous owners. Eric says, “Bunny didn’t really have a plan at first. She knew she liked a mix of the indoors and the outdoors, and she wanted the gardens reflect this.” Bunny also has a very defined sense of space, so once she designed the structure for each of the six garden “rooms”—the woodland garden, the parterre, the perennial garden, the sunken garden, the orchard, and the vegetable production gardens—her garden team was able to get down to the business of selecting the best plants for each part of the land. “Once you have the structure, you’re allowed to go out of bounds a little bit—plant exuberantly and let things go a little wild,” Eric notes.

When Eric, who studied art and art history at Hampshire College and is a self-taught gardener who apprenticed at Stonecrop Gardens and later became the curator of the organization’s flower garden, came on board, his first big project was turning an old production garden into a French-style parterre. Located in front of a majestic conservatory—featuring tall, gracefully arched windows salvaged from an estate on the Hudson River—that Bunny uses for luncheons and dinner parties, the parterre is a case study in making manicured plantings look natural.

To get the look, Eric defined the symmetrical squares and rectangles with easy-to-maintain boxwoods, then filled in with lots of leafy green plants, and tall flowers in the purple, white, and pink families—like lilac shrubs and the charming cochliasanthus, or snail vine, which twines up an arbor. ?He’s also partial to the Jerusalem oak, with its spiky leaves and Dr. Seussian shape, and the antique oil pots, courtesy of Bunny, that are tucked into the beds as decoration. “One of the best parts about working with Bunny is all the stuff—the antiques, the pots, the containers, the accents,” he says.

Since then, the pair have worked on a variety of garden upgrades, from crafting a man-made waterfall in the woodland garden to creating a “Little Italy” pathway of thyme plants and arbor vitae leading up to a Greek temple–style poolhouse. Their most recent project is the perennial garden, which Bunny first conceived of last fall after visiting an English-style garden in Normandy created by the late, great landscape designer Russell Page. Bunny came up with the overall design; then she and Eric sat down for a series of conversations about color and texture. From there, Eric applied his in-depth knowledge of plants and his artistic sensibility. The resulting garden—finished in less than a year—is a stunner, from its prolific pink climbing roses to its profusion of thistles, spikes, and ball-shaped plants, which Bunny loves for their eye-catching shapes and differing heights.

The perennial garden also features a unique geranium bed—a feature Bunny wasn’t on board with at the beginning. Eric explains, “I love geraniums, but Bunny thinks the flowers are a little too small. So I did a planting in the new perennial garden with black, white, purple, and lilac geraniums. They look amazing en masse.”

Bunny’s gardens are featured annually on the Trade Secrets Garden Tour, thanks to their distinctive designs and unusual plants like the solanum, which bears ominous purple spikes on its broad green leaves, the striated-and-striped setaria (a type of palm grass), and more than a dozen succulents. It’s also a tour favorite for its unmistakable ambience. Where else you can relax on a bentwood chair in the shade of overhanging trees while savoring the soothing sounds of a waterfall, then cross a sunny open knoll—the smells of soil, pine trees, and flowers on every breath—to meticulously designed, European-inspired gardens bursting with color and texture? We can definitely say: not at many private homes. But if you can’t get there in person, no worries. Pick up a copy of Bunny’s best-selling An Affair with a House,?which gives an in-depth look at these amazing spaces, and will provide garden-design inspiration for years to come.

One square foot of fun! At just 12" x 12", these plump little pillows pack a design wallop twice their size. This project shows you how much fun it is to mix and match colors, patterns and collections to really rock a brand new holiday look. That's what our Re-imagine & Renovate series is all about. We pull out a classic fave tutorial and give it a whole new spin with fresh fabrics, trims and notions. Today, we show you how to light up the season with a holiday punch of three amazing collections from FreeSpirit fabrics: Super Fly from Jennifer Paganelli, Kumari Garden Holiday from Dena Designs and Star Flakes and Glitter from Tina Givens.?

Making the best of the available garage storage space is easier said than done, especially if you are passionate about mechanics and you love to fix common problems all by yourself, without taking your vehicle to the local repair shop. However, storing all your tools and other common household items is not as easy as one might think, this is why you should come up with some basic hacks designed to help you maximize the available space, without having to invest in extra cabinets or adding more square footage to your garage. That being said, here you will find more than 35 different DIY garage storage ideas that you should definitely try!

Richard Perry/The New York Times

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