celebrating french country style

by Sharon Santoni

the house lit up for a party

As I write these lines, there is loud and happy music filling my garden and a rather large number of youngsters, singing, dancing, shouting, laughing …… and I very much hope staying out of my flower beds!

Nothing fancy …. a line of tents planted at the end of the garden; christmas lights  draped across the barn, and as a simple precaution, a lot of car keys ‘confiscated’ until tomorrow morning.

Never mind that I’ll hardly get any sleep, never mind that I have been baking brownies all afternoon, never mind that I have a busy week ahead … right now I am savouring every minute of this precious celebration.

Gibson is in seventh heaven, so many people to fetch the ball for, Ghetto has retired to sulk, and is grumbling in a corner upstairs and muttering that tomorrow he’ll need to catch up on his beauty sleep.

And what’s it all about? – a big birthday-end of high school party for my youngest baby.  Probably the last big-kid’s party that will be held in our garden and our barn.

tents in the garden

Or maybe the next one will be a wedding? …. time will tell.

So today I leave you with just a couple of pictures, and the promise that after this busy weekend I’ll be starting a fictional series for the summer, with some very special illustrations.  Come back on Monday to find out what it’s all about.

party lights and roses


Agnes Baboo July 10, 2015 - 12:20 am

I really hope all these youngsters realize how amazingly lucky they are to have you and your so warm and welcoming French Country Home !

Sally July 10, 2015 - 12:35 am

Beautiful flowers and a happy event!

MARY Kay Abblett July 10, 2015 - 12:37 am

These fun memories will last you a lifetime.

suzanna July 10, 2015 - 12:37 am

fun fun fun….again, wish I were there! ;-))….wonderful party….great taste and I agree
with Agnes above! Wish I were there, ha ha ha

Vicky from Athens July 10, 2015 - 12:41 am

Sharon – what a wonderful idea to have everyone bring their tents and stay off the roads after celebrating! Your youngest is one lucky girl/boy to have you hosting this amazing party!! And the guests – what lucky kids to be invited!

Delaine July 10, 2015 - 12:47 am

Cherish these moments…they certainly grow up too fast! Thoroughly enjoyed this post! Merci!

Jackie July 10, 2015 - 12:49 am

Beautiful! Your home & garden are the perfect place for this celebration. Enjoy this moment! They grow up so fast!

Susan (une femme) July 10, 2015 - 1:04 am

I’m certain this will be a splendid and memorable time for all. Happy Birthday to the celebrant!

Pandy Agnew July 10, 2015 - 1:14 am

What a beautiful party, what lucky kids….great memories will be made tonight!!!!
and I must say……you are brave. ; )


Jill July 10, 2015 - 1:52 am

Dear Sharon…yes, cherish the time. Today I am teaching my granddaughter how to paint with oils while her father…my baby….is on the golf course with my grandson. When did all his happen??? It seems that we were just taking them out for their pre prom cruise on the boat!

Esther George July 10, 2015 - 1:55 am

It sounds like a beautiful night with beautiful memories. Hi Sharon, thank you for sharing beauty and Many Happy Returns for the Birthday Boy. I was watching the cycling around Normandy last night, it was stunning and those wind turbines… Have a lovely weekend. Till next time Esther from Sydney.

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon July 10, 2015 - 2:00 am

I would have thought Gibson would be hiding away, and Ghetto the one to have too much fun. It just goes to show how different things can be.

Such a nice way to celebrate an ending and a new beginning. What is that saying about one door closing and a new one opening?

Leslie in Oregon July 10, 2015 - 2:38 am

It sounds and looks like a wonderful party in a magical setting. Congratulations to you and your son on his graduation from high school and his birthday, Leslie P.S. I can well imagine how much Gibson enjoyed the party; my Golden, Henry, would have been the same way. Did Gibson end up sleeping outside with the kids?

Pamela July 10, 2015 - 2:53 am

Sharon, everything you touch turns to gold~ many thanks for sharing your most special celebration !

cynthia woodyard July 10, 2015 - 3:33 am

What a great mother, staying out of the way! Yeah! Cross fingers for your beautiful garden , your glass vases and pottery, lol!

Nan Mautz July 10, 2015 - 4:50 am

Our last night with our son and his family at our summer home on Lake Michigan. It is truly bitter sweet. Enjoy every minute of your children’s lives and their friends, too. You have it down pat! Your son is VERY lucky!!!

Pamela July 10, 2015 - 5:45 am

Thank you for sharing this great celebration! Enjoy!!

Colleen Taylor July 10, 2015 - 6:10 am

Oh how I remember those days when my kids had parties at our home. Fun, excitement, little sleep, a lot of worry but still much fun. That photo with the pink roses & white daisies on the stone wall is absolutely to die for!

Kathryn Gauci July 10, 2015 - 7:13 am

I am sure they will be back soon, Sharon, and then you will be able to get your creative juices running and devise other parties for them.
The roses look wonderful.

Marian from UK July 10, 2015 - 9:47 am

Hi Sharon. What a brilliant idea and a great use for your lovely garden. Also to remove car keys – spot on! I have a stone slab on my garden path which says: “In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer”. This will be one memory to make that come true. Thank you for sharing with us.

Kim Webb July 10, 2015 - 11:46 am

The best kind of celebration and what a venue – memories are made of nights like this

Donna July 10, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Lovely, but we have bears parading through our beautiful backyard garden from time to time , namely a mother and her twin cubs, so it would make for some unwelcome surprises when a curious bear upset a tent or two.

The Enchanted Home July 10, 2015 - 1:39 pm

Ahhh, the pleasures of summer! That is right out of a fairytale…I love it:) Hope they enjoyed themselves and sure hope you got some “shuteye”….and I bet those brownies were GOOD!

Agnes Irene July 10, 2015 - 2:31 pm

What a charming, magical way to celebrate such an event.
That photo with the lights, roses, and chair – beautiful!

Karena July 10, 2015 - 5:03 pm

Sharon,yes, so magical a setting. I am so excited for your new series and will be back Monday! Enjoy the weekend!!

The Arts by Karena
Stems Soiree

Emm July 10, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Car keys confiscated and tents in the garden. Brava!!

Lovely pictures, and lucky kids, to have such a great party.

Pat Lodge July 10, 2015 - 10:58 pm

Sharon, can you tell me the name of that pink climbing rose? I have planted a Pierre Ronsard climber this year (had to wait a year to get it from White Flower Farm on the East Coast) and hope it does as well as the one pictured in your post.

Have been following you for a long time and love your blog over all others I have come across!

Jennifer Walker July 10, 2015 - 11:24 pm

Loved all of this party!! We are about to have something similar;

Every year we do a Croquet Tournament and we call it “Troutbeck”

We too have the tents, lots of wonderful food, and lots of fun and

shared friendships. Thank-you so much for sharing your story; now

I know we’re not the only ones who have such celebrations.

Kind Regards, Jennifer

splendid market July 11, 2015 - 12:49 am

Looks absolutely delightful, what a lucky lamb, congratulations to the graduate and mom!

LA CONTESSA July 11, 2015 - 5:31 pm


PEGGY BRASWELL July 11, 2015 - 6:19 pm

what a glorious event + you are so blessed. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Annie Maurer July 12, 2015 - 10:08 am

A very Happy Birthday to a fine young man. It was lovely to meet Jim in May, he was very welcoming and I wish him well in his next adventure in life.
Annie Maurer


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