Connecticut, Flowers, Gardens, House Tours, Spring, Travels

Miss Rosie Loves Gardens: Tales of the Traveling Totes

This Spring has been absolutely delightful in the northeast, with cool temps (but no sudden frosts!), and April showers bringing May flowers, so Miss Rosie and I have been garden hopping!


One fine day in April, Miss Rosie, Mr. Fun and I stopped at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  The tulips were in full bloom, and most of the population of the states of PA, NJ and DE were there with us to see the colors!  You can see Miss Rosie (above) hanging out with the columbines.  I was speechless at the variety of colors!

The beautiful display continued in the tulip beds.  Pick a color or type of tulip, and you will find it here.

How did they get all the varieties to bloom together??


Poppies, in this brilliant shade of orange, lined one of the water gardens.

The famous fountains are reopening this summer after a few years of renovations!  They were being tested, and every once in a while we all rushed to the topiary garden or to the patio outside the conservatory to see them.

Meanwhile, inside the conservatory:

I’m only giving you a little taste because I’m going to share more of this amazing garden soon.  I wonder where I can get a light fixture like this??

We are going back in July to see the full fountain show, and to see what is blooming  ~~ maybe the roses ~~  and Miss Rosie is absolutely trembling in anticipation!!! 🙂



Often the gardens we visit also share land with a beautiful home, such as the gardens and mansion at Winterthur in Delaware.  Winterthur was once an actual home of Henry duPont and his ancestors.  Mr. DuPont was a passionate collector of American decorative arts and an avid gardener, and now the treasure trove is available for us all to enjoy.

Miss Rosie and I had a chance to visit Winterthur to attend a two day Ceramics Conference on Chinese Export and Staffordshire Porcelain.  We loved every minute of it.  It was hands-on, and I didn’t realize just how much access we would have to the ceramics until I was holding this porcelain Hong Bowl (chinese c. 1780) in my own hands.  Yes that’s really me holding it, and believe me, every time I picked up my cell phone to snap a photo I worried about dropping something.  For two full days we examined pieces like these and far older and more valuable items, learning to distinguish between different materials and countries of origin.  I still know next to nothing, and the more I learn the more I realize how little I know.  It was fascinating!

Then Mr. Fun popped down on the train and we explored the gardens.  Mr. Fun found this great view of the house from one of the lower formal gardens, and Miss Rosie sat down next to the sundial for her photo.

Meanwhile, I was checking out the swimming pool, but it was too cold and rainy to try the water.

I love this unusual steed!

The garden ornaments and iron work alone could take a day or more to see.  One of my favorite gates:

I do have this very planter!  Mine is a casting of an antique piece which I believe is on an estate in NY, and I think this one is a casting also.  It feels exactly the same as mine and has the same unusual little bits here and there on it.  As soon as I came home from this trip I added alyssum and pansies to the evergreens I had planted in it for the winter.  And see those large circles in the stone wall?  I’ll give you a minute to guess what they are.

Inside the circles, behind more elaborate iron work, are hidden the speakers for the pool.  Henry duPont had classical music broadcast over his entire estate, including on the golf greens, (yes, there was even a golf course here!!) where he could listen while practicing his swing every morning.



It’s time for Trade Secrets again!  Every May, Bunny Williams and three other generous homeowners in the corner of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York open their magnificent gardens for the benefit of Women’s Support Services.  Here, Mr. Fun, Miss Rosie, and a ferocious lion pose on Bunny Williams’ lawn.

This could really be Gardens # 3, 4, 5 and 6, because Trade Secrets takes us to four gardens, but I’m just giving you a glimpse here of Bunny’s tulips (!!) and two of the others.  I have a post coming for you with more details.



Put this event on your calendar for next year!  May 19-20, 2018



Do you recognize this National Historic Site?  We were visiting friends in Washington, DC, and they suggested a quick trip up to Harpers Ferry to see the sites and the rivers.  You can read about Harpers Ferry and its significance during the Civil War here.  The mighty Potomac and Shenadoah Rivers were churning up mud, looking brown, cold and dangerous.  High above the rivers, on this point of land, there is a secret garden and flagpole commemorating the events.  The roses were in bloom and I was hoping to visit, but as the skies opened yet again, Mr. Fun made a mad dash to save Miss Rosie from an unwanted shower!!

