Monday, November 15, 2010

HVA Auction

WASHINGTON—Tim Luke, the appraiser on HGTV’s popular show “Cash in the Attic,” returns to auction one-of-a-kind items and experiences at the Housatonic Valley Association’s annual benefit auction on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 1 p.m. in Bryan Memorial Town Hall. This year, two of the live items are visits with actresses Christine Baranski and Julianna Margulies on the set of “The Good Wife” in New York City for lunch, a tour of the set and to observe a shoot.

Ms. Baranski, an HVA board member, is honorary auction committee chairman, and is joined by a roster of co-chairs: HVA honorary trustee Diane von Furstenberg, who began the fund-raiser 20 years ago; fashion designer Oscar de la Renta and his wife, Annette; fashion marketing consultant Hamilton South; interior designer Robert Couturier; Travel & Leisure magazine editor Nancy Novogrod; Ms. Margulies; Vanity Fair magazine editor-in-chief E. Graydon Carter; Warren resident and owner of Exurban Design Pam Baker; founder of the French Culinary Institute Dorothy Cann Hamilton, and owner and manager of Second Act Farm in Roxbury, Anne Swift. All contribute novel and exclusive items to the popular event.

The funds raised in this event keep us working on behalf of this amazing river valley,” Ms. Baranski said.

Auction proceeds allow HVA to fund programs that protect the water quality of local rivers and streams and preserve regionally important landscapes. Last year, the funds sponsored programs attended by more than 9,000 fourth- and sixth-graders, inspiring today’s children to be the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

Other auction items include a cocktail party for 30 in the Kent barns of authors Frank Delaney and Diane Meier, a vacation at any one of Exclusive Resorts vacation residences around the world, a week’s stay in Provence and three-days at Skip Barber Racing School. Another item involves two seats at a cooking demonstration by Jacques Pepin at the French Culinary Institute, and then the bidder and four friends will join Jacques for a drink at L’Ecole and the six will have dinner afterwards. There’s also a case of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet vintages 1989-1998—the glory years of Silver Oak—tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events, and attendance at exclusive parties and fashion preview shows.

HVA’s work, throughout the Housatonic River watershed from its headwaters in Massachusetts to Long Island Sound, includes combating climate change by promoting low impact development, monitoring water quality to safeguard drinking water, protecting significant farm and forest lands and raising awareness of the need for environmental responsibility.

Seating is limited. Reservations can be made by calling HVA at 860-672-6678 or visiting the Web site at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Morrsi Land Trust Wine Tasting

MORRIS — The Morris Land Trust has announced its second annual Wine and Beer Tasting, to be held Saturday, Nov. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Carriage House at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. The event is a fund raiser supporting the Land Trust’s efforts to preserve the rural character and natural resources of Morris through a wide variety of conservation strategies and educational programs. The evening will feature a large sampling of wines and beers courtesy of Casa Bacchus in Litchfield, as well as hors d’oeuvres, a Silent Auction and a Raffle. Casa Bacchus is also supporting the fund raiser by donating part of the proceeds from separate wine sales to the Land Trust.

Tickets are available prior to the event for $25 at Casa Bacchus (West St., Litchfield) and the Ripe Tomato (Route 109, Morris and Route 202, Litchfield). Tickets will also be available at the door for $30.

The White Memorial Conservation Center is located at Route 202 and Bissell Rd. in Litchfield. For information, call Chuck at 567-9850.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Litchfield Horticultural Center

Tucked behind 200 year old stone walls in one of Litchfield’s finest neighborhood, sits one of the area’s best kept gardening secrets, The Litchfield Horticultural Center. Owned by Tom and Kit Martinson, the LHC has been serving clients and customers in Litchfield County for almost 25 years. Renowned for their design theories and quality installations, the Center has set high standards for other nursery businesses to follow.

Tom and Kit came to Litchfield 6 years ago after making the decision to move their family from Stamford to Litchfield, CT. Tom, a licensed arborist and formerly one of Stamford’s acclaimed Firefighters, owned a tree service company in Stamford and worked on many of the large estates in Greenwich maintaining their trees within magnificent gardens. Tom and Kit are in the process of restoring their country home located on the Litchfield Horticulture Center property. Tom and Kit choose of colors and textures have brought the home back to an era gone by. This was not the first time Tom and Kit work on a restoration of one of their homes. In 1987 he began renovation of a classic Victorian style carriage barn moved by oxen from an estate property in the Dan Town area of Stamford. For eleven years, Tom worked on the renovations until complete in 1999. The home increased in size by more than two and half times to 6,500 square ft. complete with a 26 foot high floor to ceiling stone fireplace, using stone found on the property. The home was featured in the (1999 issue) of Living in Stamford Magazine. Once the Martinson’s sold their Stamford home, they moved to the picturesque corner of Northwest Connecticut to their current location. Their family, which includes five children and their pet dog enjoy every day life on the property.

Pull into the driveway of The Litchfield Horticultural Center and you will most likely be greeted by Rocky, the family dog, as he wags his tail to say hello as you exit your car. Kit and Tom are actively engaged in day to day operation of the business. You will see them in the green house, office, outside watering plants and meeting and greeting new and old clients and friends. You might even see one of their children helping out when their not in school or participating in outside activities. Over to one side of the property is the sales shed, green house and office; on the other side is a large arbor with a number of ornamental shrubs and plants. The Center has a delightful feeling as you stroll through the gardens of the property.

The plant selection is robust with many varieties to choose from. The Center prides itself in the quality of its specimens and will not sell plants that can not withstand the winters in the northwest corner. Tom has been growing his specimen trees on site to make sure that they will do well in the Litchfield area. As Tom says, just because the tag says it’s hardy for this zone, does not mean the plant or variety of plant, is always ready for this zone. The Martinson’s have many varieties of trees, shrubs and plants that they have nurtured for a number of years on site. These plants have proven to be zone hardy for the Litchfield area and would make wonderful additions to any garden. The grounds are always a work in progress as every week there are new additions or plants or trees to move. The Center has a large Koi Pond located at the heart of the property. Tom has designed an irrigation system that supplies a water drip system to 11 zones on the property keeping trees and shrubs well hydrated and eliminating the tedious job of hand watering.

