Inspire, Don’t Intimidate
Christopher Spitzmiller is coming to Lexington, promoting his wildly successful book, A Year at Clove Brook Farm, selected by Town and Country as a 2021 Must-Read. His friend and mentor, Martha Stewart, wrote in the foreword, “We both love restoration, renovation, and building from scratch…And we both center our business efforts on the home, which we both love and cherish, for ourselves as well as our customers.”
The New York Times’ Guy Trebay wrote in his adoring 2021 profile after a visit to the farm during geese-mating season, “It is a book almost manic in its documentation of a dream world. And if the fantasy occasionally threatens to collapse on itself, like those unrestrained paperwhites, there is a corrective. Things were not always so bandbox-shiny at Clove Brook Farm or, indeed, in Mr. Spitzmiller’s life. There was a time, he admitted with disarming candor, when he was a mess.”
In a 2021 interview, Spitzmiller summed up his entertaining philosophy for The Washington Post, “I wrote my book to inspire, not intimidate. Contrast color and mix items you love. A theme, such as blue and white, is always good. Putting your best foot forward and making your guests feel at home is the most important gift you can give them (and yourself).”
Additional advice he offered includes, “I learned not to kill yourself entertaining. What I mean by this is to cook food that you know like the back of your hand….Figure out what works for you and stick to it. Save experimenting and new options for yourself before trying them on your friends.”
And if you’re planning a garden this year? Perfect timing. He told WaPo, “Start in spring. Buy what’s in bloom and what you love. Think about where you are; for example, are deer an issue? If so, install a fence. I’ve placed fences in hedges that disappear. Learn as you go, watch ‘Gardeners’ World’ on BBC and read.”
The Bluegrass Trust’s Antiques and Garden Show returns to the Kentucky Horse Park the weekend of March 4. This year’s keynote speaker is Christopher Spitzmiller. His book, A Year at Clove Brook Farm: Gardening, Tending Flocks, Keeping Bees, Collecting Antiques, and Entertaining Friends, was selected as one of Town and Country’s Must-Reads of 2021.