After our escape Mr. Fun found this house for me.  As you may know we are thinking about our next move, and he thought he had the answer.  No dear, I said, where would I put my dishes??



Luckily Mr. Fun came to his senses and realized that something like this is much more practical.

We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Mount Vernon, where I had the amazing honor of laying a wreath at the grave of George and Martha Washington, and led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  I am happy to report that all the assembled tourists took part, I like to think because they wanted to do so and not because I told them to and I used my old teacher voice … 🙂  Mr. Fun read Washington’s own favorite prayer for his beloved country, and believe me, it was an experience I will never forget.  After we dried my tears we had a private tour of the secret areas of the mansion, including the second floor and the basement.

As you can see, the house is not white but sand colored, since it is actually sand over wood!  The gardens were gorgeous.

I think the color combinations were my favorite of all the gardens I have visited this Spring.

I found inspiration everywhere on this estate, walking through the home of our first president, holding the handrail of his staircase, reading his words in the new museum, and walking through the gardens which are still laid out and cultivated according to his plans and with plants he used.

The same Potomac which runs so muddily past Harpers Ferry flows past Mount Vernon.  On the day we were there it was quite gray, but I have seen it looking blue and sparkling.

Of course Miss Rosie joined us, and wanted to pose too.  Luckily Mr. Fun is very confident and is not intimidated by my love for all things George.

I am also preparing a post of our trip to Mount Vernon!  I know you will love the estate!!  As you can see I can’t possibly include everything in these Traveling Tote posts or they would go on forever!  I can talk non-stop, you know!


Please visit the other members of our expanding Traveling Tote Tribe, or find yourself a tote and join us!

And be sure to visit Rita at Panoply for a very special giveaway!

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ “Pandora’s Box”
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul


 We hope you have enjoyed the gardens!  Miss Rosie would love to hear from you!

Which garden is your favorite?  Have you been to any of these or do you have one I must see?


and Miss Rosie 🙂

joining the fun at the fabulous new garden party GARDENS GALORE with Pam at Everyday Living!!

and our charming Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm

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24 thoughts on “Miss Rosie Loves Gardens: Tales of the Traveling Totes

  1. Good morning Linda, Miss Rosie and Mr. Fun! What beautiful gardens you toured, just beautiful! And, you were in my home state while at Harpers Ferry (albeit 5 hrs north from where I am). I have been to Mt. Vernon, and Jefferson’s Monticello is yet another outstanding example of our forefathers’ garden planning you must visit.
    I look forward to your individual posts on these visits, and am particularly curious about your role at Mt. Vernon in laying the wreath there and how that came about.

  2. On my Linda…those tulips and spring gardens! I can only imagine how beautiful it was to visit in person. Seeing all those tulips en masse reminds me of The Butchart Gardens. I would love to visit Longwood which would be closer. I just clicked over and saw they have timed tickets for admittance to help with crowd control.
    What fun to visit Winterthur BUT I’d be trembling in fear of chipping a piece of porcelain! And what a gorgeous planter twin to yours, I love the alyssum and pansy or viola combo. Trade Secrets is on my bucket list and I can hardly wait to see your post! I had to chuckle about the tiny house and dish dilemma 🙂 I agree with Rita about how the laying of the wreath came about and Mr. Fun reading the Washington’s prayer…please share!

  3. Wow wow wow, all of the gardens are amazing but I especially love the photos of Winterauthor. I am so impressed that you took a class on ancient ceramics, that must have been so fascinating! Your hubs is such a willing poser! You have definitely been busy in your travels, and what an honor to visit Mount Vernon and be part of the ceremony Linda! I love the tiny house, but can you imagine living in one, it makes me crazy just thinking about it! I hope you and Miss Rosie have a wonderful summer filled with more travel adventures~

  4. Hi Linda, wow you have been on the most wonderful garden tours this spring. The colors are so beautiful and your photos are magazine quality. I feel like I’ve returned to Amsterdam! I would love to visit those gardens, on my to do list now! Loved all the sweet pics of your husband, you two have such fun on your travels. I always enjoy following you and Miss Rosie, thanks for all the tours…….

