Bunny Mellon passed away today at 103. i was a student of her style and refinement. she was rare and will be greatly missed. i thoughT i’d pay tribute to her passing by sharing a post i did on her a few years ago. Mrs. Mellon- Rest in Peace and thank you!

it’s official- i’m a lover of bunny’s! first bunny williams, now bunny mellon!

bunny mellon, one of the world’s richest women, has been in the press a lot lately- but the big news is her precious horticultural legacy, fruit of a lifelong passion for gardening!

her motto is “nothing should be noticed”! but what you will notice as we take a tour of oak spring farms, her 4000 acre estate, in upperville, virginia, is her impeccable taste and her truly enchanted gardens- everything is serene, soft, seemingly the essence of artlessness, but highly controlled, created with love- it’s all is the details!

some things, in my opinion, more press worthy- bunny helped decorate jackie kennedy’s house, she created the new rose garden, as well as, renovated the east garden of the white house during kennedy administration, she also did all the flowers for the kennedy weddings and funerals. it’s been said that bunny was the taste behind scenes of Camelot!

a few more things- bunny was not only known for her decorating and gardens, she was also known for her renowned wardrobe. her personal wardrobe was created entirely by balenciaga until his retirement, at which point givenchy took over. then she went on to work her magic in gardens of hubert de givenchy. and lastly, did i mention bunny is over 100 years old, alive and well, and i’m hoping still gardening!

she’s been quoted as always saying, “privacy is the most valuable asset that money can buy”. lately, she hasn’t had much privacy, what the press should talking about is her gardens, her farm, her art collection, her decorators (read here), her famous garden library, her style, her refined elegance! bunny mellon, the epitome of good taste and the like the other bunny, a true queen of green!

enjoy the rare tour of oak springs farms, not photographed since 1969, all photographs by jonathan becker for vanity fair.

the greenhouse at bunny mellon’s oak spring estate

trompe l’oeil murals by fernand renard in the greenhouse

the arbor seen from the greenhouse

an arbor of pleached mary potter crab-apple trees leads to garden entrance

a quiet corner in the garden

a vista at oak spring farms

the vegetable garden

a teahouse with reflecting pool

a bronze rabbit (bunny) by sculptor jane canfield perches atop the garden gate

a birdhouse and pots of citrus

mellon’s basket house, with a painting by georges braque.

mellon , photographed by henri cartier-bresson in her oak spring garden-1962.


Rachel Lambert Mellon (August 9, 1910- March 17, 2014)

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  1. Oh dear… A VERY large number of things auctioned were pulled out of storage/unwanted gifts/etc. If it was shown in situ, it was in the house or on the grounds. If not…well, then it wasn’t. Lovely houses, lovely grounds, but not everything sold was ‘hers’…. Someone mentioned the canfield rabbit as ‘Bunny’s Bunny’. It (and the other canfield pieces) were from the first Mrs. Mellon.

  2. Great wasp style-this house is Really charming as are all of her homes…they are all comfortable, understated and Well loved. She was oNe Of a kInd and will be missed.

  3. Such a beautiful estate and a beautiful woman. The pleached tree arbor is simply stunning. she will be missed.

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