Saturday, June 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote #19

Rabbit, Rabbit!
Welcome to the 19th edition of Tales of the Traveling Totes.
Join me as we visit a few Texas venues for
art, architecture, antiques, and gardens.

 On the eve of the spring equinox, Miz Checkers and I joined my
garden club friends for a day trip to a fascinating Texas garden.

Peckerwood Garden, located in Hemstead, TX is 
named for the woodpeckers that frequent the area. 

Artist, John Fairey purchased the first 7 acres of the property in 1971 and eventually expanded with an additional thirtynine acres. 

 You can read more details about Peckerwood Garden here.
In John Fairey's words, " There are many ways to describe Peckerwood Garden:  it is a collection of more than 3,000 plants including many rarities; it is a conservation garden containing examples of numerous threatened species, many of which are no longer found in the wild; it is a laboratory garden testing a wide range of new plants and our Mexican dicoveries.  
It is a garden with a mission to encourage other gardeners to see a beauty in landscape that is consistent with out plants and climate; it is a pioneering garden exploring new plants and cultiviation methods and aesthetic concepts for other gardeners.  It is a garden that looks to the future, not to the past.
Yet, most esential, it is my studio, a place where artistic and horticultural research are fused to create an environment that stimulates all of the senses, including the most eleusive of all, our sense of time. "   ~ John G. Fairey

Mr. Fairey's "recipe" for design was to plant an interesting mix along the paths with the low growing plants close to the walk way, 
larger ones placed in the background, and an accent of something unusual mixed in.  He likes to mix various leaf shapes and shades of green to give the space visual interest.

 The Two-winged Silverbell tree caught my attention for it's 
sweet white blooms that flower March through April.  
It is a perfect understory tree, that is
generally insect and disease free.  

 The light blush pink flowers of the Daybreak Magnolia 
instantly charmed me, as the wide upright blush bloom said, "Welcome, Spring."

There is a creek lined with Cyprus trees that meanders through the property.  The Cypress Knees growing above the roots have a distinctive appearance though their actual purpose is unknown.

It was an informative and most interesting day, and Miz Checkers
and I plan to ponder some new ideas for the garden here at HFTS.

The same week, we were off to Dallas for the day 
on a special art related trip.

Our first stop was a visit to the private home, library, and garden of Dallas collector, Harlan Crow.  Respectful of our host's privacy, I'm only sharing this one photo with Miz Checkers and me 
along side a life size wax figure of one of Harlan's heroes, 
Winston Churchill, who just happens to also be my chef's hero.
Our group was given an upclose and personal tour of Crow's home and amazing collection of rare books, manuscripts, paintings, statues, and other artistic treasures.  The original home was built in 1917 and the extensive library wing was added in 2005.
You can google Harlan Crow for various articles on his collection.

Beach at Portici, Fortuny
A stop at the Meadows Museum was next on the agenda.  The Meadows recently acquired Fortuny's Beach at Portici, the last work by this Spanish painter who lived from 1838-1874.  
A special exhibit on Fortuny was the main attraction, but the Meadows also offers an excellent collection of Spanish art.  

 We lunched at Cafe 43 at the 
George W. Bush Presidential Library.
A simple chicken salad, but isn't the presentation beautiful?

From lunch we ventured to downtown Dallas.

Our afternoon was spent at the Dallas Museum of Art.
The main exhibit was the work of female impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot, but the DMA is a wealth of art offerings, so our afternoon was filled with more wonderful treasures.
Along with Miz Checkers I had a special travel buddy.
My sister joined me for the day!

Long time followers of HFTS, know that spring in Texas means
Round Top Antiques Week.
Of course Miz Checkers and I attended!

Later in the spring, Miss Mini Merri Mac and I were invited to  Kappa Settings, an event tailor-made for moi.
A room full of astonishing table settings along with guest speaker, Lela Rose, the event was awe-inspiring.  Miss Mini Merri Mac and I were guests at this bright, sunny table along with special friends and Lela Rose herself.  Those of you who love to entertain would enjoy Ms Rose's book, Pret-A-Party, available here.

