Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Decorating Begins...

After our less-than-successful efforts of non-decorating at Darlington last weekend, Boy and I were determined to right this mess, and with new-found zeal plotted out our trip to the flower district in Manhattan to pick up the necessary greens to decorate our house and make up for lost time and sloth.

So yesterday morning with steely determination we pulled ourselves out of bed in our City apartment at 6:15 am and made our way to 28th Street in Manhattan, or what remains of the wholesale flower district. Our first stop was Fischer & Page, Ltd., a purveyor that always has the best, freshest, most unusual, and most gorgeous selection of cut flowers. We were happy to find Chris, a helpful and fun fellow that usually attends to us, and quickly decided with his input that a recently-arrived load of elegant quince branches would be a far-lovelier choice to decorate our drawing room at Darlington than the magnolia branches we had originally thought. We liked the fact that there’s nothing all that much Christmas-y about quince, and so much less expected than magnolia. We put a “hold” on three bunches, along with a plain balsam wreath for the door of our workhouse, and then headed out to scope out the rest of the street.

Our next stop was at Foliage Garden where, with the help of the ever-pleasant and amusing Jeff, we selected a large flat of paper-whites, two clay pots of white amaryllis, and three pots of muga pines. We then moved on to U.S. Evergreens, Inc., and chose two of their beautiful wreaths: the first, made from southern magnolia leaves, we decided would be perfect for the door of our smaller barn, and the second, made from a medley of evergreens, we thought would be perfect for the door to our kitchen, which is our primary, day-to-day entry to the house. Our final stop was Planter Resource, Inc., where we picked up a carton of votives. With all of this in hand we loaded up the Rover and drove uptown to pick up the rest of our stuff, and Pompey.

The Rover, packed to the gills

It was bit of a challenge fitting everything we needed to in the Rover, but we managed to do it. We arrived at Darlington mid-afternoon, unloaded the truck, and set about beginning the tasks and labors required to make Christmas a reality at Darlington House. 

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished results...

The kitchen with all our bags and boxes

More bags in the kitchen, plus 75 votives

The quince branches, ready for decorating the drawing room

A dozen additional Dietz lanterns to light the drive, plus our little Christmas tree

One bundle of the 175 yards of white pine roping

The balsam wreath for the workhouse door

Three muga pines, for the entry table

Paper whites for the flower-arranging room

Our collection of ornaments, organized by color, ready to hang on the tree...

Photos by Boy Fenwick and Reggie Darling


  1. MMMMM decorating there i nothing more cozy and relaxing in my eyes :-)

    Love to do that.

    Hope we will see some pictures :-)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  2. Your organization and tidiness is inspiring.

  3. I am in awe of the organization of your Christmas decorations.


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