November 7, 2016

Of Shepards and Follies

Say What?!

My final days in England were fascinating, and sadly coming to an end. First up, a small villages' loss of it's shepard (really?!) but it was a celebration of sorts as there was an auction in the village's town hall with his life's holdings.

My pals Mo and Fleur suggested we go, it will be fun, he was a collector, said in chorus
WHY, as we strolled past thatched cottages, ancient stone walls and misty fields did I envision this guy, again, emerging from the fields with the others?
 In actuality, gentlemen like this strolled up, instantly transforming the day into a Thomas Hardy era/novel, set in the day, certainly not the genteel Jane Austin set. FASCINATING! Did not dare to photograph the crowd, this was serious business! Among the necessary tools of his trade were a few items of note I wanted.

 The spirit bottles on the left are more valuable as the writing is imprinted vs stamped
Authentic sleigh bells from his carriage.......the price soared, I passed
I walked away with these, horse brass, love using them as drapery tie backs, ala Ralph Lauren. Every time I go to England I am on the hunt


2.  a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park.

 As we scouted a new garden for next years trip, this magical setting was recommended. The highlight, her folly.  Now I want a folly. As you rounded the corner, we collectively gasped. If this was not enough, the real surprise was inside.
 Thirteen years, thus far, of adding e v e r y shell, with a vast imagination & endless patience.

This space is for reading, playing bridge and sharing cocktails with girlfriends...sign me up!

 Stone mullioned windows present idyllic views, the vision and sound of a babbling brook
The rest of the property was equally enchanting, those white specks on the hill are their horses, in another field, below, are their rare breed sheep.

Actual olive jars from the ROMAN period.......inherited from her Mother, there were four, near the entrance of their home, she ran over three and decided to move the remaining into the garden
 A perfect Autumn garden
If you get the magazine English Garden, she was featured in the September issue. Join us for tea in this garden next year. With this discovery came another, nearby;  the country home of the producer of CATS. And yes, there is a very good chance we can visit his renown garden....connections work every time.

          England 2017

September 13 to September 22nd
Gardens, mostly private, some public, including Prince Charles Highgrove.
Antiquing, in quaint villages and at a large fair, and stocked warehouse
Floral Arranging course with lunch in a 15th c. barn
A visit to the Textile Barn, current British textiles at low cost. Tea & tour of grounds
High tea in a friends thatched cottage, with a fairy-tale cottage garden

***7 nights in Sherborne, a market town in the rural countryside
***Two nights in the ever popular Cotswolds town of Burford
For further details drop me a line, spaces fill very quickly! These tours are small, myself and Sylvia are the drivers
And........we are adding a new tour
London and the Decorative Arts, an interior tour.
London is the design center of Europe, we will explore the soon to open Kensington Design Center, Battersea Textile and Antique fair, a workshop with Abagail Ahern & much much more
October 2 through October 9th. Further details to follow.

On their way, from my friend Lisa. She sources the vintage French medallions and Monks prayer beads in France. My shop is a lucky recipient.

All my best,


  1. Debra,
    Yes, I would want the shepherd to look like Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) too---that scene, for me, is the most romantic ever. :-) What a fun excursion. I love the garden and grounds you've secured for your tour next year. I'll be buying lottery tickets with fingers crossed (not really) but it sounds like a divine trip.
    Hope you're having a lovely autumn in your region.

  2. You are back with a vengeance glad. Love this post. I would have bid against you on the horse bras ;) Thanks for posting...looking forward to next time...k

  3. I want a folly as well! They are very cool and this one is especially nice with the shell decor.

    Would love some information on the monks beaded necklace? I will have to send my sister into your store.

    Have a great week Debra, how is your pup by the way?

  4. Your trips always look so heavenly....sigh...I am glad you have your blog back and those necklaces are to D I E for!!

  5. Ohboyohboyohboy! And could you let me know when the necklaces arrive. Might make a nice Christmas present to myself! Cheers. See you soon!!

  6. So happy you're back! It looks like an amazing trip and the folly...stunning!

  7. Gasp, indeed!!! I want that folly. Ok, maybe a version of it for our place in Maine. Think I'll start collecting sea shells now ;-)


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