Thursday Miscellany: Le Jardin, Cashmere and Paris

New plantings and irrigation in the backyard. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Dans le jardin…

Here’s what’s been going on chez nous this week…

We're planting different varieties of lavender in the sunny spot in front. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

When we did our major landscape renovation over 8 years ago, we were told that the design would require minimal upkeep. But several of the plants that the designer installed weren’t suited to our climate, and we’ve had constant issues with the drip irrigation. Over the years we’d intermittently (and haphazardly) replaced some of the plants that had died off. But once we realized that the irrigation system would need overhauling, I quit replanting anything and just cleared out the dead stuff. Add to that the construction damage from the kitchen renovation project earlier this year, and our outdoor space was looking pretty pitiful.

We finally found a landscape designer that I felt good about. She really seems to know her plants and I loved her ideas from the get-go. We didn’t need to tweak any of the “hardscaping,” just fix the irrigation and lighting systems, and re-plant. It should be finished in a few days, and I’ll share more photos. Yes, there’s a lot of lavender. We love it, and it does well in our sunnier spots.

Cashmere, 20% Off

Two tone blue cashmere shawl. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Just in time for cooler weather, Black is offering 20% off this week only on over 330 of their cashmere items. (Code CASHMERE20 ) I have a couple of their cashmere scarves and some other accessories, and find the quality is excellent. Above, a two-tone blue cashmere shawl.

grey cashmere beret. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m thinking about picking up one of these cashmere berets for cold weather travel. The cashmere socks are also tempting (and would make a nice holiday gift). This promotion is good through October 28.

Paris Planning

Sidewalk cafe near Notre Dame in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Once this landscaping project is wrapped up, I’ll be able to focus on my December trip to Paris, and planning my itinerary. Lovely Diane from Paris Shopping Tour is working on another excursion for me, can’t wait to see what she comes up with! You can read about my prior excursion with Paris Shopping Tour HERE and HERE.

Style blogger Susan B. and Diane of Paris Shopping Tours after a successful day of shopping. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ll be meeting up with Tish and Josephine, and hopefully a few more blogger friends. I’m also starting to look at exhibitions that might be worth visiting. (If you know of any, I’m always open to recommendations!)

Speaking of travel, Lo & Sons is having a fall sale on selected items, including some styles of my favorite travel bag, the Pearl.

Now, I just need to figure out my Halloween costume…

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  1. Ditto is happening here this week, i.e., new and much lower maintenance plantings (60+ so far evergreen shrubs, trees, and non-deciduous perennials), redoing the drip system, and replacing mulch with rock in my borders.

    I feel 20 pounds lighter, dreaming of all the weeding and pruning I WON’T have to do next year and the new color palette (mostly greens, greys, blues) I’ll enjoy from my outdoor spaces and windows! Yea, us! for finally attending to this!

    1. So I just similarly revamped my garden in Colorado and I am thrilled with all those new little plants and the promise of the new start they will bring. However, once I got to the stage you are at, the landscaper informed me that with a drip system..,which it looks like you have as well, will not allow the ground covers to spread as well with mulch on top of the hosing. I assure you, I don’t want to look at all that hose for the next few years.

      I previously had a spray sprinkler setup, but was convinced that this was the best way to grow plants and not waste water. Well, now I’m frustrated with all that black hose and lines ( at least yours is brown in color!) so, are you planning to cover the hose and area around the plants with mulch? I’m going to watch your garden updates to see how things go. I am tempted to mulch or gravel, but I want my new plantings to have the best chance.

      Yours looks beautiful. I love all the subtle textures and colors. Best of luck! I love seeing your posts every day!

  2. I was just in Paris and saw the Atelier des Lumières Gustav Klimt show. There are three different exhibitions which are all shown in the same room Beautiful classical and period music was played during the Klimt portion. Make sure you buy your tickets in advance though. Also, there was a great gift shop with beautiful Klimt related items. Something else that we did which we really enjoyed was to take a tour on the Bustronome. Lovely lunch while touring Paris. I have been to Paris many times and saw new things on this tour.