A Litchfield Horticultural Center client is one that both appreciate quality plantings and expert advice when requested. The Center can provide many of the labor tasks, form installing and pruning trees and watering systems to edging and mulching the flower beds in small or large gardens. The Center provides services for residential and commercial clients throughout the county.

For more information on The Litchfield Horticultural Center, please visit

Monday, November 1, 2010

Upcoming Goshen Players Event


The Board of the Directors of Goshen Players, Inc. is thrilled to present an original work by Plymouth playwright Alex Giacin at Old Goshen Town Hall on November 12 - 13, 2010. This work is presented in honor of all veterans of all armed services of the United States, the service they have rendered to their thankful nation and in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Giacin’s original work, then titled “August 9, 1971,” won first prize in the Connecticut Playwright Project competition at the Thomaston Opera House in 2008. It has since undergone extensive revisions, including that of the title, and was accepted to compete in the prestigious 14th Annual New York International Fringe Festival in August of this year. The piece was received to very positive houses and reviews during the highly competitive festival.

“Lenny’s Dead” is a one act play which relates the story of Lenny and Hank, comrades in arms who cannot manage to separate - despite the fact that Lenny is quite dead. Hank and Lenny revisit their separate childhoods, their disparate youths, their meeting, and finally, Lenny’s death as they tell you their tale.

The semi-autobiographical story started with reams of apparently unrelated thoughts and ideas from the jotted down by the playwright. Though not a Vietnam veteran himself, Giacin wrestled with the survivor’s guilt common to many who were spared the effects of the war first hand. His struggle to cope with that guilt as well as the struggle of many close friends forever marked by that war spurred him to create a cohesive piece from the snippets and ideas he had collected for so many years.

The two character show is directed by John Long of Torrington, CT and stars the author as Hank opposite Rob Richnavsky of East Haven in the title role. The men portray not only Hank and Lenny, but also numerous characters from their respective childhoods, families, army training and days fighting together in Vietnam. The true star of the piece is both character’s struggle for honesty and truth in their lives. The story that they have to tell is one which audiences will not soon forget.

“Lenny’s Dead” will be presented on November 12th and 13th, 2010 at 8:00 pm. All tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased by calling the Goshen Players Box Office at 860.491.9988 or by visiting The performance will be at the home of Goshen Players, Inc., the Old Goshen Town Hall, at the junctions of Routes 4 and 63 at the Rotary in the center of Goshen, CT.

Goshen Players, Inc. is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization based in Goshen, CT. They have presented quality musicals annually since 1949, expanding their season to include other events in 2005. The venue for their productions, the Goshen Old Town Hall, was purchased from the town in 2004. Major updates and renovations to that space continue.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

20 Green Tips for Halloween

by Jennifer Grayson

Remember when the biggest Halloween hazard was razor blades in the candy? Or so we all thought: We donned devilish masks and ran around the neighborhood giddily gathering piles of candy in our plastic pumpkins, coming home to stuff our faces with mini Mars bars and tiny Twix until our tummies hurt.

When you're a kid, ignorance is bliss; now that I'm older, greener, and wiser, I know better: Turns out many masks aren't rubber but toxic PVC; those plastic pumpkins are still sitting in the landfill all these years later; and the ingredients in conventional candies have been genetically modified.

But that doesn't mean you should start passing out the pennies and raisins. There are few pleasures as wonderful in life as digging into a big 'ol bag of trick-or-treat goodies, and even yours truly wouldn't trade her bite-sized Baby Ruths for baby carrots.

With a few simple swaps, however, you can guard the health of the planet and your little ones (and your own, if you're still a kid at heart) without sacrificing a ghoulish good time. Here, my top 10 tips for a green Halloween.

1. Pass on the plastic pumpkin. There's no need to collect candy in a petrochemical-based plastic pumpkin holder when any reusable bag will do. Plus, you can collect more goodies by going retro and reusing an old pillowcase. Gotta go Halloween-themed? Check out the handmade reusable monster pouches from Freak-O-Bags.

2. Construct your own costume. Store-bought vinyl Halloween costumes and masks smell chemical-y because they're actually off-gassing toxic chemicals -- like phthalates, which have been linked to ADHD and feminized genitalia in baby boys. Check out these no-sew alternatives that reuse everyday items like coffee filters and old umbrellas.

3. ...Or rent one. Looking for a more elaborate disguise? Secure one from a local costume rental shop. You may not avoid the aforementioned exposure to nasty chemicals, but at least you'll have a greener conscience knowing that your synthetic-hair wig and plastic mallet will outfit another Thor next year.

4. Mind the makeup. Even Halloween face paint labeled "nontoxic" can contain poisonous metals. This, from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which last year found lead (a neurotoxin that can reduce IQ) in all of the samples it analyzed. Paint your kids' faces with your own eco-friendly makeup, or make your own with food-based ingredients.

5. Indulge in green goodies. Organic Halloween candies can break the bank if you get upwards of 500 trick-or-treaters every year, but if you only have a few sweet tooths to satisfy, pick up packs of treats that are free of genetically modified corn syrup and artificial dyes -- like YummyEarth organic lollies.

6. Rethink the Reese's. If you must buy in bulk, hold off on the Hershey's brand: A new report points a finger at the candy king for the continued prevalence of child labor and trafficking in the cocoa industry. Nestlé, on the other hand, is working to improve social and environmental conditions for its cocoa farmers.