  5. Linda, the gardens are amazing. It would be heavenly to see them in person. Mr. Fun looks right at home with Miss Rosie. How interesting to be able to take that ceramic class. I love gardens too. A pleasure to join you lovely ladies on your travels.

  6. Linda, I’m on a garden high! You covered some miles in the past few months as you and Miss Rosie traveled. Looks like Mr. Fun was in on the action as well Longwood Gardens and Winterthur are definitely favorites for me, and if you haven’t visited Butchart Gardens, it is an absolutely must destination for you and Miss Rosie. Bunny Williams’ Trade Secrets event is on my list. One day I’m going to make the trip to attend just to see Bunny Williams’ amazing home and gardens.
    Thanks for taking us along.

  7. Oh my goodness, Linda, your photos are amazing of all the pretty flowers and places you visited. I am in awe that your were able to lay the wreath in Mount Vernon, you led the crowd in the Pledge and you hubby read Washington’s favorite poem. That is a treasured memory for sure! Thanks for sharing your adventures with Miss Rosie!

  8. You have certainly introduced Miss Rosie to some lovely gardens! Your photos are beautiful! I wish I enjoyed gardening as much as I love gardens, but I hate dirt and worms!! Your hubby should be given an honorary award for being such a good TT sport! Enjoyed your post! Happy Tales!

  9. Wow, Linda! I am overwhelmed! Everything is gorgeous and over the top! I would have been on cloud 9 at any of the locations. Lovely pictures and I am going back to enjoy them all again.

  10. You and Miss Rosie find all the lovely gardens! I am grateful that you share your garden travels with us, and I’d like to visit them when I retire and do a road trip. Mr. Fun is a great sport, and I know that makes these trips so much fun for you! I’ll always remember that you were able to lay the wreath in Mount Vernon, and that you led the crowd in the Pledge. I can see you and your hubby enjoying retirement! Have a perfect weekend Linda!

  11. You, Miss Rosie and Mr. Fun certainly have been the the best adventures lately. Each and every garden that you visited was lovely. I too would love to know the back story about Mt. Vernon…what a memorable experience. As the the small house, it is adorable but it would be downsizing just a tad too much. 😀

  12. I went to Mt. Vernon back in 1985-86 and now, with a more mature eye, would like a trip back. What I remember most is that amazing dining room, and the fact that there was no table. I’ve since read several biographies of GW and he was truly an admirable man. I look forward to hearing about your visit.

    The columbine in Longwood Garden caught my eye. Did you know that in the language of flowers columbine means gifts of the Holy Spirit? Such a delicate flower and so lovely! These gardens are intoxicatingly beautiful! Thank you for taking us there.

  13. I’ve been to Longwood Gardens a few times and can’t get enough of it! I haven’t made it to Winterthur yet but it’s on my list. All these pictures of gorgeous flowers are amazing. Mt. Vernon is another place I want to visit. The traveling tote has been on a lot of trips!

  14. Great to view these gardens again today. You could never take it all in.
    I’ve been to Longwood Gardens way back in September of 2002. It is spectacular in the spring. Glad to enjoy it through your eyes.

  15. Wow, I would like to visit some of these, thank you for taking me for a walk through these beautiful gardens…I don’t think if I would get the chance to see these otherwise since I am in Alabama! Visiting from Pam’s Gardens Galore link party!

  16. Linda, I am so jealous that you have been to Longleaf and Winterthur. Your Traveling Totes posts are always so entertaining. I so enjoyed viewimg this post again. So many people don’t Garden, but who doesn’t enjoy a garden from the comfort of their chair. Your pics are amazing and I love the shots of your fun hubby especially with George! Thanks so much for linking to my first Gardens Galore.

  17. Wow, those are some wonderful and inspirational places to visit. I could go crazy if they’d let me buy there too after seeing all that beauty those gardens have to offer.

  18. So fun, I could look at traveling garden pics all day long, total spring fever!!! Mr fun is so accommodating ☺

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