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