How Does Her Garden Grow?

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I went back to Martha’s Westport garden, fully expecting to see endless rows of peonies in full bloom. When I got there, Levy, the gardener, just looked at me and shook his head. “You’re too late”. Wow, he wasn’t kidding. Everywhere I looked I saw rain wreckage. Blooms downed before they were ready, because of a really heavy rain the night before. I was so disappointed. But, as I got my camera out of the case, and started looking around with fresh expectancy, I saw the garden story the rain had created. After the shoot, I called Grayson Handy, owner of Prudence Designs, NYC — event planner and floral designer extraordinaire (and client) — to identify some of the flowers — he gave me the dirt on these colorful specimens.

Field of color

Here’s the rain-soaked peony bowing to the dirt


Still beautiful even when it hangs its head


Here are a few who refused to slump


Propped up by their leaves


Heavy but hanging in there


“This is classic boutonniere material when men wore hats” -Grayson


“This is the rose that women really want to get, but instead their husbands buy them cellophane-bondaged roses from the local bodega to avoid having to spend a night on the couch” -Grayson


“Don’t you think of Fantasia when you see these? …You know, the scene when they become bells and start twirling and dancing around” -Grayson




The rain-effect illustrated that with or without plumage, flowers are wonderfully intricate creations


Stripped down to just the pod

“I call peonies the drag queens of flowers…starting with the colors they choose to wear…


…and they just slowly open… working the stage…giving and giving and they reach this big crescendo…

…until they have nothing more to give and then it all comes off… the eyelashes, the wig…


…they collapse in exhaustion, leaving everything on the floor” -Grayson

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