Fashions for the Ladies Who Mulch

The Ladies Who Lunch need to refresh their wardrobes with a new little black dress from time to time. While I was in Boston for the Flower Show I stepped into Macy’s to get a new pair of little blue jeans.  I like the styling of these which have retained the integrity of the originals designed by Levi Strauss. Blue jeans are  a staple of the gardener’s wardrobe, so easy to dress down, and versatile when combined with shades of blue – delphinium, larkspur and iris. I like to emulate Barbara Damrosch, my fashion and gardening idol, when I go out for a session in the sun. Classic  navy blue jeans cry out for more blue, as Barbara knows. Note the blue and gray nitrile Atlas gloves.

The trug is a vintage piece that I acquired when my friend and mentor the late Elsa Bakalar moved from her house and garden to a retirement village.  It acts as a kind of amulet, providing the confidence to overcome the weeds and slugs.

A hat is essential for working in the sun. I carried this hat along with many memories back from our time in Beijing. This is a traditional hat still worn by Chinese farmers.  It is very light, with a shallow crown that keeps me cool. It still has the original shoelace chin ties which are especially useful in the Heath breezes. With a cool head I can ponder the chore list – off to the vegetables, or shall I gather rosebuds?

Of course, that special season of the year, Black Fly Season, requires a special hat – and long sleeves. I buy many of my accessories at Avery’s General Store and Fashion Emporium in the Village of Charlemont. They not only had the hat in my favorite shade of rose pink but the gauzy veil with functional elastic edging. When I return from a trip to Avery’s I know there will be no flies on me.

Ladies who lunch wear kid gloves, but for pruning the roses these are the gloves for me. A friend who understands the challenges of the rose gardener gave them to me last year. They are West County Gardener Rose Gloves and I was pleased that they were made in my west county neighborhood, but alas, they are made in some west county of California. I like them more than any gloves I wore at dancing class in 1954.

No ensemble is complete without the proper footwear. My Ladybug clogs are coordinated with the blue jeans and blue Atlas gloves. The versatility of the clogs cannot be overestimated. They  walk with ease and flair through dewy grass, the fine turf of a garden party, and even a stroll through a garden center or nursery.

To dress up the little blue jeans, all it takes is a softer hat. My style choice is to add a chiffon scarf for that uptown look, an overblouse in an abstract flower print and the effect  —   timeless style.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Layanee

    Love this but what we all really want to know is what that outfit looks like when you are finished in the garden? Very stylish.

  2. Pat

    Layanee – You definitely don’t want to see what I look like at the end of a gardening day. And there is no way I’ll let my husband take a picture of that!

  3. Tinky

    Stunning, my dear! You are a fashion icon, in or out of the garden. As for Layanee’s comment, well, you’re supposed to be a bit grubby at the end of a day in the dirt…..

  4. Pat

    Tinky – Fortunately we all clean up beautifully at the end of a garden day – or after slaving over a hot stove.
    BJ – You got that right!

  5. Ann W

    The hat is the most important for me – I hate having a sunburned neck. Not a good thing. Plant and Garden Blog

  6. Pat

    Ann – You are right and I have been interested to see more hats a la the French Foreign Legion wiht neck protectors. My husband just used an old linen town under his bat to protect his neck. He is very prone to sunburn.

  7. Daffodil Planter

    Absolutely “no flies on you”. Adorable guide to garden fashion!

  8. Christine B.

    Wow, you set a high bar. Does this mean I have to get rid of my hole-riddled jeans? I guess that’s a good thing, I don’t want to be indecent in the garden, now do I? I have a gauzy veil of my own and love it. There is no garden worth being in without one in black fly season.

    Christine in Alaska

  9. Wow, you should see me, old jeans, with holes, grass stained running shoes, one of my husbands old t-shirts, it is a little embarassing when people drop by, lol.

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