I went to the Greening of The Great House at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Mass. yesterday. It was festive and full of Christmas cheer, which helped me get into the holiday groove. Maybe it was the live band playing tunes, or maybe it was the cookies they were handing out in the grand kitchen! Being a grand house, it also got me in the mood for the next season of Downton Abbey. The "greening" part was that local florists and greenhouses each had a room to decorate in whatever festive fashion they wished. Most were a bit off the mark, compared to other years, IMHO. But it was still fun to see.
One highlight I'm always thrilled to see when I sweep through the rooms of Castle Hill is a pencil portrait of Mrs. Crane, sketched by John Singer Sargent! I swoon whenever I see it.
all photos, Dan Ryan and Diane Carnevale