Friday, November 11, 2016

Gardens at First Light

When I met photographer Stacy Bass through Instagram, I immediately became entranced by her captivating images of exquisite gardens. I quickly fell down the rabbit hole, pouring over each and every single glorious post. And I was delighted to learn Stacy also has a fabulous book, Gardens at First Light, which I am so excited to share with you today.

Gardens at First Light is a luxurious, oversized coffee table book featuring 12 gardens - some secret and intimate, others grand and elaborate - photographed at dawn. There is a special ethereal beauty that can only be experienced at daybreak, full of promise for the new day. Stacy captures this beauty in her book with more than 200 breathtaking images of nature at its best.  Complementing her work are words by Judy Ostrow who provides insight from the people who brought each garden to life. Gardens at First Light also features a garden reference guide which enhances the visuals while providing an invaluable how-to component.

"There is something about the dawn. For me, it's the perfect time. It's quiet, reflective and kind. I can't pinpoint the exact moment I knew the dawn would be my muse, but then it just was. That first light gently caresses what lies before it and provides a fitting soundtrack for my photography. It's a subtle but energized hum that encourages me to be present, aware and focused, to connect to my surroundings in such a way that I can best share not only what was there before I stepped into the scene, but also how it felt to be in that space at that time." 
~Stacy Bass, Gardens at First Light

Various garden rooms fill the two acre property surrounding this gorgeous home. The owners asked their landscape designer to incorporate structure and formality.

Varied topography and masses of rock ledge surround this circa 1797 Connecticut home with panoramic views and exquisite landscape.

Deep red Jackson & Perkins roses form a background hedge for other roses including pale pink double Knock Outs, deeper pink Poulbellas, and Zephirine Drouhin climbing roses that cover the arbor. 

An African Shona sculpture graces a granite birdbath surrounded by a parterre.

Beautiful pink "Fascination" dahlias.

The owner's favorite color palette brightens this breakfast table, including small vases of zinnias, variegated euonymous, and ornamental grass.

The pool house opens to the deck, creating a resort-like ambience.

Palms create the look of a tropical retreat while the boxwood hedge was pruned to resemble ocean waves.

This sunken garden parterre is centered by a fountain and antique bench, and it is shaded by a magnificent Magnolia x soulangeana. 

A boxwood knot garden is filled with impatients and silvery Artemesia in the summer and with pansies and kale in the winter. 

Parterre borders are punctuated with boxwoods in pyramid shapes. 

Monarda didyma "Jacob Cline" provides nectar and seed for birds from its red flowers.

The landscape designer created a series of three garden rooms for this long, rectangular property. The photograph was taken from the first room. The second is filled with pink flowers, and the third is anchored by the pool, a rose-covered arbor, and a gate. 

This 1928 classic brick Georgian features an elegant entry court with tiered fountain surrounded by a circular walk created with granite pavers and a boxwood parterre. 

Various types of arborvitae frame this eastern terrace, while giant boxwoods complete the perimeter. 

A century-old weeping Japanese cut-leaf maple is supported with curved iron bars designed to emulate the tree's branches.

Lovely Hemerocallis hybrid.

This home includes spectacular views of Long Island Sound and an equally beautiful perennial garden.

The Garden Reference Guide at the end of Gardens at First Light provides detailed information on each of the properties photographed for the book. Hand-drawn sketches are by landscape designer James Gerrity.

GIVEAWAY! For one lucky reader, Stacy is giving away a signed and personalized copy of Gardens at First Light! Please visit me on Instagram for additional information!

Released in Spring 2015 by athome Books, Gardens at First Light was named by Architectural Digest as one of the best garden books of the year. It has also been featured on the Today Show and by Veranda, Traditional Home, The Wall Street Journal, Homes & Gardens (UK), HGTV, and more. Stacy's first book, In the Garden, has sold out but you can still find third party copies via Amazon.

Books are one of my favorite gifts to give (and to receive!) so I am purchasing Gardens at First Light in bulk this year for holiday and hostess gift giving. It is that good! Gardens at First Light is available for sale via Amazon.

Stacy Bass also photographs lifestyle, interiors, and architecture for regional and national magazines, designers, and architects.  To see more of her work, please visit her website, Stacy Bass Photography.

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