Trade Secrets :: Garden Tours, Part 1

There couldn't have been a more lovely weekend for the Trade Secrets Garden Tour. It was a quintessential spring weekend in Connecticut. Everything was in or near full bloom. The rolling hills were dressed in their vibrant green robes and brightly colored pastel trees in pinks, lavenders and whites gave shared their sweet fragrances every time the gentle winds blew. The skies were blue and cloudless. The sun was just warm enough to comfort us without being oppressive. 

Our tour started out at the home of Roxana & Ledlie Laughlan. Bounded by tradition the garden is framed by majestic old trees, surrounded by undulating fields. The property had been in the family for over 50 years and was redesigned in 2001 by Tiziana Hardy. In the center of the garden an arresting tableau of flat stones and mounded boxwoods. Furhter design by Mary Daalhuyzen includes sweeping hydrangeas, ornamental grasses and a series of linked ponds make up this intentionally understated landscape. 

Next we saw the home of Julia and John Scott. (Gold's Mills and Gardens) An 18th Century Gristmill that is now their home overlooks magnificent waterfall that plunges more than 60 feet and weaves its way through the varied landscapes and gardens that they have created. The upper garden, adjoining the millpond, has traditional shrubs, perenials and a cutting garden. Closer to the house  an-early spring wildflower garden borders the waterfall while a series of terraced orchards accompany the waterfall to the pond below. 

Debby and Barton Jones have a most spectacular Greek Revival that overlooks their spectacular meandering garden with randomly traversed paths and stone steps, filled with roses, clematis, old fashioned perennials and hundreds of spring bulbs. Other gardens feature a formal crab-apple alle, two nepeta alles planted with tiny narcissi, a potager garden close to the house and small vegetable garden across the road. 

Below are snippets taken from all three homes. I wish I could capture the incredible aromas of the brightly colored flowers. The white lavender was even sweeter than her purple cousin. We saw a great deal of rustic and noted that many of these homes had several out houses that were under-utilized. They'd be magnificent converted into guest-houses, offices, and studios. There was one that would have been perfect for entertaining an intimate group of friends. We took in the magnificent scenery for as far as the eye could see and we marveled at the smallest, most intricate detail of each garden - each incredibly different from the next. 


The next and final stop on the tour was Bunny Williams and John Rosselli's home which is deserving of its own post, so some back tomorrow for an intimate tour of their wonderful home and gardens!

I want to extend a huge thank you to Amy who graciously drove me around and showed me the lovely sleepy areas of Litchfield County. She is tour guide extraordinaire and her home is equally as beautiful (if not more so) than some of the homes we saw on the tour. Do pay Amy a visit over at ABCDesign Sketch Book - Be warned - Youll get sucked in... You'll lose yourself over there... You won't be able to leave!