“It would have been pretty darn difficult for actress Dina Merrill to have ever pulled off playing a commoner on stage, film or TV. She just had too much class. The epitome of poise and glamor, the New York-born socialite and celebrity was born in 1925 the daughter of financier E.F. Hutton, the founder of the Wall Street firm, and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post of the Post cereal fortune”. (from a mini biography of Dina Merrill)

I really enjoyed the glamour surrounding the Hillwood Estate in Washington D.C. I’m not one to fuss much with glamour but I can appreciate it in others. Unlike Dina Merrill I can pull off being a commoner every day.

I’m quite comfortable in blue jeans and a comfy tee-shirt. I like a certain level of glamour once in a while. That glamour still has to have an element of comfort with it.

Dina Merrill whose birth name was Nedenia Marjorie Hutton, was the only child of Merriweather’s union with E.F. Hutton.

Wow! How about these wedding bouquets!?

Marjorie Merriweather Post seemed to have connections with other very glamorous people, too.

I think my most glamorous days have been at weddings. Growing up my mother always made sure my sisters and I had a new home sewn dress for Easter and Christmas. Those were glamorous days, too. How about you? Do you enjoy glamour and what was the most glamorous event you attended or were the star of?

Hillwood Japanese Gardens and Dacha…

There was one more post hanging back from my favorite museum in Washington D.C. and I better share it before I forget. The Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens was full of surprises.

The Japanese-Style garden was tucked below the edge of the other areas of the huge estate.

You had to go down these stairs to enjoy the garden.

Tucked into a wooded area and surrounded by rhododendrons and azaleas, the Dacha, or Russian country house, is a romanticized interpretation of a small peasant house. Built in 1969 during the Cold War, when U.S. – Soviet relations were tense, Dacha represents a nostalgic view of Russian culture.

The architecture features many elements typical of authentic Russian peasant dwellings, such as the whole-log construction and the intricate carvings around the windows and door. Other details are American adaptations of Russian motifs. The bright colors of the window carvings and the roof’s onion-shaped domes are typical of Russian churches. The Dacha on this property is used for museum programs and Hillwood’s changing exhibitions.

I hope your summer is going well. Dear was off last week and he worked on our basement project and it’s getting close to getting done. He has another week off the end of August into September and I’m dragging him away from the house so he does something besides work on this old house. We booked a night on the coast of Oregon and a night at Bonneville Hot Springs on the Columbia River in Washington State just across from Oregon. I’m looking forward to it. Have you all already had some vacation?

Hillwood Dining Room and Breakfast Room

During a recent trip to Washington D.C. I was able to spend some time at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. This is the home of the late Marjorie Merriweather Post.  She was C.W. Post’s only child and sole heiress of the Postum Cereal Company which later became General Foods Corporation. The property is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself a tourist in Washington D.C.


The Dining Room features authentic French decor, including oak paneling recovered from an eighteenth-century Parisian home. Two of the room’s highlights are not, however, French: four large Dutch paintings of hunting scenes and a spectacular Italian table designed in 1927 for Mar-a-Lago, Mrs. Post’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, and requested in her will to be brought to Hillwood. When its six leaves are in place, it can seat more than thirty people.


Today, table settings in the Dining Room and adjacent Breakfast Room are rotated with selections of porcelain, glass, and flatware from French and Russian services.







The design of the Breakfast Room recalls the breakfast room in Mrs. Post’s New York City apartment that was built in the 1920’s. The bronze metal work is from the New York apartment, also. The gilt bronze and green glass chandelier comes from Catherine Palace, one of Catherine the Great’s favorite residences outside St. Petersburg.

I decided to include the kitchen and pantry in my post so you could see where the wonderful meals were prepared and where a lot of the dishware was stored.




Do any of you have a silver safe in your pantry? Since Mrs. Post’s death in 1973 no meals have been prepared in the kitchen. She requested it be retired.

I’ll close with this view from one of the pantry windows.

Please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more tablescapes.

Click on gardens and Russian treasures to see more of my posts on Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. Later next week I’ll also post about the Russian Icon collection Mrs. Post acquired and my favorite painting in her home from 1883, A Boyar Wedding Feast.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Hillwood Estate Museum

Here we are at the letter H in Jenny’s Alphabe-Thursday weekly meme and I have so much to share from Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C. that I’m posting early.

Welcome to the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post – the legendary heiress, pioneering businesswoman, diplomat, philanthropist, and distinguished collector.

This is Marjorie and her daughter Dina Merrill. Dina was born to Mrs. Post and her 2nd husband Edward F. Hutton. Dina Merrill became a successful actress.

What drew me most to visit Hillwood was reading about Mrs. Post’s collection of Russian Imperial art which was her lifelong passion. Her third husband was United States Ambassador to Russia, Joseph E. Davies. Marjorie and the Ambassador lived in Russia in 1937 and 1938. She has one of the finest collections in the world. The largest portrait gracing the stairway is of Catherine the Great who reigned from 1762-1796.

