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AT HER NANTUCKET HOME, ARTIST CATHY GRAHAM

New Dawn climbing roses scale Cathy


Grahams summer home overlooking
HOSTS FUN AND FESTIVE GATHERINGS WITH FLOWERS
Nantucket Sound. OPPOSITE: Graham in her FROM THE GARDENAND GIFTS FROM THE HEART.
cutting garden. It features rows of poppies,
sweet peas, foxgloves, dahlias, and more, all
of which she uses in her arrangements.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY QUENTIN BACON | WRITTEN BY K ATHRYN OSHEA-EVANS


FLOWERS DONT HOLD BACK bursting
forth from the bud each spring, even in the
most daunting of circumstancesand nei-
ther does illustrator and floral maestro
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cathy Graham, especially when entertain-
Graham gathers blooms. ing. In any season, her tablescapes are as
She often adorns her lush as blowsy peonies, dotted with anything
table with fresh fruit.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY FROM SECOND BLOOM: CATHY GRAHAMS ART OF THE TABLE
from foxgloves and clematis to miniature
Lilies, foxgloves, and a
collection of coral and
dollhouse furniture, in equal abundance.
seashells light up a If I have an elegant flower arrangement, I
sideboard. The porch, can get away with adding something com-
overlooking the sound. pletely ridiculous, says Graham, who hosts
Lemon leaves and frequent parties at her Manhattan town-
fruit in pressed-glass house and her Nantucket retreat.
bowls grace an alfresco
Her new book, Second Bloom: Cathy
luncheon table. For
parties, she paints her
Grahams Art of the Table (Vendome Press),
own paper lampshades. pairs her entertaining and floral wisdom
The flower room, where with her charming watercolors. Graham,
Graham lets flowers who studied floral arranging in London with
rest before creating Jane Packer and worked with the late event
her bouquets. BELOW, planner Robert Isabell, has returned to
FAR RIGHT: Grahams
illustrating after decades of other priorities.
illustration of a peach.
Im no longer married, and its a second
chance, she says. Im reconnecting to the
life I had in my 20s.
Graham hosts elaborate parties with a
few trademark moves, like quick cocktail
hours (If Im hosting a dinner at 8, we sit
at 8:30) and hand-painted collage-paper
reminders. If you put in the effort, people
come in a good mood, she says. But her
greatest imprimatur may well be her flowers
and tablescapes, loosely inspired by Con-
stance Spry, the British florist who was
famous for high-profile events (the queens
coronation) and innovation (she was pur-
portedly the first florist to add kale to an
arrangement). Graham too is a boundary
pusher, dotting tables with whimsical
antiques and vintage toys from eBay, or
dangling crystal chandelier pieces from the
ceiling with fishing wire so
they catch the candlelight at
eye level. I want my parties to
be fun, and also for people to
feel at ease. Thats the key.

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