considering constance spry.


after the Gorgeous Roses from yesterday at The Huntingdon, we picked up the copy of The Surprising Life of Constance Spry which had arrived from a second-hand bookshop in england a week or so ago and polished it off before breakfast (sometimes books are more nourishing than half a grapefruit or a salted italian cracker you see).

the Telegraph has a nice review here, for a very Transatlantic perspective.

and the brilliant Design Museum had a wonderful exhibition with catalog(ue) notes here.


of course the Most Surprising aspect of the inspirational Mrs. Spry was not only her rise to the Tips of Society from somewhat humble beginnings but also her relationship with the painter Gluck which could have Scandalized Society (had they not already been rather  up in arms about the American Woman) apart from the fact that the British (once) turned a blind eye to anything that seemed beyond the Pale.

naturally Anything To Do with an Heiress to a Fortune (as Gluck was) somehow made the affair just something those-crazy-rich-people could get-away-with.

and the Flowers that Connie did were #divine, especially during bleak wartime and subsequent rationing and dark skies and the Unknown future. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

it is always the people who take what they have and make it into something Beautiful that impresses us (you too? we are so pleased). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Constance wrote like a dream – she touched on inspirational depths and Made Do with what was around (many of her beautiful arrangements were notorious for the usage of cabbage leaves and other quotidian garden products pressed into attention at society Gatherings among the roses and the Ferns).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

isn’t this a Lovely verse?

here’s the full piece in all its glory.

Fare Well 

by: Walter de la Mare (b. 1873)

HEN I lie where shades of darkness

Shall no more assail mine eyes,

Nor the rain make lamentation

When the wind sighs;

How will fare the world whose wonder

Was the very proof of me?

Memory fades, must the remember’d

Perishing be?

Oh, when this my dust surrenders

Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,

May these loved and loving faces

Please other men!

May the rusting harvest hedgerow

Still the Traveller’s Joy entwine,

And as happy children gather

Posies once mine.

Look thy last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night

Seal thy sense in deathly slumber

Till to delight
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou wouldst praise
Beauty took from those who loved them
In other days.


and so we take what we read and learn and feel-inspired-by and bring it into our own (humble) abode. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and feel calmed and rested and ready to take on another day with a modicum of grace. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

these are the books we read (or finished, finally) this past week!

as you may recall, we tend to read (a lot) and then donate or give away books-to-friends after reading as we rarely re-read books unless we adore the way the writer swims-in-words.

so today we’re going to pop by and make some new friends by donating these books.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then there’s a Very Full day ahead (it’s still just 08:49AM in Los Angeles you see) of tasks and goals and a meeting – actually two – one is a professional event this evening which we’ll be writing about Tomorrow, no doubt, and some writing (two pieces) and a Proposal and – well – *exhales* – some more coffee Might be required it seems.

but all throughout the day, whenever we see a white picture frame we shall think of Gluck and any vibrant and blowsy-blooms shall make us smile about Constancy Spry.

which is such a Nice way to drift through one’s day, non?

happy monday.


6 thoughts on “considering constance spry.

  1. gosh, what a mousa you have carried in this post.

    i love Ms Spry – have one of her editions I got from a bookstore from the 60’s which I cherish. But i must read this book for sure.

    I feel smarter for having read you today!!

  2. Ah, to break down the prejudices between the kitchen and the flower gardens. That takes courage. And style. I love that.
    And love the lovely time we had on Easter, merci!

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