Friday, October 9, 2015

beekman 1802 meets blithewold 1907

Brent and Josh display Beekman 1802 Style
Pinch me! Yesterday I had lunch with Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, also known as the Beekman Boys. Yup, all kind of cool stuff is always happening here in the Ocean State.

See the fork and napkin at 6 o'clock? That's where I'm seated!
There's Brent signing a copy of their latest book Beekman 1802 Style, The Attraction of Opposites.

A completely swoonworthy book -- not only is it beautiful with a substantial weight and inventive styling and photography, it's filled with original ideas and useful advice that has me reconsidering my own decor notions but in the best possible way.

Hooray for books!

So how did this all come to be?

In early spring not long after a site visit to stunning Blithewold {for this event}, I was invited to join the planning committee for the return of the venue's Gardener's Day. Without hesitation, I was in. Being part of the proceedings was a treat in itself. Meetings were held at the mansion over fresh baked scones with a talented group assembled and lead by Education Programs Manager, the wonderful Julie Christina (see below). Gardener's Day, Style-Inside and Outside the Home, took place yesterday, October 8, 2015 and it was a success!

Blithewold sweeties, Julie and Dan Christina
Lately the weather has been very-October-fickle (sweater on, sweater off) but yesterday was glorious! Pleasant and breezy with dappled light across the grounds met with unobstructed views of sparkling Narragansett Bay. Spectacular.

The event was staged under a tent on the grounds

The large tent was outfitted with fairy lights, and centerpieces of vessels filled with fresh flowers, herbs and plants, were anything but garden variety. Each banquet chair was festooned with a burlap bow -- a few I tied myself once I got the hang of it. Many thanks to Blithewold's esteemed Margaret Whitehead, for being a patient instructor!

LUCKY ME! I was seated at the table with the special guests! In addition to a delicious lunch, we were treated to an informative agenda filled with planting tips and demos. After dessert the true treat was listening to Brent and Josh playfully shared the true tale of how Beekman 1802 came to be. It's an amazing story! So inspiring and demonstrative of how sometimes when life throws you lemons, not only should you make lemonade but share it with others.

Still with me? A few more deets:

Warm apple cranberry hand pie with cinnamon ice cream by Russell Morin of Russell Morin Fine Catering
Ed Bowen of Opus Nursery gave a lively talk followed with a demo by Katherine Tracey of cleverly named Avant Gardens, which featured how to top pumpkins with succulents.
Artisans, growers and vendors such as Newport's Cottage & Garden were on-hand with displays
My signed copy!
Brent, Josh, me, Style, and the dappled light
I'm now so taken with Brent and Josh that I feel like their number one fan.

The magazine! On newsstands now .

But I'm just one in a billion... just like they are.

Thanks for reading.


Find me returning to Blithewold next month for Crafting Night at the Museum!