Remembering Bunny Mellon

bunny mellon biography meryl gordon

I have been long awaiting the new biography of Rachel Lowe Lambert Lloyd Mellon, commonly known as Bunny Mellon. She was born into a wealthy family (think Gillette razor and Listerine fortunes) and later married banking heir and art collector, Paul Mellon. Bunny passed away in 2014 at the age of 103 but her legend lives on. She made major contributions to the horticultural field, as well as the arts, design, and being a philanthropist. She was a friend of the Kennedy’s and put her thumbprint on many landmark gardens, including the White House Rose Garden during the Kennedy era.

The book “Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend” was released yesterday and is authored by Meryl Gordon who, according to the book’s description, had “access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.” To celebrate the release of the new book, today I would like to remember Bunny Mellon by taking a look back the garden house of her former 4,000 acre Virginia estate known as Oak Spring Farms. The beautifully mastered trompe l’oeil floor to ceiling murals were painted by French artist Fernand Renard. The space is a gardener’s paradise. bunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 5bunny mellon virginia greenhousebunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 6bunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 10bunny mellon murals Reviving Charmbunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 7bunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 2bunny mellon greenhouse_Reviving Charm 9bunny mellon garden room_Reviving Charm

For Sale: The Former Home of Author E.B. White

Do you recall reading the classic children’s book Charlottes Web? It is American author E.B. White’s most famous book first published in 1952. If you haven’t read it or don’t recall the details, then here is the Cliff Notes version: The book tells the story of a deep, loyal friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a barn spider named Charlotte. Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered and his friendship with Charlotte is what saves his life. Charlotte devises a plan to spin messages in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let Wilbur live. Her plan is successful and Wilbur’s life is spared. The story goes on to explain how Charlotte stays with Wilbur until the very end of her own life. Count on a children’s book to teach us a lesson about true friendship…

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing…after all, what’s a life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die…By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.  — E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web.charlottes web EB White

E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Angell, a former New Yorker magazine editor, called a 48-acre farmhouse property in North Brooklin, Maine “home” for over 40 years. The property was sold in 1985 to the current owner’s, Robert and Mary Gallant, who recently listed the property for sale. The circa 1795 home is the subject of an article that will be published in the September/October issue of Yankee Magazine, but a preview was just posted on their website. It really is a lovely article that I highly suggest you read. 

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eb white barn mainThe property’s barn inspired Charlotte’s Web. The rope swing still hanging in the barn is referenced in the book.White did much of his writing in the boathouse where the author’s desk, bench, and wastebasket still remain. eb white boathouse mainehome of eb whiteeb white maine farmhouse 2eb white farmhouse maine home 3eb white farmhouse maine 4

Poolside Perfection

Happy Memorial Day! I sure wish swimming was on the agenda for today. When Mr. B and I were searching for a home a few years ago we contemplated the idea of purchasing a property with a pool. In our case, it wasn’t meant to be as our seaside ranch home is sans pool. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t covet the patriotic pool on the six-acre property in Northern Italy of noted photographer Oberto Gili and his wife Joy Sohn. I finally ordered Oberto’s book, “Domus, A Journey into Italy’s Most Creative Interiors”. With Amazon Prime shipping, my book should arrive today (on a holiday?). Now if I could only read my new book next to a beautiful pool like this one, it would be pure poolside perfection!

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Image via Architectural Digest