The Queen of Crime herself called it the loveliest place in the world: Greenway house and garden are an absolute must-see for any Agatha Christie fan (or gardening enthusiast). Purchased by Christie and husband Max Mallowan in 1938, Greenway is located in Devon, England, on the River Dart, and the home and grounds inspired settings and surroundings in several of Agatha Christie's novels.
Now owned by the National Trust, Greenway is open to the public (both the house and the gardens). Featuring breath-taking views from the battery, the boathouse described in Dead Man's Folly, a pet cemetery, and endless gardens filled with ferns, rhododendron, and even lime trees (yes, the estate is home to several tropical plants), Greenway makes for a magical getaway.
The house itself still contains several of the Christie family's own sentiments — from books and furniture to china and silverware — and I can only imagine that a tour of the main house would be an incredible view into Christie's world. Looking out the windows and witnessing what views inspired the imagery highlighted in her novels; perusing the books in her own personal library and wondering what literary masterpieces influenced her own works of art.
Like us here in Canada, Greenway gardens did fall victim to a cold snap (or two or three) this Spring, but the estate is once again open to the public for tours. Have you visited Greenway? What's your favourite aspect of Agatha Christie's former holiday home?
Photos via BBC
It's fitting that the subject of today's 'Get Inspired' is Audrey Hepburn, who May 4th would have celebrated her 84th birthday.
Three things we can learn from the late Hepburn:
- Choose your words wisely. "You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him."
- Give back. Pay it forward. Volunteer. "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed."
- Nothing is impossible. "The word itself says 'I'm possible'!"
I'm gearing up for gardening season. Never thought I'd hear myself say that, but it's true!
My Mum has always had hostas in her garden — brass ring, guardian angel, elephant ear — you name it, she's got it. So it's only natural that I've started researching the species for my own garden. And here's interesting facts that I've found:
- According to Plan and Plant, hostas are one of the best plant species for beginner gardeners (yes!)
- Hostas are available in more than 50 varieties
- These plants LOVE shade
Positive factor: Hostas don't require a lot of work, which is a bonus, because when it comes to being a green thumb, I'm a fan of low maintenance plants. Negative factor (at least for me): Hostas thrive in well-shaded areas, which I don't have a whole lot of in my garden (at this point). That being said, I'm going to give this species a try (I'll keep you posted on which varieties), and we'll see how things go.
I've been posting photos of hostas and garden layouts I love on my Pinterest, so check it out to see some of the ways I'm being inspired!
So much more than just a politician, Margaret Thatcher taught us many things throughout her eight decades on Earth.
- Do your best work. "What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose."
- Keep your heart with all diligence. "To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best."
- When it comes to personal style, balance is best. "...You have to have some classics, and then you have to have some things which are nothing like so expensive that you can... change more frequently."
In exactly 10 days, the Mariinsky II grand opening happens in St. Petersburg, and so will begin a whole new era in the history of the famed theatre.
The new Mariinsky Theatre is a work of art, from its Jura limestone exterior with floor-to-ceiling windows to its breath-taking two-story interior lobby with rear-lit onyx stone walls and custom Swarovski chandeliers. From the lobby, a glass staircase connects the entire structure.
The new opera house in St. Petersburg was designed by Jack Diamond and his team at Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Canadian design firm behind the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto and Maison Symphonique in Montreal. And while initially there was controversy over the building's exterior being too modern and too much a departure from the city's traditional architecture, once you take a look at the inside, the new Mariinsky Theatre proves itself true to classic theatre style. In keeping with the concept of 18th and 19th century opera houses, the Mariinsky II auditorium features a more traditional horseshoe shape as well as three balcony levels, an orchestra pit (with a moveable acoustic wall), and Swarovski accent lights.
For those concerned about the new structure abandoning traditional Russian architecture, Diamond and his team made sure proper homage was paid, and the entire foyer provides views of nearby Dekabristov Street, and more importantly, the original Mariinsky Theatre across the Kryukov canal.
The inaugural opening festivities will include performances by renowned musicians, dancers, and opera singers such as Placido Domingo, Mikhail Petrenko, Diana Vishneva, and the Children's Chorus. The audience attending during the Gala opening May 2-4 is said to include the original Mariinsky Theatre staff, WW II veterans, and members of St. Petersburg's artistic society.