Whether you are a fashionista..or not…the show:

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style

is perfection! It is at the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) in Richmond, Va. I’ve had it on my radar for about six months and then had the perfect excuse/occasion to go. I met a friend, who flew down from Boston, to celebrate a big Birthday for her. What better way than spending time together, walking around this lovely Southern city, staying in an iconic and historic hotel,  and then going to an exhibit that has it all: color, design, texture, history, and the genius of St. Laurent.

I even found this short video showing the set up for the exhibit. Enjoy!


Let’s go back to the beginning of our mini-vacation. We arrived at
The Jefferson Hotel

It has a reputation far and wide for luxury and service and it did not disappoint! The rooms are enormous. Entrance hall; bedroom; dressing room; large dressing closet; bathroom; separate toilet room; marble shower. And each part of the room had exterior windows that opened (I’m a stickler for this..)

Let’s skip ahead for a minute to the following morning. This is where we were at 7 AM!!! We both like to swim so had brought our suits for this salt water pool. My friend was just so pleased to be spending her birthday morning right here! Mind you, this was an especially BIG birthday year…


Back to the exhibit and the museum:
The Perfection of Style
was organized by and first shown at the Seattle Art Museum. This Richmond show is the final and only East Coast venue…so don’t miss it!
It is fabulous. I can recommend it without any hesitation. The very first room you enter has an exhibit of paper dolls. Yes, these have never been shown anywhere! St. Laurent made paper dolls in his early teen years and, amazingly, they have been saved in perfect form. He would invite his two sisters to a “showing” of his new creations for these dolls. The drawings, the detail work, and the concepts are nothing short of incredible for someone so young. And so began his career. By age 21 he was head of Dior.

These top two images are of the embellishments and embroidery used in so many of his creations. The detail work is beyond amazing. The bottom image is of the many hat forms made throughout the years.

Then there is the Museum. The surrounding gardens are a perfect place to sit, stroll, listen to the water and have lunch at the Cafe.


Scenes from downtown Richmond:


I had had The Valentine Museum on my radar for years, wanting to see their textile collection. Finally, we had a glimpse inside and went on the docent led tour of the house.


They also have a lovely garden and serve lunch. We were too late, but next time…

We also had perfect weather: not too sunny or hot which made for great walking tours.

If you can possibly get to the VMFA before the end of August, I urge you to do so. This is one exhibit you really do not want to miss!!






I’m off in another week to England: three days in London, six days in the Cotswolds, and then back to London for four more days.

Here is just a small preview of some of the gardens on my tour in the Costwolds…something to whet your appetite and perhaps you will turn a bit pea green!

Our first day includes Hidcote Manor

 Kiftsgate Court

Three generations of women gardeners: that alone makes me want to visit.

and Campden House

This is the “white sunk garden”; just one of the many gardens in this private estate.

And this is only our first day!! It will be a true luxury to be with other “garden geeks” as my husband likes to call me. No, he will not be there!

My first three nights will be here at
Cotswold House Hotel and Spa
Let’s hope we return in the afternoons in time for tea…always my favorite time.

So there you have a short introduction to my upcoming trip. Oh yes, there is lots more of course. I’m seeing various friends and fellow bloggers; daughter will be meeting me in London for a much-too-short Mother/Daughter trip; I have a much anticipated meeting with two very special people which I will reveal later.

If you’re new here you might want to read about my past trip to England in 2014:

Bath and Kaffe Fassett Exhibit

Sissinghurst Gardens & Where to Stay

There was more…so much more but these were some of the highlights.
As usual, you will be able to follow me on Instagram. I have both cell and WiFi service over there, so I’ll try and post images and stories every day!



One of the things I love most about the garden is the yearly evolution and change of all the plants. Some things stay (almost..) the same and others change dramatically.

The amazing thing is there is very little way to predict this! A warm winter, a cold winter, not enough rain, the plant was just plain unhappy in that spot, not enough fertilizer… and on and on. Some plants die out mid-season and some become more robust each year.

The latter is what we all hope for! I have found that it takes a good three years for many perennials to fully develop and seem settled and happy in a chosen spot.
The image above (taken a year ago) is my
‘Rudbeckia Maxima’
or Giant Coneflower

I actually won this very plant at a raffle about six years ago and planted it on a whim: I had never heard of it and, of course, had NO idea just how tall it would become! By the third year it was at least four feet in mid-summer. Now, it is about 7-8 feet tall! I have to get on a small ladder to really take pictures of it…

This was on May 19th:




Look at these huge leaves!


This on May 29


See how the yellow has deepened? It looks very scruffy and straggly already, just two days later.

June 1

In a few weeks when seeds begin to form, we will have the yellow finches all over these flowers. I’ve tried to capture a picture in past years, but I can only do it by sitting inside and dealing with a window screen…not the best for good photos! But believe me, it is a delight to sit at our dining table and watch.

I divided this plant last fall as well as buying one more, so now I have them placed strategically in several gardens.

These grow in Zones 4-9, sun or partial sun and I know from experience they are easy, if slow, to grow. They do tend to fall all over themselves…so I put a sturdy 5 ft. stake in the ground and tie all the stems very loosely with flexible green cording.

What do you think? Maybe you will go out and purchase one of these perennials?