7. Compost your jack-o'-lantern. A pumpkin may be all-natural, but send it to the anaerobic environment of a sealed landfill and it will emit methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Help cut down on the 1.1 billion pounds of annual pumpkin waste by composting yours.

8. Ditch disposable decorations. The only thing that's scary about plastic witches and goblins is the amount of time they'll take to decompose in a dump (1,000 years). Stuff old clothes with newspaper for a sustainably scary scarecrow, or make dancing ghosts out of worn sheets and leaves.

9. Add a green glow. You'll save electricity by creating a creepy, candle-lit atmosphere to welcome trick-or-treaters and party guests, but make sure you're not causing indoor air pollution by burning petroleum-based paraffin. Light the way with candles made from beeswax or GM-free soy instead.

10. Find fun on foot. Driving your kids around town may help them haul the biggest loot, but it also wastes gas unnecessarily. If you live in a safe area, curb your kids' candy carbon footprint by walking them around the neighborhood. Wise words for a green -- and lean -- Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dreams and Leaves

Dreams & Leaves

Sunday,  October 31st, 2:00pm

A celebration of poetry, original and classic with musical accompaniment.

With John Alter and friends: John Marshall, Kirsten Bouthiller, and Lindsay Jerry-Collins

$10.00 suggested donation at the door  to benefit Hunt Hill Farm Trust

Call to Reserve a Seat

General Contact Information


Phone: (860) 355-0300

Fax: (860) 350-5495

Some Upcoming Weekend Events

With Halloween right around the corner one will find numerous events this weekend to help celebrate the season. Two of the most unique include the Annual Haunted Trail at the Institute for American Indian Studies this Saturday in Washington. Zombies, aliens, ominous sounds and sights! Join IAIS staff, Board Members and friends for a guided half mile walk along their Haunted Trail, ending at the village where apple cider and marshmallows roasted over the campfire await. The hours are 6:00 PM and 9:30 PM; last walk departs at 9:45. Fee: $6 Adults; $4 Kids.

And for the faint of heart…The Enchanted Forest at The Sharon Audubon Center Route 4 in Sharon will be held this Friday and Saturday. On-going 40 minute candlelit walks take place between 6:30 and 8:00 PM. Guided groups will meet friendly costumed animal characters along the trail to hear how the animals live their lives on the Audubon grounds. Participants can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate inside the Center building before taking a hayride back to the parking area. This non-scary program is ideal for children up to 8 years old and their families. Admission is $4 for adults and children. Participants should bring an extra flashlight if available.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Roxbury Farm Tour

Celebrate the harvest and learn where your food comes from by visiting several Roxbury farms - one dating from the time of King George III, another begun in the 21st century. Visit farms in the order you wish; guides will greet you at each farm.

Talk with farmers about their crops, animals, produce, and processes. See hundreds of antique tractors,vintage farm tools, herds of Scottish Highland cattle and black Angus cows, hear the pigs squeak, the sheep baa, and the hens cackle. Enjoy a variety of vegetables, flowers, herbs from family-farms.

Enjoy a snack at each farm as well as light music and lunch at a community center.

A wonderful family event - bring the children and see farming at its finest in this agrarian town settled in the 18th century.

The fund-raiser is sponsored by the Friends of the Roxbury Senior Center. Rain date: Sunday, Sept. 12

Venue Name: Roxbury Farm Tour

Venue Address: 7 South Street

Roxbury, CT 06783

 (860) 354-9604

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Bethlehem Fair

The Bethlehem Fair starts this weekend at the Fairgrounds in Bethlehem, CT on Rt. 61.  For more information on the fair, please click here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Black Bear Does And Don'ts

In recent years, a resident population has become established in Connecticut, primarily in the northwestern region. Bears have also wandered into heavily populated residential areas. Connecticut residents need to learn more about bears and how to reduce the likelihood of bears becoming a problem.


Bears are attracted to the garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees and birdfeeders around houses.

DO make birdfeeders and bird food inaccessible by discontinuing the feeding of birds from late March through November or by hanging feeders at least ten feet above the ground and six feet away from tree trunks.

DO eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.

DO clean and store grills away after use.

DON'T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.

DON'T leave pet food outside overnight.

DON'T add meat or sweets to a compost pile.


Bears normally leave an area once they’ve sensed a human. If you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance. Aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare.

DO make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms if you see a bear while hiking.

DO keep dogs on a leash and under control. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.

DO walk away slowly if you surprise a bear nearby.

DON'T cook food near your tent or store food inside your tent. Instead, keep food in a secure vehicle or use rope to suspend it between two trees.

DON'T climb a tree, but wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave an area.


Bears occasionally attack livestock and damage beehives.

DO protect livestock with electric fencing and move livestock into barns at night if possible.

DO reinforce beehives to prevent them from being knocked over or protect them with electric fencing.

DO report bear sightings to the DEP

Experience has shown that a single wandering bear can be responsible for numerous sightings reported to the Wildlife Division. Experience has also shown that, given an avenue for escape, bears will usually wander back into more secluded areas. People should not feed bears, either intentionally or unintentionally. Bears that associate food with people become problem bears that will not be tolerated by all property owners. Connecticut has the habitat to support more bears; however, the future of Connecticut's bear population depends on the actions and attitudes of the human population.

The probability of a bear attacking a human is exceptionally low. Therefore, the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. However, the DEP may attempt to remove bears from urban locations when there is little likelihood that they will leave on their own and when they are in positions where darting is feasible. The DEP attempts to monitor bear activity in developed areas in coordination with local public safety officials. Coordination and cooperation between DEP officials on the scene and local police officials is a key, critical ingredient in educating the public and assuring a safe, desirable outcome in such a situation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Goshen Fair

A Goshen Tradition, the Goshen Fair Opens this weekend at the Goshen Agricultural Fairgrounds on Rt. 63

For more information,please click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

This Weeks Green Tip-Repurposing The Milk Jugs

Milk jug repurposing tips

Aside from recycling, upcycling and downcycling, plastic milk jugs can be repurposed at home for a multitude of uses. Here's a few ideas:

Fly traps. Small flaps are cut in the side of the milk jug towards the top and bent outwards far enough to allow space for flies to crawl in. Water is placed in the bottom of the jug along with a smelly piece of bait, such as a small piece of rotting meat. The jug is then hung in a tree.The flies are drawn by the smell, enter the bottle but cannot get out. When they tire, they drop into the pool and drown. The decaying flies then draw more flies.