Our May Garden Club Meeting was held at Umlauf Gardens, 
one of my favorite serene spots in our busy city.  With torential rain that morning, I doubted we would be touring the paths, but fortunately the sky cleared, and we enjoyed a perfect morning.
Owned and operated by the city of Austin, it is quintessentially Austin with it's shady native Texas plants, small ponds, trickling waterfalls, and dozens of bronze and stone sculptures by noted 20th century American sculptor, Charles Umlauf.
All within blocks of downtown!  
You can read about Charles Umlauf here.

Above is just a sampling of the amazing work to be found among the paths of this garden.  If you find yourself visiting Austin, I highly recommend a vist to 
Umlauf Gardens.

Evidently NYC has banned dogs on the subway unless they are in a bag.  This was Sadie's expression when I excitedly told her we could go to NYC, and she could travel in Miss Merri Mac.
From the look in her eyes, I'd say she isn't interested!

Our Sadie girl much prefers to stay home and 
go for twice daily walks in her neighborhood.
You can see some funny shots of NYC dogs 
riding the subway here

Be sure to visit all the adventures below.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul ~You Are Here
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Also joining

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Well, Miss Sarah, you have had a busy spring with lots of trips!! Your photos are gorgeous, especially your bag on the weathered bench and your umbrella and tote in the greenery!! The luncheon photos look like a delightful time - that table is so cheery, and I spied a cute vintage MC bag!! I think Sadie probably prefers to stay home and lounge rather than to be tucked into a tote - lol. Happy Travels!

  2. How nice to have great friends with the same interests..Lovely pics of you:)Miss one lucky doggie:)

  3. Sarah, what a wonderfully BUSY spring you've had! The gardens and museums would be my cup of tea in spending some leisure time with girlfriends or sisters. The Kappa settings event, I agree, would be tailor-made for you. Round Top would be the icing on my cake of all your spring jaunts.
    Thanks for sharing all these fun outings. Happy June!

  4. Sarah the table you and Miss Mini were seated at just made me so happy - I loved the yellow striped tablecloth.
    I always love gorgeous gardens. My favorite spot was the stream lined with cypress trees.
    Although Sadie doesn’t love her time in the Tote, she sure looks cute and I love her collar! What a wonderful group of adventures.

  5. Oh Sarah the gardens are so beautiful, I've never seen a daylight magnolia, how stunning that bloom is! Sweet Sadie always reminds me of my white Shih Tzu Sherlock, and she looks so cute in your bag! I always look forward to Round Top and what a special table you had! I am crazy over the personalized flower pitcher on the chair! What a cute idea. I'm sure the art museums in Dallas are amazing, thank you for sharing the some of the art you saw. You always look so cute! Have a wonderful summer, and on to our next adventures!

  6. Sarah, you have really been on the go soaking up your TX gardens. I love walking beautiful nature trails seeing all the design and plants. So interesting! The blush pink of the magnolia is lovely. And, to do this with your garden club group had to be fun. Everyone with the same interests for discussions makes it more interesting. Your lunch looked delicious and the museum in Dallas must have been a great final stop for your day. Love the Sadie pics, she's a sweetheart. I think Sadie knows all to well she'd rather walk her familiar neighborhood than getting caught up in all the hustle and bustle in NY. I enjoyed your tour Sarah, great post. Hugs.....

  7. Sarah, you have been busy. Your Garden Club sounds impressive. Fun field trips.
    The Dallas Museum of Art and the Kappa Settings look like fun. Those table settings are beautiful. Looks like a great venue perfect for you. Round Top is still on my bucket list.
    I always enjoy all the TT posts.

  8. Such gorgeous picture Sarah! Looks like lovely trips! And, I love that bag!!

  9. What wonderful adventures you had with Miz Checkers, Sarah. I’ve eaten at Cafe 43, and I thought the food was presented so beautifully, too, besides being so delicious. How fun to have your sister join you. I always love seeing pics of your sweet Sadie.