  3. There is a very lovely Mucha exhibit right now at the Luxembourg Museum ( In the Luxembourg Gardens).
    I loved it!

  4. If you have not been to the Marmottan Monet Museum yet you should definitely put it on the list. We visited this past spring and found it to be one of the most enjoyable museums we have ever visited. Beautiful and less visitors makes this the museum of your dreams. A bit off of the usual tourist track, but in a lovely neighborhood that we had never visited before.

  5. Hi – love your posts!

    My recommendation: DON’T buy cashmere socks unless you’re going to be wearing them only very lightly (i.e., around the house with slippers). The fabric is wonderful, however, tends to be affected by friction of any kind. The socks will pill and wear out quickly and I’ve found that to be true whether they cost a little money or a lot of money!

  6. I just booked tickets to the Egon Schiele and Basquiat exhibitions at the Fondation Louis Vuitton — which is, of course, a building worth seeing in its own right. . .
    I’m also hoping to get to the Giacometti exhibition at the Musée Maillol — I’m so pleased this little museum reopened last year. It’s always a favourite of mine, partly because it’s so accessible, the exhibitions are generally appealing and of a manageable size. But I only have two days this visit (I know!), so it might not happen. . .
    And I see there’s a Caravaggio exhibition at the Jacquemart-André (which I’d go to just to have lunch, the restaurant is so lovely ;-). . . Ah, Paris, always so many choices!

  7. If you enjoy art nouveau, I second the recommendation for the Alphonse Mucha exhibit at the Musee du Luxembourg which ends in mid-January.

    The Hotel de Ville in the 4eme often has great exhibits. It’s right across the street from BHV.

  8. Le Grand Palais will have something for everyone while you are there: 18th Century Venetian paintings, a Miró exhibition, and multimedia Michael Jackson! Can’t go wrong.

  9. I can’t wait to see your plantings grown in. This is the time of year in California to plant, and then we have the quiet raining if we’re lucky, and then everything goes nuts in March:).

    Oh, and me too on the lavender!

  10. Those are wonderful exhibition recs. Beautiful béret, and long enough to pull down over both ears if it gets very cold – but of course keep it on an angle.

    I have a lavender plant – in a pot and indoors now, of course. Some sites say they deter clothes moths, but who knows? Lovely subtle perfume, in any case.

  11. We just (almost) finished our backyard redo and I was delighted to see the lavenders. We’re in Northern California and they do well here too! I selected 3 different types for different areas and can’t wait til spring. Also planted some lemon scented thyme and sage. We already have rosemary and mint, so I’ll be in herbal fragrance heaven.

    Thanks for the cashmere sale tip. Merino and cashmere are my go to knits year around. Different weights can serve so well in CA.

  12. Going thru similar rework of landscaping also for the umpteeth time here in Florida. I’m “over” single family homeownership and gardening after all these years. So ready for a condo and freedom to travel as I please without having to hire a small army to take care of everything during my long periods away.

  13. Gardens always need tweaking and occasionally complete makeovers. It’s nature, and nature evolves.

    I am thinking of turning my vegetable garden into a perennial garden next spring. Now to fire up my imagination and put ideas down on paper. Where to begin?

    1. Susan will probably want to confirm but it looks to me like a Sézane bag, a popular brand in Paris. Great clothes too. I can’t copy a link here but check out and look for the large Nicole bag. Hope this helps.

  14. Ooh that makes me cross! When a so called expert makes such a cock up at your expense it really is annoying and costly. I’m glad to see you’ve put it right but I imagine it wasn’t cheap. I can’t wait to see the new plants in bloom, I love lavander too 😉

  15. I see you’ve been to the Chatelles shop on rue du Bac! I have two pairs of their smoking slippers and really love them. They’re very comfortable, and over the last 4 years, they’ve worn like iron. They’re staples in my wardrobe.

  16. Thank you for the tip about The Pearl from Lo & Sons. I have been contemplating several cross body bags for travel but none quite “fit the bill”. The Louis Vuitton “Metis” is lovely, but very pricey. I love the Gucci Soho, but it is a tad small. You suggested the Pearl and it ticked all my boxes. I love it’s outward simplicity and hidden organization. Thank you for the great tip! It is even better to get it on sale.