Mid-Century Birthday Croquet At Roseland Cottage

Finally, a break from stay-related blog posts! (Slow sewing progress is being made, but not enough to post about…)

In the meantime, I have an armchair peep into a lovely birthday outing with friends on a gorgeous autumn afternoon.

The location of the outing is Roseland Cottage, in Woodstock, Connecticut.

Built in 1846 in the newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, Roseland Cottage was the summer home of Henry and Lucy Bowen and their young family. While the house is instantly recognizable for its pink exterior, Roseland Cottage has an equally colorful interior, featuring elaborate wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets, and stained glass, much of which survives unchanged from the Victorian era. The house is a National Historic Landmark.
(from the Historic New England website)

We made special arrangements with the staff to picnic and croquet on the lawn in mid-19th century clothing, followed by a house tour. Some of us had seen the house before, but the details never cease to amaze and hold our interest. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit!

The grounds of the house are well maintained and provided an excellent area to set up croquet.

We enjoyed serious croquet as well as a few silly rounds of our own invention. The shadows made for fun photos, too!

The day was sunny and beautiful. There was a slight bit of chill to the air, but it was quite comfortable in full length sleeves and long dresses.

One zealous croquet ball whacked me in the ankle and caused a small scene. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad after the initial pain wore off (no bruises or anything worse!)

In fact, the croquet ball whack didn’t stop me from enjoying the gardens in Sophie, my 1861 reproduction cotton print dress.

The gardens are maintained with the same plan and variety of plants that would have been evident in the 19th century. They were in full color during our visit!

I greatly enjoy this photo, which was completely unintentional. I just started running around because it was fun, and then was told to go back and do it again because the photo opportunity was so exciting. So I suppose in a way it was intentional?

Croquet was followed by a house tour, during which the staff invited us to remain in historical clothes and take photos. This was my favorite! There’s a little built-in seat with a bay window in one room. It was well suited to sitting in hoops. Looking for friends arriving, perhaps?

An exciting, beautiful day! Thanks for enjoying it with me!

First Picnic Of The Summer: Part I

Last weekend was a whirlwind of events and that means I’ve got lots of pictures to share! The pictures will be coming in small-ish groups. I do hope you’ll be able to vicariously enjoy the nice weather and fun through them.

The first event was a low-key turn of the 20th century picnic in the Boston Public Garden. You might remember that last year we did a Regency picnic in the same place? We were out to have a good time and get some fresh air without worrying about 100% historical accuracy, hence the low-key part of the description. So without further ado, pictures!

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Taking a turn about the garden.
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There are lots of ducks in and around the swan pond in the center of the garden and this time of year you can also see baby ducks! There were 9 of them in this bunch. Aren’t they cute?
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There are also swans around the swan pond. These ones were nesting in a fenced off area. Pretty, but you wouldn’t want to get too close. Swans are big, and mean.
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There are lovely old trees around the garden as well.
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The trees make great backdrops for photos.
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Walk a bit away from the swan pond and you are likely to encounter George Washington, who happened to be showing off his Bruins spirit this past weekend. (I love that the city, presumably, had a custom all-weather jersey-cape made, since Washington can’t actually move his arms to put on a jersey, given that he’s bronze…)
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All around the statue of Washington are lovely flower beds. The flowers get changed out pretty regularly so they’re always blooming and pretty. These flowers are my favorite though! They’re called allium, and I love the colors, and the size, and the circle-y-ness of them.
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I believe I have a weakness for circle-y things. And, my outfit matched the flowers! I think my gibson-y hair turned out pretty well, too.
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I know this picture is similar to the last one… but I can’t decide which one I like best. I’m hoping maybe you have an opinion that will sway me one way or the other?
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It got warm promenading about the garden, so we returned to the blankets in the shade to play cards.
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After the rest, we broke out the croquet set we had brought along. Apparently we were more interesting while playing croquet than we were at any other time during the day, because we actually gathered a crowd of people who were watching us play.
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Contemplating my next shot. I was getting out of the metal panel obstacle…
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I was the pink ball! I think it was supposed to be red, but it looked awfully pink to me!
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My outfit choice was inspired by an image in the KCI collection. I did my best to imitate it in spirit, despite my lack of a boater.
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When revisiting the image I realized that it does not include a croquet mallet. Be that as it may, I tried, and I think the inspiration is clear, even though my memory is not!
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Picnic-ers!