looking through the pages of old issues (1960's-70's) of House and Garden always takes me back to my first time. Pulling through the pages of my GranMa's closet filled stacks- I wonder if I might have lingered over this article a bit longer than most. Of course- at the time the pictures would have captivated my imagination, the words less so. The Horst photographs continue to grab my attention todya- these glamorous men and women-in the midst of glamorous lives.
Here, Margaret Willaumez steps out onto one of the terrace gardens of her Capri house-Casa Lontana.
As with most old articles, I want to know- What happened after the photographs ceased? Countess Margaret Willaumez is the woman standing in the doorway, intent on something- seemingly unaware of the lens. She loved only flowers and specimens that were spectacular- for cutting. "Every inch counts." Her garden more English than Italian, she describes as "delicious." Decorator at Thedlow in New York and contributing editor to House and Garden, Countess Willaumez arrives in May to a profusion of sweet peas, pansies, flax, calendula, larkspur and pinks tended by a trusty gardener year round-she packs off seedlings to him for planting. She is never disappointed.
Rooms with a view:
"From my topmost terrace I can look down and see the flower of the moment and always the morning -glory blue of the sea. The house built on three levels with three terraces was always filled with flowers the moment the Countess arrived. All the interiors are simply furnished with a mix of styles and periods-the flowers were the showstoppers here. The interiors could be lived in stylishly and easily today.
After the interview:
So doing some research on the Countess , I found her obituary in the New Your Times. Just years after the article would have appeared , the Countess Williaumez died after a long illness. She was just 52.
Though her typical time in residence on Capri was from May to October, in 1972- she lingered there through November. On the thirtieth, She died within the whitewashed walls of her hillside Casa Lontana. She enjoyed her plants- but doted on her cut flowers, giving them fresh water each day, clipping stems and rearranging them.
"Even if all its chums are gone, I will never throw away a live flower. I can't. I just find a place for it."