As a scoop. Place the milk jug on a flat surface with the handle side up and cut from just forward of the handle on a diagonal down to the base.

As a funnel. Simply cut off the base of the milk jug and use inverted.
Seed punnets. Cut a few inches from the base and poke a couple of holes in the base for drainage. Fill with potting mix or your preferred growth medium.

Cut off the top and use the remainder as a kitchen bench top tidy or as a bin for collecting food scraps for use in your compost pile or worm farm.

 Use for storing dry grains such as rice and beans or even bird seed. The handle and spout makes for easy pouring.
Cut off the bottom and use the top section as mini-greenhouse for seedlings
Fill with water and sand and use as weights to stop tarps from flying away in the wind, or as a doorstop.
Fill 2/3 with water and freeze to use as freezer blocks for your icebox.
Use for storing old motor oil until you can dispose of the oil properly.

 Cut off the bottom and use as a pet food or water bowl.

Of course, don't forget to give the plastic milk jug a good rinse first before repurposing - water and baking soda will do the trick - and allow to dry thoroughly.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Area Library Events

from Litchfield bz.

Several area libraries are hosting special events in September. The Goshen Public Library received a grant from the Community Foundation of NW CT and Connecticut Humanities Council for a four part series about the Revolutionary War era. The first program is on Saturday, September 11th starting at 12:00 Noon featuring “The Hudson River Ramblers” - a music/storytelling duo specializing in the Revolutionary War and the Colonial Era. Weather permitting, the performance will be outdoors and the audience will be encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic lunch. The Goshen Public Library is found at 42 North Street, Goshen. For more information please call 860-491-3234 or check the web site at

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, Kent Memorial Library in Kent and Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield are hosting a number of events culminating in a panel discussion sponsored by all three libraries.

The Gunn Memorial Library (5 Wykeham Rd, Washington, CT) will host a book discussion on Tuesday, August 31st beginning at 6:30 pm. All are invited to join in on a casual conversation about this famous literary work. Light refreshments will be served. The original 1962 film starring Gregory Peck will be shown on Thursday, September 2nd at 1:00 pm and again at 6:00 pm. Sip ice tea and enjoy fresh popcorn as you enjoy watching this classic beloved film based on the widely read Pulitzer Prize winner, starring Gregory Peck. Please contact Susan Newbury, or 860-868-7586 with any questions regarding the programs at Gunn Memorial Library,

The Kent Memorial Library will show the same film on Friday, September 10th at 6:00 pm. Bring along a picnic dinner (take-out works well) and watch this classic film. We’ll provide the popcorn. Please register by calling 860-927-3761 or emailing Kent Memorial Library, 32 Main Street, Kent CT 06757

The film will also be shown at the Litchfield Community Center, in collaboration with the Oliver Wolcott Library, on Monday, September 13th at 1:00 pm. Come celebrate the enduring legacy of Harper Lee’s classic novel by viewing this 1962 American drama adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. The film features Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. For questions, please contact the Oliver Wolcott Library at 860-567-8030. To register online, visit the Library’s website at and select Programs/Adult Programs.

The Oliver Wolcott Library, Gunn Memorial and Kent Memorial Libraries will present a panel discussion on the enduring influence of To Kill A Mockingbird on Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Litchfield Community Center. Authors Todd Johnson, Frank Delaney, Diane Meier, and television writer and producer Mary McDonagh Murphy will discuss the influence of Harper Lee’s book on writers and share their reflections about the book on their own work. The discussion will also include highlights of Murphy’s documentary, Hey Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird where Murphy explores the power, influence and popularity of this important work.

Todd Johnson, author of The Sweet By and By graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with honors in history and received his master’s degree from Yale Divinity School. He has performed with a long roster of major artists and won a Tony Award nomination as a producer of The Color Purple on Broadway.

Frank Delaney is the author of six books of non-fiction, twelve novels, one novella and many short stories. His most recent book is Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show. In addition to his career on BBC Radio Four, he wrote films for Omnibus and other arts programs and in the early 1980’s hosted his own talk show, Frank Delaney, featuring an array of cultural and literary personalities.

Diane Meier is the founder and owner of Meier, Inc., a New York City marketing firm whose clients include Neiman Marcus, DeBeers, Elizabeth Arden and Pierre Balmain. Her career has honed skills from strategy, writing and design to public speaking. She is the author of The Season of Second Chances, and The New American Wedding: Ritual and Style in a Changing Culture.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Big Butterfly

It would probably be stretching things to call any year a good year for Giant Swallowtails in Connecticut. They’re too rare, and too little is known about their range and status in the state. Nonetheless, this year has produced a few reports, as opposed to many years that produce none. Peter DeGennaro of Naugatuck reported his sighting of one in wetlands in Falls Village several weeks ago, and more recently there was a report of larvae found in the same area. Last week Margo Lewis of Falls Village sent me an e-mail and accompanying photo of sightings in her yard. Margo first saw a very fresh-looking individual around the beginning of August.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fundraising Concert

A Fundraising Concert For RODfest (Friends of Fallen Journalist Daniel Pearl) - Lakeridge - 811 Burr Mountain Rd., Torrington, CT 06790. Phone: 860-482-9463. A fundraising concert for FODfest offer a unique performance experience that is part concert, song-swap, and jam session and feature a diverse range of artists, most of whom are meeting for the first time on stage. Artist's include: Wanda Houston, Linda Baker, Joel Martin, Sam Weiser, Sharon Klein and Todd Mac with more to come. Some tickets are still available by invitation for $25 each. (check made payable to FODfest) with a call to Lakeridge Recreation. As part of the day, the community also plans a showcase of homes during the mid-late afternoon. The Lakeridge Fund-raising Committee is sponsoring this event in order to raise funds for FODfest-in-the-Schools and FODfest Abroad Programs.

