Recently, with my family of friends, I celebrated The 22nd Anniversary of Rosebrook Gardens. Every time I have a party, I make sure each and every person who comes to my home is welcome and knows how special they are to me. That said, I also got a lot of help from the magical members of Team Mar, who were invited as guests as well! The day was simply perfect – not too warm, not too cool, and no rain. I arranged for a tent, created a specialty cocktail, had passed hors-d’oeuvre and a band, too! It was a quite an event.
All through the day before, I pruned and prepped the house and gardens to perfection. I repotted mums, trimmed branches, and smoothed gravel. I added new pillows to the exterior bench and arranged topiary and terrariums indoors and out, to show these oh-so-important design details off to their best advantage.
I had vase after vase of flowers to fill the powder rooms, dining room, sitting room and foyer with blossom. To me, flowers are such an important addition to any party – they add festivity, don’t have to cost a lot, and make everyone smile.
Clare made the hors-d’oeuvre and also helped me create a signature cocktail for the occasion. We called it The Rosebrook Delight; a heady mix of homemade shrub, ginger beer, lemon juice, and dark rum. A shrub is an acidic concoction made of fruit, sugar, and vinegar that adds complex flavors to your drinks. They are both delightfully old-fashioned and very au courant in the cocktail world. In this cocktail, the caramel flavors of the apple shrub marry lemon juice and rum beautifully for a warming autumn drink. The day of the party, Paul picked up the last minute items and washed the slate patio.
Clare set up the hors-d’oeuvres–so many and so yummy! (My faves? The cucumber caviar cups!)
She corralled her teenaged twin boys to act as waiters. She also enlisted her ex-husband and a good friend to act as bartenders – proving there’s friendship after divorce!
My neighbor Barbara was in charge of the Von Schnorkenheimer girls; both of whom were wearing their jeweled party finery, and on their best schnauzer behavior.
The inimitable Elayne and Dave arrived early and brought the band along to provide excellent music and a festive air to the occasion.
I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many talented and genuine people, all of whom make my life (and my parties) so much fun, and such a joy. It’s worth celebrating the special people in your life, whether it’s with a big party or a simple dinner at home. Let those around you know how much you love and appreciate them, as often as you can.
I am also blessed to have Rosebrook Gardens as my home. This house has borne witness to the journey of Casual Luxury from conception to execution. Just as people are always surprising me with hidden talents, Rosebrook Gardens still surprises me with unexpected moments. The house and garden are ever-changing, growing and developing – every year brings fresh joy. We celebrated these changes whilst honoring the memories of the past, and anticipating memories to come. As a steward of the Rosebrook Gardens, I know my time and place here are only the beginning. This place will offer endless beauty in the years to come; outliving us all. I may be the first homeowner, but I certainly won’t be the last!