The Allure Of The Incredibly Expensive Candle

During my trip to Paris in 2014, I popped into an opulent little shop on the Rue de Seine named Cire Trudon. Dark and moody, this little boutique’s walls were covered in rich black and gold wallpaper and displays made of black, lacquered wood.  I stared in awe as the sales associate greeted me in the typical “laissez-faire” French attitude. Continue reading The Allure Of The Incredibly Expensive Candle

Garden Tour with Style Domination

I am a diehard gardener.  I just love it…probably my favourite hobby (yes, it trumps shopping).  If you share my same flower lust, you are probably gearing up to welcome spring, dusting off those gardening tools and longing to dig around in the dirt!  It’s still snowing and dreary here in Ottawa, which is doing nothing for my current sour mood, so I’m taking some valuable advice from my dear friend Vanessa and looking at pictures of some of the world’s most beautiful and famous gardens in order to find my happy place.

Let’s start with the glorious gardens of Versailles, France:


versailles-flowers-copyNow off to Villa d’Este,Tivoli, Italy. A former dilapidated monastery, the grounds were recently declared a UNESCO heritage site.

Villa DesteVilla-Deste Lake Cuomo italy

Gorgeous wisteria at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.  Located in Georgetown, the gardens have a very “Merchant Ivory” feel.

Wisteria at dumbarton_oaks2

Now off to the verdant environs of Stourhead, Warminster, England. This is a personal favourite thanks to its expanses of greenery and nice mixture of different tree types, thus featuring brilliant colours in the fall. Henry Hoare II loved the classical era and dotted his Wilshire estate with replicas of ruins and classical buildings such as the Pantheon and Temple of Apollo.  Ahhh – to be rich!


Hopping on over to Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Japan.  Just stunning!  I wish my zone supported wisteria! These gardens feature over 150 wisteria plants of over 20 different species.  The best time to visit is late April and May when the plants are blossoming.  Too beautiful…

Kitakyushu. Japan: Kawachi Fuji GardenBella Taro 6-Kawachi Fuji Gardenkawachi-fuji-gardens-6Here we have the Gardens of the Villa d’Ephrussi de Rothschild, St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France.  I love these gardens mainly because they surround Béatrice Ephrussi’s (a Rothschild baroness) pink confection of a villa. LOVE.


Villa d'ephrussi de rothschild cote dazur

The famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England feature many large greenhouses.  Look that those giant, perfect lily pads and of the “field” of bluebells!

6299965-Kew_Gardens_London bluebells2 at kew

…and last but not least, Canada’s Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  A dazzling example of a reclamation project, the grounds used to be an exhausted quarry until Jennie Butchart filled it with soil from nearby farms.  Her “pet project” eventually expanded into 55 acres which are now home to over 700 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers blooming from March to October.  Look at those happy Japanese maples!  I just love them – one of my favourite tree varieties. Heaven!

autumn-full-japanese-maples Butchart Gardens

Anyone know what this beautiful purple tree is?

Butchart-Gardens-british-columbia-canada-bc-flower-plants-nature-bridge-walkButchart-Gardens-15Hope you enjoyed as much as I did.  Are you a gardener?  Any favourite gardens you care to share?  Better yet, any good spring cleaning gardening tips?  LOL!