The Bee’s Knees

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Just when we thought Spring would never arrive in Chicago, it dropped in for a surprise visit yesterday afternoon.  The Chicago Botanic Garden, one of our favorite places to explore during any season, is bursting with buds and flowers right now.  I took these photos on a path winding through the Japanese Garden just as the sky shifted from overcast to this glorious blue.

DSC_0145DSC_0148 DSC_0146all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Sunday Brunch

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There is no easier way to entertain than hosting a weekend brunch.  On Sunday we had family visiting from Cleveland and because I wanted to enjoy our time together rather than spending it darting in and out of the kitchen, I kept everything incredibly simple.  I made these scones (adding the zest of a lemon to the dough), filled my favorite Jill Rosenwald bowls with Greek yogurt, crunchy granola, clover honey and berries from the farmers market, brewed some Illy medium roast, and set out fresh squeezed juice with a champagne option.  The scones were served with lemon curd, wild Maine blueberry jam, and English double devon cream (it was the final day of Wimbledon, after all) and everyone assembled their own yogurt parfaits.

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On a side note, I spent several hours on Saturday planting flowers in front of the hydrangeas (better late than never) in anticipation of our company so of course they came to our mud room door rather than the front door and didn’t see them!

Farmers Market Friday

This morning I made a quick trip to the Lake Bluff Farmers Market and could not resist snapping a few photos.  I, without fail, spend every bit of cash I have on hand whenever I go.

DSC_0195From the fresh squeezed lemonade/limeade stand.

I can’t wait to put some of these in an omelette.

This is always my favorite flower stand.  I had them make up this bouquet of peonies and cornflower:

which matches the outfit.  Not on purpose.  SO happy my hydrangeas are blooming!  I know, we need mulch.  Don’t get me started on the landscaping.

Can’t Miss

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antiques and Garden Fair begins today, and if you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.  Vendors from the United States and Europe bring their best antique and contemporary garden and interior design wares, and the floral displays are spectacular.  Last year, I found an amazing antique English wrought iron and marble garden table (now an end table in my living room – see below) and I discovered Molly Flavin’s incredible floral designs (see here).

Today at 11AM world renowned interior designer David Easton (he designed the wallpaper in my dressing room – see here) is giving a lecture, “A Design Journey of Past, Present and Future” and he will be signing his new book, Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton.  Another can’t miss lecture is David Howard’s “My Gardening Life,” taking place at 11AM on Saturday morning.  He will discuss his four decades of gardening in England, most notably for the Queen and Prince Charles.

The Antiques and Garden Fair is Friday-Sunday, April 20-22nd, from 10AM-5PM each day.  Located in Glencoe, Illinois.

Image 1 via chicagobotanic.org

Flower Lust

The flowers for this weekend’s dinner party were insanely gorgeous and I cannot take credit.  Molly Flavin, the amazing florist and owner of Molly Flavin Floral Designs, filled our house with the lush and fragrant blooms of spring.  Peonies, ranunculus, hydrangea, grape hyacinth, and cherry blossom branches  – all favorites – provided the perfect backdrop for a lovely evening.

front hall arrangement, above and below

white ranunculus in the powder room, above

white hydrangeas in the dining room

cherry blossom branches and hydrangeas in the living room, above and below

grape hyacinth on the bar, above and below

hydrangea and ranunculus in my favorite French opaline glass vase

The white ranunculus are now on my bedside chest and the grape hyacinth have moved to the kitchen, where we spend most of our time.  If only they could last until spring actually arrives!

all images via the aesthete and the dilettante