2003 Spring Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com In the soft days of spring, with blossoms overhead and azaleas, tulips, lilacs and laurels flaunting their colors, almost everyone's fancy turns to flowers. For many gardening enthusiasts, this annual flower fever means a pilgrimage to Litchfield, Connecticut. Known to many for its line-up of beautiful Colonial homes, Litchfield is famous among flower lovers for its four prize horticultural centers. Three many-acred Litchfield parks and preserves make for prime picnicking and spring strolls between blossoms. Formal gardens are at their peak this time of year, but nurseries with great display gardens offer more realistic inspiration, and Litchfield offers two exceptional choices at White Flower Farm and the Litchfield Horticultural Center. Here visitors can not only admire and acquire uncommon plants, but have the opportunity to preview how they will look in a setting and on a scale appropriate for a home. At White Flower Farm, the catalog of unusual perennials eagerly perused by millions of gardeners comes to life on 10 blooming acres of trial and display gardens. Among the many rare varieties are unusual roses and tree peonies with blossoms nearly ten inches across. An entire greenhouse is filled with brilliant begonias, one of the nursery's special prides. Dan and Joyce Lake, proprietors of the nearby Litchfield Horticultural Center, live on the property adjacent to the nursery. The residential-size themed display gardens they have developed for their home and 32 lakeside acres are filled with creative ideas. Along the winding paths are 20 vignettes, including formal plantings, a perennial garden, woodland and grass gardens, creative borders, and a shade garden built into the rocks. Field-grown deciduous and coniferous landscape trees, including many dwarf and exotic varieties are also specialties here. The Lakes offer seminars on gardening and landscape design on alternate Saturdays. When it comes to buying plants, Litchfield Hills Nursery, Inc. has been a mecca for local gardeners since 1948, offering a top array of annuals, and perennials, plus containers, statuary, teakwood furniture and bird feeders to adorn the yard. Among this nursery's strong points are herbs, roses and topiary plants. Walnut Hill Greenhouse is of interest even to apartment dwellers. Besides its outdoor selections, Walnut Hill Greenhouse in Litchfield is the place to find indoor plants such as cacti, succulents and a notable selection of rare house plants. The greenhouse features two indoor display gardens, one for cactus, and another for tropical plants. Between flowers, visitors can take advantage of fine spring weather at three leafy picnicking spots, the 4,000-acre White Memorial Conservation Center on Route 202; Mt. Tom, off Rte. 202, also known for its hiking trails; and Topsmead, off Route 118. a 500-acre hilltop preserve with panoramic views. For more information on special packages and a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area, write to the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.