A few weekends ago we toured some estate gardens during the Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire. It’s a fundraiser for Hands of Hope which makes fresh water, sustained food, education, and yes, hope, possible for families in Africa. (See a wonderful description of their work here.) We bought a goat. We actually don’t have the goat, so no pics of baby goat cuteness in this blog’s future. Instead the goat will provide milk and more baby goats for an African community where needs are far far greater and more serious than mine.
If you live in the Chicago area, this is an annual spring event, and the opportunity to walk the gardens of these grand Barrington area estates is so worth it! I’ve seen the tantalizing flyers in all the local garden shops for years (yes because I frequent all the local garden shops!) and thankfully this year we finally participated. My husband is a private pilot and our airport is located just north of this area. When we fly south, I’m nearly leaning out the window all agog at the homes below us. But truly, now that I got to see a few of these places much closer (and with feet planted firmly on the verdant well-nourished ground) I appreciate the generosity of people who share their gardens with so many. The flowers and greenery caught my eye more than any building. Clearly the owners and creators of these gardens have a rare level of appreciation for plants and the sustenance and shelter for wildlife and the feelings for humans that these landscapes make possible. It was a day of beauty. I did wonder why such beauty has to be so much more accessible for the wealthy, though. I guess that’s how it is. But is it how it should be? In Maslow’s hierarchy, fresh water and food are certainly the foundation of needs but how much further up should beauty be? Beauty feeds the soul.
One commonality — every estate had stables nearby because this is horse country with winding two-lane rural roads crossed with miles of white fences and riding trails. Although we’re asked to not take photos, I did sneak a private few for memories for our own garden inspiration. I cannot, will not share them here. Thus the photo-less post. If you want to see what lies beyond those long curvy drives into 15-acre estates, sign up for garden tour fundraisers like this if you hear of some where you live. The Garden Conservancy is one place to find some spectacular gardens — indeed our favorite garden from this tour also participates in The Garden Conservancy tours.
There are a few images at The Daily Herald – visit this link for a story about the Olsen gardens, Woods Walk, which was a wonderful wonder to visit.
Feeling guilt-ridden over leaving a post sans any photos, here are some equestrian style images. First up, from Susie Blackmon Flickr:
A hitching post in New Orleans (with snow in N.O.!) by Kat Nezler on Flickr:
From TravelPod page Good Kentucky day – a combo of stone and wood fencing, love this look:
Moving indoors now, just a dash of equestrian style, from Apartment Therapy:
Via Country Living:
I like equestrian-inspired fashion more than home decor though, so not much inspiration from this will make it into our India apartment. There. Finally squeezed an “on topic” mention into this post.