Czar Alexander

Czar Nicholas II

A centuries-old Russian custom continues today as hosts welcome their guests with a loaf of bread on a round plate with a cellar of salt placed on top. Platters and cellars that were once used by nobility—some of which are currently on view at Hillwood—were often elaborately made of gilded silver and enamel.

Another symbol of Russia is the double-headed eagle inlaid in the center of this floor. This imperial coat of arms sets the tone for the imperial Russian glass and porcelain that fills the room.

Next time I’ll show the amazing collection of Icons and liturgical pieces from the Russian Orthodox church that Mrs. Post treasured. She also has some beautiful Faberge creations. She acquired these in the 1930’s. I’m so grateful to people like Mrs. Post who had the passion and resources to put such an extensive collection together and than to open up her home and collections to the public.

My post about the Gardens at Hillwood are here.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Hillwood Gardens


Marjorie Merriweather Post intended visitors to Hillwood to delight in the treasures found inside as well as outside the Mansion.



From 1955 to 1957, during renovations carried out after Mrs. Post purchased the estate, elements of the existing landscape were incorporated into garden “rooms” that featured a variety of historical styles.



The formal garden is designed to transport you to a small formal garden of the eighteenth century. Standing on the terrace you  face the terra-cotta sculpture of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.



Fanciful creatures, such as the marble sphinxes, the figures with the head and torso of a woman and the legs of a lion on the balustrade, and the lead cherub riding sea animals in the central pool, lend the garden a sense of whimsy and joy reminiscent of objects in Mrs. Post’s French collection.



The next photo shows the view of the formal garden from Mrs. Post’s bedroom.


As you walk past the statue of Diana you enter the Rose Garden.

In 1956 Mrs. Post hired Perry Wheeler, who had assisted with the design of the White House rose garden, to adapt this garden to her taste. Each bed was planted with a single variety of summer-blooming floribunda rose and the brick paving.


Boxwood was planted to complete the circle started by the pergola.


Mrs. Post chose this site to house her ashes in the base of the pink granite monument crowned with an antique urn of deep purple porphyry.  Mrs. Post died at Hillwood. In her final act of philanthropy, she opened her estate as a museum of her timeless collections. This truly is an amazing gift to the public!




The wood and brick pergola, with its climbing roses and white wisteria that bloom in the spring were part of Willard Gebhart’s original design prior to Perry Wheeler’s additions in 1956.



Four of these statues represent the four seasons. The little guy on the bottom right was on a post on the friendship walk leading to the Four Seasons Overlook.




Looking back towards the rose garden from the putting green.




This is looking down towards the Japanese style garden which I’ll post at a later date.


Past the stone lion is the lunar lawn, named for it’s crescent shape.



There are still many wonderful aspects of Mrs. Post’s outdoor property to show but this post is getting long and I’ll stop here with some lovely Peonies that were growing in the cutting garden.

If you ever visit Washington D.C. I highly recommend a visit to Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. The history and treasures and beauty are worth the trip.

ht: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens brochure.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Ruby Tuesday ~



These photos were taken on the grounds of the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C.

I will be posting photos from the museum and gardens later this week. Hillwood is definitely a Ruby and hidden treasure in Washington D.C.

Please visit Mary at Work of the Poet to see more Ruby posts…

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

FFF ~ D.C. and Home Again…

It’s time to reflect on our last week and pick out 5 favorites to share at Friday’s Fave Five hosted by Living to Tell the Story. Thanks Susanne for hosting this worthwhile event…


Dear and I just got back from 8 days in Washington D.C. Dear was one of the representatives of his company at the American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting. We left a couple days early so the two of us could do some sight seeing before his responsibilities began at the conference. So here are my favorites…

1. Being in our Nation’s capitol again after 40 years and having time to enjoy many of the major tourist spots.


2. Visiting Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. This is an out of the way gem in Washington D.C. I’ll be dividing up my day there in 2 or 3 posts soon. It’s the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

3. Having a visit from my brother Leonard while we were in Washington D.C. He happened to be in Baltimore for business so he drove south to see us in D.C. our last evening there. We sat around and talked for a couple hours before he had to head back. We live in Seattle and Leonard lives in Dallas. What a great surprise that our paths could cross.


Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz. I saw them at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

4.  “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” “Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and – oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home”

We arrived back to Seattle with Sunshine and fresh blooms all over the yard. We are finally getting Spring here! I was so happy to fall into my own bed. It’s great to travel but it’s wonderful to come home again.

5. Katie just got back from spending time with Andrew before he leaves on deployment. On Thursday we had lunch together and then we went to Bed Bath and Beyond so she could register for the wedding in January. It was fun to click on all that fun stuff.

We have another day of sunshine here in the Seattle area. So lovely and so appreciated. We’re off today to finish up Katie and Andrew’s registry at Macy’s and Target. Later tonight we get to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. What’s on your agenda for the day?

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.