Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tasha Tudor

I´ve been feeling my age - had a birthday and an inexplicably sore shoulder is bothering me - and I´ve been wondering about aging in place at the ruin. Demographic projections for Galicia are dreadful, as for the rest of Spain, with aging populations left in place and younger people emigrating as fast as they possibly can.  I suspect climate change and the ongoing global depression haven´t been factored into these studies, and more people will be forced back to the pueblos just to survive, but the pattern is there.  And yet I find reasons to hope I can be an eccentric old lady toddling around my property.

Tasha Tudor was an author and illustrator who lived to the ripe old age of 93 on her place in Marlboro, Vermont.  From Abebooks:
A true traditionalist at heart, Tudor was not an admirer of modern ways and lived her life according to the same basics found in many of her books. She raised her family in a farmhouse that had no television, radio, or electricity, and used oil lamps for light. She spun flax into her own clothing, raised goats for their milk and even outfitted her homes with Victorian furniture and tools.
Her stories maintained this Victorian feel and Tudor had amazing success with this style. In a career spanning 65 years, she wrote or illustrated more than 100 works, the first of which was Pumpkin Moonshine in 1938 - the story of a small girl who sets out to find the finest and largest pumpkin in order to make the most perfect jack-o’-lantern. Her final publication was Corgiville Christmas in 2003, the third story set in imaginary Corgiville where corgis, cats and rabbits are getting ready for Christmas.
Because of her longevity and fame many of Tudor’s books are highly collectible. Some of her early books such as Amanda and the Bear and Alexander the Gander are now out-of-print so copies in good condition often sell for more than $100. At the high end, a first edition or a signed copy of one of her more famous titles usually fetches upwards of $500 and any original artwork usually sells for well into four figures.

I personally find her illustrations a tad too saccharine in a very Victorian way, but she was certainly a skilled and successful artist.

There is a book available of her extensive gardens, and Amazon UK has an extensive preview.

A video (in Japanese) of her beautiful gardens.

Some more shots of her gardens from the book Tasha Tudor´s Garden via Linen and Lavender:

Tudor often declared she wished she´d lived in the 19th century.  The house pictured was really only about 20 years old - built for her by one of her sons.  She was also an avid collector of period clothing, the extensive collection auctioned after her death.

Unfortunately, her legacy has been somewhat marred by a rather ugly family feud over her estate of around $2 million.

Don´t believe I shall have that problem.  But really,I think her inspiring gardens must be her best legacy.

For more:

Tasha Tudor and Family
Tasha Tudor Museum


  1. Hi Coco, I love your blog and I love the story about this sweet lady, Tasha Tudor. I'm from Galicia but I'm living in California. I hope you are happy in my homeland. Thank you for creating this blog. Regards, Judith

  2. Thank you, Judith, for your lovely comment! I´m glad you enjoy my ramblings.

  3. You're welcome. This is a blog about where I'm from http://aulloaenfotos.blogspot.com I hope you like it.

  4. A Ulloa is a beautiful area! We´re looking forward to exploring it more when we´re living at the house.

    Thanks again.

  5. We have the same thoughts Coco, wondering what it will be like to grow old here. On balance, we believe it is better to be surrounded by people and an environment you love than to be suffocated by the detritus that main-stream cities and lifestyles bring. I am sure we will all be healthier for it and live a life to rival Tasha Tudor's...

  6. Love the photos and story. The sheer diversity of plants plus all of the beautiful flowers make the place look very special. Plus the rock walls are great. Cheers.