Property Of The Week

This completly remodeled four bedroom three bath home has granite counters, stainless steel appliances, 2 fireplaces (one in living room, one is the family room), hardwood floors, great built in book cases and a large living room dining room area. Located within walking distance to the Woodridge Lake clubhouse for tennis, swimming, fitness room, marina and young persons play area.   $379,900 

Click here to go to the PPG Web site for more infomration and photos

Stephen Drezen, 860.491.2000 Portfolio Properties Group

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Fair Season In Our Area!

One of the great things about Connecticut living, especially in Litchfield, are our area fairs.  This weekend is no exception

The Terryville Fair will be held August 27th-29th at the Terryville Fairgrounds.

The Litchfield Grange will have it's Grange fair on August 28th,

And let's not forget the Goshen Agricultural Fair, held over Labor Day weekend at the Goshen Fairgrounds. 

For more information on all these fairs, please click here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DEP Freinds of Dinosaurs Day!

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Friends of Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum will host a celebration of the discovery of 2,000 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints in Rocky Hill on Saturday, August 21, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The tracks were made 200 million years ago by large carnivorous dinosaurs and were discovered in 1966 by a bulldozer operator who was digging the basement of a state office building.

Dinosaur State Park Day’s special programs will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All outdoor activities are free with the exception of a small materials fee to mine for gems or fossils. The day will feature a wide variety of programs for families. They will include:

Live animal demonstrations by Riverside Reptiles and Sharon Audubon

Games with prizes

Face painting

Musical entertainment

Costumed characters

Mining for gems or fossils (a small materials fee is charged).

Guided nature walks

An extensive crafts area

There will be food available for sale on park grounds. The museum will be open for regular operating hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The admission fee to enter the museum is $6 for adults (age 13 and up) and $2 for youth (ages 6-12).

Inside the museum visitors can view 600 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints and related exhibits. The museum will have continuous educational programming featuring animal demonstrations, films and track talks throughout the day. The discovery room will also be open for visitors and includes a coloring area, book mark making station, live animals, interactive fossil boxes and geology displays.

The park’s outdoor hiking trails will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. The outdoor track casting area will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To make a cast, visitors must bring 10 pounds of Plaster-of-Paris and a ¼ cup of cooking oil. Visitors can make only one cast per family or group.

This event will be held rain or shine. The park is located on 400 West Street in Rocky Hill one miles east of exit 23 off Interstate 91. Friends of Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum is a private, not-for-profit group, dedicated to promoting education about paleontology and Connecticut geology. For more information contact Meg Enkler at (860) 529-5816

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Litchfield 4-H fair at the Goshen Fairgrounds.

The Litchfield County 4-H fair will be held August 7th and 8th at the Goshen Fairgrounds on Rt. 63. Events to be held will be showmanship in cattle, swine, dairy animals, horses, poultry and other small animals. There will also be crafts, clothing, photography and other contests.  For more information, click here to go to the home page for the Litchfield County 4-H program.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Property Of The Week

A Woodridge Lake Gem. Hidden from view this well designed contemporary home is well landscaped and includes a circle driveway. Situated within walking distance of the clubhouse, tennis courts, pool, lake, this 4 BR, 3.5 BA home has winter water views, bright sunny windows and ample space for family and friends. Additional room in the lower level could be a fourth bedroom.

Woodridge Lake in Goshen, Connecticut Located less than 10 minutes from the Historic Town of Litchfield. Litchfield is a popular weekend destination spot and hosts the Annual Litchfield Road Race held each year in June. Goshen is home to the Internationally known Litchfield Jazz Festival, held each year in August and the Goshen Agricultural Fair held over Labor Day weekend. Located just a few miles away is the family friendly Mohawk Ski Mountain, the Housatonic River (known for world class fly fishing) and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Enjoy Country Club living at its best! Four sandy beaches; marina; boating and fishing; 8 tennis courts; (two Har-Tru courts) a 12,500 square foot clubhouse with Wi-Fi internet access, meeting rooms, library, fitness center, locker rooms; heated Jr. Olympic pool; playground; organized activities and much more. The community is strategically located to be within an approximate five minute drive of one private and one public golf course. Theater, music, and entertainment are all a short drive away. Famous Lime Rock Race Track is conveniently located 20 minutes from the community. Come and see where the smart money has found a home in Connecticut. Litchfield County is the place to be. It's Connecticut's Hidden Gem.

Stephen Drezen-Broker  860.491.2000

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Connecticut Wine Festival At the Goshen Fairgrounds

The Connecticut Wine Festival will take place July 31 & August 1 at  the Goshen Fairgrounds.

Enjoy wine, food samples, live music, and buy great CT Wines by the bottle to take home!

Hours are Saturday, July 31, 12pm-7pm and Sunday, August 1, 12pm-6pm.

Directions can be found at:

Bring your passport! There is an exclusive Connecticut Wine Festival stamp for the festival.

You must present your ID upon entering the festival.

No outside food or drinks allowed. No pets allowed.

Tickets purchased at the festival are $25 daily/$40 weekend, $10 designated drivers and under 21.

Advanced tickets are on sale NOW!

Ticket Prices are $20 daily/$40 weekend, and $10 for designated drivers/under 21.

