The Gardens at Doris Duke’s Rough Point, Newport RI

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Privet hedge entrance to the perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

The perennial gardens at Doris Duke's Newport, RI estate, Rough Point | HOPE STATE STYLE | Photography by Caroline Goddard

Some photos from the garden’s of Doris Duke’s Newport estate, Rough Point, just in time for¬†the spring flora burgeoning around us. To discover how¬†these historic gardens have intermingled, altered, and accented the natural landscape since it was¬†originally surveyed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1887, be sure to check out Newport Restoration Foundation’s latest exhibition, Nature Tamed, on view at Rough Point through November 5th, 2017. My photos¬†appear with permission from, and gratitude towards, the Newport Restoration Foundation.

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Coquelicots

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I can only surmise that a flower arrangement given to me by friends went rogue after being discarded in the compost heap last summer, because here I am, waiting¬†for poppy seed heads that I did not plant to dry. They arrived this June¬†in the vicinity of their earthly grave, a series of renewed and glorious blots¬†of watermelon set on comically long, skinny necks. I¬†thought about the women in Modigliani’s life when I looked at them.¬†Did you know the seeds sprinkle¬†out of those little arches at the top, like a salt and pepper shaker? I think I’ll sow them by the light of the next full moon, just because the earth in the meadow¬†smells nice then, and I’ve been seeing some fireflies there lately.

French Garden Inspiration: Paris, Champagne and the Perigord

Photos from my fall in France, bursting with garden inspiration. 

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Above: Berg√®res, the country¬†home of the family de Pusy La Fayette, in Berg√®res-Sous-Montmirail, Champagne.¬†The¬†estate’s meadow of shaggy grass provides habitat for a small flock of sheep, and turns silvery gray-green under a heavy evening fog. A quince,¬†ripe for picking off an old rambling tree, will make an excellent addition to homemade apple sauce. Below: Wisteria conquers a balcony in the 6i√®me arrondissement of Paris, just off the Rue Madame.

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Above: Ikea¬†V√ÖG√Ė chairs and a gravel floor create a pleasant nook for moments spent outdoors at the home of¬†artist and art professor Archambault de Beaune, in Champagne. ¬†Berries in the hedgerow catch the evening light, providing visual interest even as the autumn sets in. A¬†thick canopy of fig leaves overhead in the Salon de Th√©¬†at La¬†Grande Mosqu√©e de Paris,¬†a great place to go for hot mint tea and Middle Eastern desserts after a stroll in the nearby Jardin des Plantes.¬†Below:¬†A long avenue leading to one of several tropical hothouses is obscured by plants spilling from their beds at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.¬†Enormous yews in fruit mark¬†the four corners of a path intersection. A pretty mystery plant.

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Below: The long allée of trees tinged with yellow at the Chateau Bergères was a perfect place to practice walking mindful meditation. View from Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. I took this photo the Sunday after the November 13th attacks. The large hillside park was packed with friends who, like me and my friend, were sitting in the sun in the peaceful green space together. 

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Above: Views of the formal gardens at Bergères, and out across the grazing meadow towards the forest. You can see the lovely, low and cragged quince tree towards the end of the clearing. Below: The curious fruit of the medlar tree, which looks something like a giant rosehip, and is said to taste like spicy cinnamon applesauce when eaten very ripe. The tree has been cultivated in England and Europe since the middle ages, but is not very well known in the US. This one was growing on the terraced slopes of Saint-Avit-Sénieur in the Perigord, amongst Roman and medieval stone walls. The incredible texture of lichen on wild roadside shrubs; I found that roadsides were so much more beautiful in the Perigord than here in the US, because wildflowers and long grasses were left untouched. 

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Above: A star apple picked from a communal orchard at the town hall in Bergères-Sous-Montmirail. Below: More roadside lichen in the Perigord. 

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Above: The grazing meadow under fog at Bergères. A woodland trail in the Perigord is dotted with Roman walls and rumored to hold caches of truffles, but no local will ever tell you where. Oak leaves along the trail, indicating some possibility of truffles, which have to grow at the base of these trees in particular. House boats along the Seine screened with bamboo for a little hard-fought privacy. The reflecting pool at Bergères, which is well stocked with fish for eating (I had one, it was heavenly, but I have no idea what kind it was). My host parents and their gun dog, Joker, on a weekend walk in the Parc de Saint-Cloud outside of Paris. Below: Last breath of dusk at Bergères before heading back to Paris for the work week.

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If I had to summarize the French attitude to gardening, at least from what I saw this past fall, it would consist of these two basic points:

If you’re lucky enough to have land, plant something useful.

Don’t fuss. Nature isn’t meant to be tidy. Give a garden good bone structure, and then let it be. Have a few designated areas that are kept neatly, but contrast those with areas of controlled wild.

So, I‚Äôm putting in¬†an¬†order with¬†Fedco Trees¬†this week to that effect. I have about 1/8 of an acre of land in Newport, and I want to use every last inch of it. On my list: American filbert (hazelnut), heritage Fall Pippin apples (one of the oldest American varieties), elderberries, a medlar, and I‚Äôm also very excited to try beach plums and marshmallow in the areas of my property¬†at high risk of¬†coastal flooding. I’m also waiting with baited breath to see how my Chicago Hardy Fig and Smyrna Quince trees have overwintered. Is it spring yet?

