Sunday, May 15, 2011
"Das Alte Haus"
How about these lilacs? These represent about a tenth of what's blooming around the house, lilac-wise. The formal gardens and greenhouses of the past may be long gone, but the lilac bushes are probably grander than ever. The smell, especially on a cool and misty afternoon like today, is divine.
Every May 15th I can put flowers in the porch planters without fear of frost...finally. I haul the wicker seats and sofas away from the wall of the house and have Bill retrieve the cushions from high shelves in the former servant hall. That geranium plant is 25 years old. It would be even bigger had it not blown off the stand last year and broken in half.
Most of my furniture came from Tuxedo Park. I've been sitting on that sofa every summer for 35 years. For the last 29 I've been gazing out at the lawn in front of Daheim.
Here's a portion of the view from the porch. It may not be as manicured as it once was, but it's still lovely, and somehow particularly so on this brooding rainy afternoon.
When Charles F. Dieterich, the builder of this house, had the words "Das Alte Haus," meaning "The Old House," picked out in red and blue and framed above the front door, Daheim was relatively new. By now I guess it really is pretty "Alte." Mr. Dieterich lived here for 38 years; I've lived here for 29, alone nowadays with my cat, a caretaker and a several guests who occasionally occupy far flung guestrooms.