  10. Beautiful gardens Sarah. i love strolling through gardens. So much beauty and inspiration. I wish I had Magnolia. Such a lovely lunch to partake too. The museum looks interesting. Great photos and of course dear Sadie. She is adorable. I have so enjoyed your sweet vignettes you share with us. Happy weekend.

  11. Time well spent Sarah. We gained a renewed respect for Winston Churchill while touring the War Rooms and Churchill Museums on our last trip to London. Your chef would love these too. Have a wonderful June!

  12. Hi from Northern Ireland dear Sarah! Lovely to read you comments this morning as we awake to another rainy day here in Londonderry. Last night, being Sat., was definitely an Irish celebration of huge proportions in the local pubs and restaurants - plenty of singing, TV football (for others, not me!), cheers and beers. Met lovely local people all ready to chat. . . . . . as the Irish do, so Bob was in his element!
    Tomorrow we head to Sligo which is supposedly very scenic - just hope the showers are light as sightseeing in rain is not the best. At least we came prepared with rainwear, boots and of course umbrellas! Not the June weather we get back home that's for sure.
    So glad to see you are out and about enjoying life with your friends. Miss Sadie looks soooo sweet!
    Hugs - Mary

  13. Sarah - welcome back to Mosaic Monday - and with what a post! You and that tote really get around! The mosaic with the cacti is eye-catching; I have a soft spot in my heart for them. But the magnolia is not far behind with those large, elegant, aromatic flowers! Poor Sadie - looks quite frantic in that bag - I would want to stay home too!

  14. Sadie and Duchess can keep each other company at home, and you and I can escape to parts unknown...preferably with beautiful gardens like you experienced. The gardens are all majestic. Thanks for taking us along. Cherry Kay

  15. Sarah, You take the most interesting trips and excursions! I would have loved to have joined you for a garden tour, Round Top or at the sunny yellow table with Lela Rose! One day I’ll have to get to Round Top. I had to chuckle at Sadie’s eyes peeping out of your bag :) I haven’t tried to put Lola in a bag, I’m don’t think she would be thrilled about it either. Happy June ♥

  16. Sounds like you had a lot of fun in your travels. I love visiting gardens and arboretums too.

  17. Oh how cute is Sadie in that first photo <3 In Finland palm trees, agaves and cacti can survive only under glass in conservatories! A great excursion you had. I loved the statues and paintings of Berthe Morisot - have to google more of her. Wishing a lovely week.

  18. You've been busy, Sarah! Love that you are finding so many different and fun things to do. You've given me some good ideas. :)

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  20. Sarah, what a busy spring and how I would have loved the gardens and museums. Round Top would be a dream to visit. Happy June!

  21. It's wonderful to read about your travels and the fun you've been having! You always make me want to pack a bag and go somewhere too! Enjoy your week!

  22. I love how so many of us visited beautiful gardens this's almost a theme this quarter. Your photos are gorgeous. And I also love seeing the photos from the tour of Harlan Crow's home. The photo with Sir Winston is adorable! I enjoyed seeing your pretty Kappa tablescapes (I saw your photos on IG, too). I hope you travel to some fun locales this summer!

  23. What a great post and the info and photos were GREAT---but I have to confess, I nearly died laughing at the dogs in the subway LINK---one of my all time favorites for sure. Thanks for the fun places to visit and comments.

  24. Dearest Sarah,
    Can't believe how small the world is!
    We know Adam Black, Director of Horticulture at Peckerwood Gardens as he has come to our garden numerous times in order to propagate our rare Golden Live Oak: 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold'
    That must have been a lovely visit with friends!
    Also your next adventure within Texas.
    Sending you hugs,

  25. Nice mosaic and photos. I sm linked in at #19


  26. Hi Sarah, What a fun post! Peckerwood Gardens looks wonderful..I'll have to put it on my travel list. I love the magnolia!

  27. Sarah,
    Congrats, you are being featured at Over The Moon Linky Party.

  28. Fun tales. It's sounds like you have had a great spring. I've seen those images of dogs in bags. Hilarious.


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