Like champagne and strawberries, rare plants, garden antiques, and garden accessories satiate the appetite. It was with a sense of adventure and a penchant for both plants and plant accessories that my gardening and golfing friend, Lois, garden pictured here, and I set off on the two and a half hour trek to the hills of western CT to check out this annual event.
Trade Secrets is an event which began ten years ago and combines the wares of over fifty vendors. Each vendor sells antique garden ornaments or plants or a combination of both. The entry fee of $35.00 is reflective of the upscale surrounding community but it goes to support the local Women Support Services which makes it a great charitable event.
This event is held at Lionrock Farm, a private property which sits atop one of the many hills in this part of Connecticut.
The day was bright, windy, and a bit chilly but it was warm in the sunshine and inside this beautiful barn
which housed the food and other vendors. Check out the chandelier in the above picture. It looks as though it was made from wagon wheel straps. Oh, and that is my posing friend, Lois. She is always smiling. This little log cabin
is a great idea for keeping the kids busy building on a rainy day. Start stockpiling those sticks.
The landscaping around this property is elegant and minimalist. The existing trees have been used as a foundation for the ribbon beds of perennials planted around them.
There was a great variety of product at this event. Everything from carved critters, cast iron urns,
great tables and chairs,
through the ultimate
picnic ware. Pottery
were also in abundance. As for rare plants, there were vendors with many plants and well grown plants.
As far as rare plants, that term is relative when plant lovers gather. I did find a couple vendors with rare plants. Avant Gardens and Opus Nursery, had plants which required tag reading. That means rare to me. As Lois and I walked among the vendors we discovered visual treats at every turn. These
cloches glowed in the reflected bright light of the day and these steel garden ornaments
were well set with their blue sky backdrop.
The highlight of my trip was meeting Guy Wolff. His pottery is well know in the Northeast. I always admire his pottery for its' simplicity of line and beautiful patina. I happened to notice this forcing jar which is a well known pot type in Europe and less well known here. Rhubarb is one of the plants which is covered with this and then the top removed so that it grows on a bit faster. Guy explained that this pot was a bit small for rhubarb but would be used to attain etiolated asparagus or perhaps endive. He graciously posed with the pot. It did not come home with me but I am saving my pennies for a future purchase.
This was a very well run event. Once something was purchased, the item was numbered and sent to a pick up area. You could either drive through the area to pick up your treasures or, in our case since we purchased just a few small plants, we picked them up before heading to the parking area. This was an enjoyable morning spent in the company of plant lovers. Will I go back? Maybe in a few years.
I need to see how they change the urn plantings.