Summer 2002

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release Four special Saturdays in June and July will offer the rare chance to go inside some of the most exquisite private homes and gardens in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. Each property is open to visitors just one day a year for tours to benefit local organizations. June 9 marks the annual Garden Tour under the auspices of the Glebe House in Woodbury, and June 15 is the day for the House and Garden Tour benefiting the New Hartford Historical Society. The garden tour sponsored by the Litchfield Garden Club takes place June 22, and the 55th annual Open House Day tour in Litchfield will be held on July 13. The June 9 tour will mark the 76th anniversary of the design of the Glebe House garden by Gertrude Jekyll, the famous English landscape designer. After an elegant lunch at the Glebe House, visitors will be able to see six other spectacular gardens in peak spring bloom. One of the most interesting sites is an intimate walled New England garden tended by five generations of one family. The charming garden design is divided into quadrants and planted with perennials and roses. In contrast, two of the properties are grand estates offering a variety of settings including perennial beds, a pool garden, statuary and plantings of specimen trees and shrubs. $60 tour tickets include lunch. Information: (203) 263-2855. The New Hartford Historical Society tour on June 15 will feature three classic New England homes and a renovated barn. The oldest, a Colonial circa 1735-50, is filled with folk art; another 1810 home displays several paintings by Hudson River School artists. The last home on tour, a charming barn converted to a residence, has an artist's studio showing the owner's sculpture, drawing and prints. The historic Town Hill Cemetery, the Bakerville Library in a former schoolhouse, and the Kimberly Boat and Motor Museum are also included on the $20 tour. Information: (860) 379-6894. Six exceptional gardens will open their gates for The Litchfield Garden Club tour on June 22. Called "A Bouquet of Town and Country Gardens," the tour includes two town gardens and four more expansive plantings in the countryside. Tickets are $25; box lunches are available by advance reservation. Information: (860) 567-5325. No house tour is more eagerly anticipated than the annual Open House Day in Litchfield, one of America's most beautiful Colonial towns. A popular event for 55 years, the July 13 tour will include five special homes. The Myron Osborn House, an 1822 farmhouse sits on handsome property with gardens, stone walls, a barn and pool. Another home of special interest is the three-story McNeil House built in 1867 by railroad engineer Edwin McNeil, with a colorful past that includes being used as a hotel. Many of the homes are within walking distance of the classic Litchfield Green. Tour tickets, $20 ($15 if purchased in advance), include admission to the Litchfield History Museum and the Tapping Reeve House, America's First Law school. The tour proceeds benefit the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic. Lunch will be served at the CJR campus from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for $6, with campus tours and student art exhibit available. Information: (860) 567-9423 For more information about house tours, and a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, write to the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at