2006 Spring Season

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

Besides the private gardens on the tour, visitors will be able to visit three historic gardens in the region, all seen at their best in spring.

More than 50 growers of rare plants and renowned dealers in garden antiques will be on hand for the sixth annual Trade Secrets sale and garden tour in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.

The Saturday sale on May 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be held on the grounds of Lion Rock Farm in Sharon. Unusual specimen plants, including fuschia topiaries, heirloom bulbs, cannas, passion flowers and other exotics will be available along with fine garden antiques such as obelisks, benches, statuary, Tuscan olive jars, formal French urns, aged terra-cotta planters, and architectural elements.

The new scenic location on an early twentieth century working farm offers sweeping views of the Litchfield Hills, as well as ample areas for parking and refreshments.

New features this year will include demonstrations on creating unique arrangements for outdoor planters and a design by decorator Michael Trapp on the pool house terrace.

Three private gardens will be open for tours on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In Sharon, visitors will be welcome at Cobble Pond Farm, designed by the Olmsted Brothers. The Lakeville gardens of Angela Cruger include a test garden from John Scheepers, the Dutch bulb company. The founder of Trade Secrets, designer Bunny Williams will host tours of her garden in Falls Village. Tickets to the events benefit Women's Support Services, are $35 for the sale, $10 each for lectures and $50 for the garden tour.

HISTORIC GARDENS

Three historic gardens are always open to visitors and especially vibrant in the spring and summer in this blooming corner of the state. Each has an interesting story to tell.

Soon after the restoration of the 1750 Glebe House was completed in Woodbury in the 1920s, the famous English horticultural designer Gertrude Jekyll was commissioned to plan an old fashioned garden to enhance the newly created museum. Somehow, the garden was never installed. The almost forgotten plans were rediscovered in the 1970s and planting began according to the original design. Although small compared to some of Jekylls elaborate English gardens, the Glebe House cottage garden includes 600 feet of classic English style mixed border and foundation plantings, a planted stone terrace, and an intimate rose allee.

At the Kellogg Estate in Derby, the formal front garden dating to the early 1900s has five main flower beds filled with colorful annuals and a border bed with a mix of daylilies, iris, peonies, yucca and a mix of annuals. Frances Osborne Kellogg's love for roses can be seen in a garden planted with over 120 different hybrid tea rosebushes. A rock garden and butterfly garden are also part of the design overseen by Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection.

The Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem, a property of the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society, has a striking feature in the elegant parterre garden designed in 1915 by Eliza Ferriday after the pattern of her drawing room's Aubusson rug. The unusual serpentine shape features a small circular pool with stone edging and a statue at the center. The garden features collections of historic peonies, lilacs and roses as well as hundreds of perennials and shrubs and an eighteenth century apple orchard. Plants propagated from the perennials are on sale. This house also holds a special lure for rose lovers, some 1100 books, pamphlets and documents on roses, a recent donation that is one of the largest collections in the country.

For more information on area gardens and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging and dining and other regional attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, www.litchfieldhills.com. For more information on area gardens and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging and dining and other regional attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or www.litchfieldhills.com.