Marshfield, VT [Part II]

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Hope State Style | Marshfield, VT | Caroline Goddard Photography

Photos of the Hollister Hill Farm’s self-serve stand and barns in Marshfield, VT. I tried raw milk for the first time and it was incredible! Generally, I’m border-line lactose intolerant but ignore it in the name of good cheese, but when we arrived at the farm after hiking the rolling hills that lay between it and Justin’s house, I was so thirsty that I drank the whole pint glass the farmer had given me to try. You know how milk generally needs to go with something? Cookies, or chocolate or peanut butter? Not so with this milk- it was perfect on its own and made me feel great. The farm was a beautiful model of how a small-scale, well run dairy and meat operation can produce plenty of delicious food and still provide a healthy and high quality of life for all the animals.

// more on Marshfield //

Marshfield, VT {part I]

// more on food and farms //

When Farmers Wore Elegant Tophats

my brief stint as an olive harvester in the Cycladic islands – I wasn’t that good at it. I sort of just took pictures the whole time.

my cousin’s wedding on her organic dairy farm

an herbaceous obsession

and lastly: idealistic foodie college students in a sustainable agriculture class = the most brilliant source of free labor a CSA could hope for! Took these before I had photoshop…my, how far we’ve come.

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// Merry Christmas from Hope State Style, and: On Why Photographers Should Never Be Entrusted with Simple Tasks in Scenic Places //

At the start of advent this year, I had a clear image of a small, poky, and endearingly sparse Charlie Brown Christmas tree for my apartment.  I managed to string together 3 days to flee to New Hampshire, and went with every intention of procuring such a specimen from the woods around my family’s house.

My days in the North Country were primarily spent bouncing from one free wi-fi zone to another, a difficult task in a town possessing a solitary caf√© that has a habit of declaring ‚Äúmental health days‚ÄĚ at will, and a public library that opens for 4 hours at a time sporadically throughout the week.¬† Generally, the work of a blogger is never done, as the omnipresent Internet prevents us from leaving work at work, but in Franconia, I was forced to ensure that my workday ended at the reasonable hour of 6. ¬†After my last oasis of connectivity closed for the day, the evening stretched before me, pure, sanctified and full of possibility.

A combination of mountain air, freezing cold and long walks inspired an astonishing appetite by the end of the day that I spent most of my night tending.  The rest of the evening hours were left to read by the fire in the utter silence of our little hill.  It’s no wonder Robert Frost kept a cabin retreat nearby: with no sound but the occasional whistling of the Bungey Jar, a cheeky local wind known to whip down chimneys and kick the contents of the hearth all over the room, it is possible to feel truly alone in those woods.  I brought along a favorite read РMurakami’s Norwegian Wood Рand felt like I was following his confused hero and heroine, blundering with them towards their tragic end in the lonely, snowy setting of the mountains beyond Tokyo.  Perpetually lagging at that dreamlike just-out-of-reach distance, the words of warning I wanted to shout at them would be muffled, and fall short.

On my last day, I breakfasted on toast with olive oil, bleu cheese and fresh figs and then set out into the woods.¬† With the house‚Äôs worn carpenter saw in hand, and me suited up in my mother‚Äôs sky-blue down parka – the one she wore in so many of my baby photos, holding me as it snowed ‚Äď I was fueled by the idea that I had picked up and rekindled a neglected family torch.¬† In my grandparents‚Äô lifetimes, when the entire Goddard clan spent Christmas together in the house, we would process into the woods en masse to select our tree and then carry it out with great ceremony, one long line of lanky relatives extending behind it down the road.¬† But after my grandfather died, and my grandmother‚Äôs health declined, our family Christmases ceased to pan out, and the house has stood empty at the holidays for quite some time now.

Unlike the previous two days of overcast, gentle snowfall, on this morning the sun cut through the trees and glinted off what snow had stuck, making it hard to see into the forest’s depths.  I hiked up the hill, further and further into the woods, searching for the prefect tree, yet each time I came across a reasonable contender, I couldn’t bring myself to cut it down, so anthropomorphic was its crooked and tiny stature.   And even more distracting than the childlike innocence of these saplings were the woods themselves, which revealed to me the curious interplay of plants that had not yet succumbed to the forces of winter, and the creeping presence of snow.  Ferns and mosses blanketed the forest floor, but in the clearings, scraggly grasses flopped in pleasing patterns under a fresh white dusting.  The saw became cumbersome the more I favored my camera, so I dropped it somewhere memorable, abandoned my original mission and set about wholeheartedly capturing the scene.

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In the end, I settled on making wreaths for my apartment in lieu of a tree, and in scouring the tree line at our meadow‚Äôs edge for material, my eyes were opened to an astonishing biodiversity amongst the conifers that are so frequently lumped together and mis-labeled ‚Äúpine trees.‚ÄĚ Firs, spruces and pines lent their contrasting textures to my basket of clippings, while the branches of downed trees covered in grey-green lichens provided a pleasing counterpoint to the expected Christmas green.¬† In the meadows, a variety of dried wildflowers and seedpods still stood tall, caught between their verdant past lives and the inevitable, crushing weight of the snow drifts to come.¬† Upon returning to the house, I promptly scattered all of these findings across the dining room table in the messy fashion characteristic of any project I undertake, and became engrossed in making my wreaths.

I am continually overwhelmed by the power of memory and family tradition.  Without them, would I have had the ridiculous idea to drive 200 miles out of my way for the sake of one measly little tree that I never ended up finding?  Weeks after this adventure, my favorite sweater still smells like the woods, the house, and the faulty chimney flue that smokes the upstairs.  A spot of sap on my gloves sticks to my steering wheel, and my wreath is placed right where I can see it as I enjoy my morning coffee.

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Read More:

It’s not the first time these woods have inspired a post.

and

My introduction to wreath making came at a monastery high up in the hills of Greece.