Advance tickets are for sale at: Jerram Winery, Gouveia Vineyards, Jones Winery, Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Miranda Vineyard, Hopkins Vineyard, and Bishop's Orchards Winery.

If you are interested in being a food, artisan, or craft vendor please contact Kristin Manning at

If you are interested in volunteering at the event, contact Ginger Kunkle at

Goshen Fair

The Goshen Fair is coming soon!Traditionally  held over Labor Day weekend (Sept 4, 5, 6th, 2010) at the Goshen Fairgrounds.  The Fair books are out.  You can pick one up at the Goshen Library or by contacting the Fair Society at 860.491.3655

Meet Your Local Farmers!

The Litchfield County Farm Bureau is holding an "Open House" at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds in Bethlehem, CT, this Sunday, August 1st from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

This event is open to the public and is a great way to meet area farmers and to support agriculture in Litchfield County. 

For More Information, please contact Contact Dana Assard, County Administrator, at,

or call at 203-266-9019

Farmers Present
Farm All Farm – Seasonal Vegetables

Karen’s Lambs LLC – Yarn & Roving from Sheep, Lambs Hides & Vegetables

Lavender Creek Farm LLC – Handspun Alpaca Yarn, Hand Knitted Items &

A Spinning Demonstration

Percy Thomson Meadows – Beef, Pork, Chicken, Vegetables, Soap, Hay,

& Canned Goods

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Road Closure

A 300-foot stretch of West Hyerdale Drive in the Woodridge Lake development in Goshen will be closed from Wednesday until Aug. 31 at the latest while it is repaired.

The section of road between Canterbury Court and Bentley Circle will be repaired for $143,699 by Andrew J. Palker Jr. and Sons of Northfield, the low bidder. The Board of Selectmen awarded the contract for the job on Thursday.

The goal is to complete the project before the opening of school so the road can be used by school buses. Half of the road will be rebuilt and the rest will be repaved. The section of road that needs rebuilding was built on faulty material, according to First Selectman Robert P. Valentine, and is sliding toward Woodridge Lake.

Selectmen will dip into the town's road improvement budget of $167,050 to fund the project

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tea for Two Hundred


Proceeds to Benefit the Washington Art Association and Interfaith AIDS Ministry

The Thirteenth annual Tea for Two Hundred garden party gala benefit has been scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2010, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The proceeds of this year's event will benefit the Washington Art Association and the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury.

Held in the exquisite gardens at the Washington Depot home of Gael Hammer, the Tea for 200 is widely considered Litchfield County's social event of the season. Past chairpersons and special guests include Oscar de la Renta, Joan Rivers, Laura Linney, Christine Baranski and Topher Grace. This year's Honorary Chair is MOMIX, celebrating 30 years of Presenting Dance Works of Exceptional Inventiveness and Physical Beauty

In keeping with tradition of past Teas, this year's event will include a silent auction, best hat contest, and cameo musical performances. As always, white attire is requested.

This year's event is made possible by Brian and Eileen Riano, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, the exclusive media sponsor, and the generosity of many area residents and businesses.

For more information, click here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Litchfield Jazz Festival

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is just around the corner. 2010 marks the 15th Anniversary of The Litchfield Jazz Festival. LJF continues the tradition of showcasing jazz legends and fostering up-and-coming talent as we've done since 1996.

This years line up includes Dave Brubeck, Denise Thines, the Avery Sharpe Trio and so much more.

For Tickets and Information, please visit thier web site by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This Weeks Green Tip

There are several ways to save energy and water in the laundry room, from careful selection of your machines to using cold water. When your old washing machine clunked out, you cleverly replaced it with a front-loading model bearing the Energy Star label. Congratulations! You're already using 50% less energy and water, and saving $110 a year.
But if you're a renter or otherwise saddled with an oldie, you can still make running a load of laundry even more efficient. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water.
So wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. And reduce the number of times you run the machine by always waiting until you have a full load.

Plus if you have access to a clothes line, hang your clothes out and let fresh air and sunshine dry your clothes and make them smell wonderful.
Read more:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Goshen Trivia Night

Friday July 23rd at the Goshen Library at 6:30 PM, Prizes to be awarded! For more Information, contact the Goshen Library at 860.491.3234  or click . here

Property of the Week

A newly re-mastered and professionally designed interior, this charming country cottage home comes fully furnished and equipped to move right in. Situated on about 1 acre of land within walking distance of a private club with beach, tennis, pool, marina, health club and more. The property is a wooded lot with open spaces for sports or entertainment. A screened porch and large living deck complete the picture.

Listing Agent: Stephen Drezen
Portfolio Properties Group, LLP

Offered at $469,000

Friday, July 16, 2010

Noble Horizons Free Shred It Day

Noble Horizons will be hosting a FREE shred it day.  Th event will be held Saturday July 17th from 9 am to Noon on Saturday.

Please call 860.435.9851 x 190 to register.  Or click here for more information.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Own a Piece of History-the Holley Rudd Sale


Holley - Rudd Estate Sale, 56 Millerton Road (Rt 44), Lakeville, CT

Friday – July 16 from 5:00 - 7:30pm

Wine, Cheese & Early Buying, $15pp (Friday only) to benefit Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association

Saturday & Sunday July 17 & 18

8:00am – 3:00pm

The ancestral home of Alexander Hamilton Holley, Governor of CT from 1857 - 1858, and his heirs: items from Holley Knife Mfr Co of Lakeville Signed Tiffany Studios Bronze Table Lamp c1900 Suite of Victorian Rosewood Furniture c1850 Signed Tiffany Zodiac Box Riviere Studios Desk Set Mahogany Double Pedestal Dining Table Set of 8 Chippendale Style Dining Chairs Period Cherry Chest of Drawers Brass Beds Galore Antique Toys & Vintage Lionel Trains Yale Wedgewood Plates Limoges & Dresden China in perfect condition Fulper, Rookwood, Weller & Hampshire Pottery Old Radios Clocks & Barometers Many pieces of Sterling Silver Oriental & Stark Rugs Contents of workshop including Metal Workers' Lathe & many Antique Tools Horse drawn Cart & Plow Gravely 450 Lawn Tractor Vintage Cast Iron Garden Urns Surveyors' Equipment including W & LE Gurley Transit Outfit c1905 Early Fishing Gear Sports Equipment Tennis Rackets Golf Bags & clubs with wooden shafts. Just a very small sampling of items for sale from this historic mansion.

