Editor’s Memo

Henry James thought “summer afternoon” were the two most beautiful words in the English language. Shakespeare found a “summer’s day” the benchmark of all things lovely and temperate. If I may join this illustrious company for a moment, I think “summer morning” evokes the sweetest feeling.

It’s an early summer morning as I write, sitting on a bench in the shade by my little pond. The air is full of birdsong, and fragrant with iris and ferns. The goldfish are splashing, a frog just ribbeted, a breeze is rustling the leaves of the trees as fluffy clouds drift across the blue sky — it’s one delicious summer cliché after another. Even the plane droning overhead has a lazy, summery sound. All would be tranquil if it weren’t for our neighbor’s trio of guinea hens, who wander around screeching in alarm at who-knows-what.

Perhaps they’ve just heard the latest bad news. We’re battered by it day after day — but at least we can take refuge in our homes. Although a European vacation (or even a domestic one) may be beyond reach just now, it’s never been easier to transform your own backyard into a retreat. You can find garden furniture that’s so beautifully crafted you could use it indoors (see some locally made pieces on page h6). Full-blown alfresco kitchens are a hot trend (and building one can add to your home’s value — as can adding a pool house if you’re lucky enough to have a pool).

- Advertisement -

But all you really need is a picnic table, some sturdy chairs, and a simple grill to take part in one of the season’s most sublime pleasures — eating fresh food in the fresh air. Some of my happiest memories of summer are of outdoor dinner parties — at friends’ homes, or in our own garden on the patio. (You’ll find some recipes for easy entertaining on page h34.) However you spend it, here’s wishing you a season full of every delicious summer cliché.

Finally, an apology to the one-time owners of Windswept Farm, which we featured in the spring Makeover issue. The farm, in its pre-makeover incarnation, was apparently much loved and not in such disrepair as we implied. We regret any distress we may have unwittingly caused.

Lynn Hazlewood

Our Digital Partners

Learn how to become a digital partner ...

Our Excellence in Nursing Awards take place on May 1!

Our Best of Hudson Valley ballot is open through March 31!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.