Garden party at Naumkeag


A dragon dance in the Evergreen Garden at the garden party at Naumkeag


David Foster, Marianne Jorgensen and Abby and Peter Coffin at the garden party at Naumkeag


Biddy, Bob and Julia Owens at the garden party at Naumkeag


David and Victoria Croll at the garden party at Naumkeag

Even Edith Wharton would have approved of the cocktail party thrown by the Trustees of Reservations to celebrate the restoration of the Chinese Garden at Naumkeag, the historic Gilded Age mansion in Stockbridge.

Part of the Trustees’ ongoing 125th anniversary celebration, the afternoon soiree was co-chaired by musical deity Yo-Yo Ma and his lovely wife, Jill Hornor, and it attracted the likes of latter-day Lucille Ball Julia Owens and her Beacon Hillion parents, Biddy and Bob, conservationist extraordinaire Lillie Johnson, investment guru Peter Coffin, Berkshires booster Hilary Deely, Hollywood big shot Carl Sprague, author and historian Pauline Metcalf, the unspeakably chic Susan Paine, the ever dapper Dave Croll and his stunning other half, Victoria, and one sharp-elbowed New Yorker who rudely jostled his way to the front of the line for the bar.

While a dragon dance and other performances entranced in the newly unveiled garden, guests meandered throughout the grounds, designed by 19th-century landscape architect Fletcher Steele. The Chinese theme was further reflected by paper lanterns, live goldfish on all the bars and fortune cookies, some containing door prizes.

“I had a pet mouse named Limousine,” said one guest, apropos of pretty much nothing.

However, the afternoon’s best exchange was this: “You look fantastic.”

“Well, don’t look too closely.”

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