For More Information; Please click here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Property of the Week

Wonderful Lakefront home at Woodridge Lake. Large living room with fireplace, granite and stainless steel kitchen, lower level family room with fireplace, master bedroom suite with dressing room and whirlpool bath, large office and a home theater/media room with plasma TV, Bose surround sound, DVD, CD, VHS, Radio and Cable TV. The outside has been professionally landscaped, new stone patio, new deck, new stone walls, new aluminum dock with canopy, large deck, and a great flat lawn/garden area that overlooks Woodridge Lake. This property would make a great year round or weekend retreat.

The home itself has been updated with the following items: new kitchen with SubZero fridge, six burner Viking Stove, new dishwasher, new African red cherry flooring in the dining room, new tiled mudroom, new electric blinds in the Solarium, new Boch hot water heater, 3 new Air Conditioning units, new underground 500 gallon propane tank, new automatic generator, new Thermo pride oil furnaces, new water softener, electrostatic filters and new enlarged pressure tank.

Woodridge Lake in Goshen, Connecticut Located less than 10 minutes from the Historic Town of Litchfield. Litchfield is a popular weekend destination spot and hosts the Annual Litchfield Road Race held each year in June. Litchfiled County is home to the Internationally known Litchfield Jazz Festival, held each year in August and the Goshen Agricultural Fair held over Labor Day weekend. Located just a few miles away is the family friendly Mohawk Ski Mountain, the Housatonic River (known for world class fly fishing) and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Enjoy Country Club living at its best! Four sandy beaches; marina; boating and fishing; 8 tennis courts; (two Har-Tru courts) a 12,500 square foot clubhouse with Wi-Fi internet access, meeting rooms, library, fitness center, locker rooms; heated Jr. Olympic pool; playground; organized activities and much more. The community is strategically located to be within an approximate five minute drive of one private and one public golf course. Theater, music, and entertainment are all a short drive away. Famous Lime Rock Race Track is conveniently located 20 minutes from the community. Come and see where the smart money has found a home in Connecticut. Litchfield County is the place to be. It's Connecticut's Hidden Gem.

for more information, call Stephen Drezen, Broker  860.491.2000

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Roxbury Pickin'n Fiddlin Contest-

36th Annual ROXBURY PICKIN 'n FIDDLIN CONTEST ON Friday July 10th - 18 Apple Lane, Roxbury, CT 06783. Phone: (860) 354-5921. On Sat. 3:30 p.m. Hurlbert Park, off Rte. 67. A fun family event for all. Prizes in categories: Fiddle Jam (not judged); Old Time Fiddle, Old Time Banjo, Mandolin, Fancy Fiddle, Finger Picking Guitar, Bluegrass Banjo, Band Playoff. No electric instruments. Bands will play between categories. Bands play between categories, leading up to a winner playoff. Also, Vendors, Volleyball, Playground, Kid Crafts & Food/Drinks. Lawn chair/blankets recommended. Fun for the whole family. No dogs. Admission $10. Under 10 yrs. Free. Parking Free. Benefit Roxbury Vol.Fire Department. (Rain date) 7/11/2010 at noon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The 63rd Annual Litchfield Open House Tour




Litchfield, Connecticut

Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, rain or shine

Conducted by the Litchfield Aid of CJR

The 63rd Annual Open House Day Tour of Litchfield to benefit the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, rain or shine. Conducted by the Litchfield Aid of CJR, an auxiliary volunteer organization, this year's tour will feature five homes of historic and architectural significance, with a focus on Litchfield's spectacular North and South Street residences. The self-guided tour also includes additional points of interest and begins on the Litchfield Green. Most homes on the tour will be within walking distance to the center of Litchfield and guests will enjoy riding a trolley along the Tour route.

A Preview Tour will be offered the evening of Friday, July 9, from 5:00 - 7:30 PM, followed by a cocktail reception from 7:00 - 9:30 PM at a private property in a magnificent garden located in the heart of Litchfield's Historic District.

For more information, click here , or call Hedy L. Barton. Director of Development  860-567-9423

Saturday, July 3, 2010


In conjunction with the Rotary Club of Salisbury will begin at 9 p.m. on Sat. Gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking. There will be an entry fee per car. Dogs are not permitted. Parking is at the infield and outfield gates at White Hollow Rd.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free Ice Cream

 The Webster Treats Truck will be in your neighborhood giving out free ice cream starting next week. The truck will be stopping at the following locations:

7/3 – New Milford Fireworks, New Milford, CT (3 PM – 9 PM)

7/30 – Sidewalk Sale, 50 North St., Kent, CT (10:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Property Of The Week

As Seen in the Litchfield County Times

28 Torrington Rd,Litchfield, CT

Agent: Michelle Grant
Portfolio Properties Group, LLP


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today's Green Tip~Watch that AC Thermostat!

With natural gas and heating oil prices being what they were the past few winters, it has gradually dawned on many homeowners and renters alike to mind their thermostats carefully through the cold months. Now, that same kind of vigilance is more important than ever when it comes to moderating your warm weather climate control as well.

That's because cooling accounts for nearly half the energy used by the average home during the summer, according to the EPA. The high power loads of air conditioners put considerable pressure on already stressed power grids, and have been blamed for numerous blackouts and rolling brownouts. The generation of the required electricity is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.

