As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
The Bee Cottage by Frances Schultz
The subtitle to this lighthearted book is “How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness” and the book was published in 2015.
This book was inspired by Frances's popular House Beautiful magazine series on the makeover of her East Hampton house that she calls Bee Cottage.
Frances had intended this book to be a decorating book, but it evolved into so much more.
It's a memoir combining beautiful photos of Bee Cottage inside and out - and a compelling personal story - Frances's story.
This book is perfect for this time of year when we're trying to come up with all kinds of ideas for our home and garden. It’s loaded with inspiring images and snapshots.
In this book, Frances shared what she learned during all her renovations of Bee Cottage. We get a sneak peek into how she decided each area of the house and garden would be used and furnished.
From a personal standpoint, Frances came to discover that, like decorating a home or planting a garden, our Lives must adapt to who we are and what we need along the way.
And, I love this little poem that Frances uses to start out her book - along with a picture of one of her garden gates it's got a little bee cut out at the top of it.)
The poem goes like this:
He who loves an old house
Never loves in vain,
How can an old house,
Used to sun and rain,
To lilac and to larkspur,
And an elm above,
Ever fail to answer
The heart that gives it love?
Next, Frances shows a picture of her cottage before it became Bee Cottage. “ It was a little run-down but it had curb appeal but not much love”. And she wrote,
“I felt a bit that way myself.”
And here's the how the story of Bee Cottage starts:
“I'd planned to make Bee Cottage the perfect place to begin my second marriage. I'd bought it with my fiance's Blessing. It was great for us and for his two sons. Though the house was old and needed work, I relished the prospect. if only I'd been as optimistic about the marriage, but the story of Bee Cottage begins, I'm sorry to say, with heartbreak.
After the wedding invitations were sent, after gifts received, after the ridiculously expensive dress made, after deposits paid, after a house bought... I called it off. I wish I could say he was a jerk and a cad, but he wasn't. He was and is a great guy. The relationship failed because we were just not a fit.
And there I was with a house and the dawning that everything I had dreamed it would be would now be something else entirely.”
And that is the beginning of the Bee Cottage story.
This is a great and light-hearted book for this time of year as you're making plans for your own nest. If you're looking for a nice escape from the heaviness of this time we're living through, this book would be an excellent choice. It’s lovely.
You can get a used copy of The Bee Cottage by Frances Schultz and support the show, using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for under $4.
SI HORTUM IN HORTORIA PODCASTA IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.