As in winter, it really pays to install a programmable thermostat (approximately $150 a year, according to the EPA). Besides improving efficiency, a programmable model provides hassle-free convenience and accuracy, and doesn't contain mercury like the old manual thermostats. Learn about Energy Star models here.

Even though the thought of an arctic blast might sound appealing in the dog days of summer, it isn't wise to set your thermostat too low, for your pocketbook or the environment. Aim for 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Also make sure your air conditioning system, including ductwork, is properly maintained and cleaned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

White Flower Farm Open House

This Weekend, White Flower Farm will be hosting it's annual open house:

Mark your calendars for our Open House day, when we welcome old friends and new for iced tea and cucumbers sandwiches on the lawn by our house. The display gardens should be close to peak and the Begonia House full of renowned Blackmore & Langdon varieties will be hitting its stride. The date this year is Saturday, June 26 and we'll start serving around 2:30. Once again, our children have agreed to judge the best garden hat. The wearer will receive a White Flower Farm gift certificate for $100, a post on our Facebook page, and a year's worth of bragging rights

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music Mountain Season Opens Today


This weekend at Music Mountain!

Music Mountain launches its 2010 Summer Jazz and Big Band Series Twilight Concerts on June 19 with jazz pianist Alan Simon whose playing The New York Times has described as "clean, energetic, and fraught with periodic surprises... Mr. Simon holds it all together, weaving and soloing with sensitivity and taste."

Pianist and composer Alan Simon is known in the jazz world as a “musician’s musician”; a skilled, inventive player with an impressive command of both the traditional and modern jazz idioms.

Simon has shared the stage with jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Buddy Tate. He has also backed up Slide Hampton, Frank Foster, Slam Stewart, George Coleman, Toots Thieleman, Anita O'Day, Panama Francis, Mel Lewis, Major Holley, Howard McGhee, Lee Konitz, and Al Grey. [read more]

The Jazz and Big Band Series Twilight Concerts are on Saturdays through Labor Day and feature an outdoors dance floor, and new this year is the sale of beer and wine during the concerts. Join Music Mountain on Saturday nights this summer as you dance the night away to such favorites as Swingtime Big Band, Big Easy Rhythm, Joyce Lyons and her New York All-Stars, The Galvanized Jazz Band, and Jive by Five.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Go Green~ Vacation Locally!

From CT Green Scene

Every year, Memorial Day weekend comes and goes and it leaves me with a glimpse of an ideal summer: Gorgeous weather, great food, and time spent with family and friends. All of this also leaves me wondering, “So how long until Labor Day weekend?”

Why wait until then? Instead of taking that far away, exotic vacation, find a more local route. Consider it a twist on the typical vacation ideology. A staycation in Connecticut has plenty to offer families, friends, or a quick getaway for two.

Try a local state park. There are about 40 of them located around the state and about a dozen of them provide camping areas with cabins. Camping is very inexpensive compared to staying in a hotel and usually runs anywhere in between $12 to $33 a night for in-state residents. One of the most popular state parks is Hammonesset Beach State Park. Located in Madison not far from I-95, it offers over two miles of shoreline for swimming, fishing, boating, with a boardwalk along the beach.

If you enjoy time spent in the sun and sand, why not take a little trip to Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park? As the first Connecticut state park established, this park offers another wide sandy beach to use for swimming and fishing. The facility also includes a nature center offering weekly activities.

Looking for more of a rustic and woodsy state park experience? Visit Salt Rock State Park in Baltic. What was once farmland is now a149-acre wooded park. In addition to fishing and camping, there is an outdoor swimming pool for registered campers. If you don’t feel like camping or spending your entire vacation completely immersed in the outdoors, check out some of the other state parks and state forests for great day hikes and scenic views.

If you’re traveling as a family, keeping the kids entertained while allowing them to explore and learn can prove to be a bit challenging. Check out the Mystic Seaport. The authentic early American experience has always been a favorite spot for family vacationers. So much to do and see in one area! With the price of admission, take a stroll past their re-created 19th century village, a collection of tall ships and historic vessels that are available for tours and exploration, and preservation shipyard where you can see how antique vessels are being restored. Admission also includes the entire exhibit, galleries, and the attractions and events scheduled for that day. There are plenty of places to eat within the Seaport as well as the surrounding area. And if you’re not ready to leave just yet, you can extend your stay at the many hotels and bed and breakfasts nearby for an overnight stay.

Just a stone’s throw from Mystic, New London is also another great coastal get away. The town is centered where the Connecticut Thames River and the Long Island Sound meet providing visitors with picturesque scenery. Don’t miss the U.S. Coast Guard Academy which offers self-guided and cadet led tours. When available, you can experience viewings of the daily cadet drills and tours of the tall ship Eagle.

For those who love history, New London has the Shaw Perkins mansion, which was the home to the state’s Naval Office during the Revolutionary War, the Hempstead Houses, and the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse. While in New London, you might also want to check out the Connecticut College Arboretum featuring native trees to North America, a wildflower garden, outdoor theatre, and a greenhouse.

When planning your next getaway take these things into consideration and realize that by vacationing locally, you’ll be saving yourself some guilt by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions or the overall amount of money spent on your travel expenses. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about your home state.

For more information on any of the fun things to do in Connecticut, check out or

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Master Floral Designer

Master Floral Designer to present flower arranging demonstration. The Litchfield Garden Club is pleased to present Chris Giftos, Master Floral Designer, in "A Bouquet of Memories From The Met" on Thursday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m. at The Litchfield Inn, Litchfield, CT.

Mr. Giftos will create several floral arrangements while regaling his audience with anecdotes from his days at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Chris Giftos is a Master Floral Designer, the former Manager of Special Events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and an Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America.

When Jackie Onassis had dinner parties, Chris Giftos was her floral designer. When the Costume Institute had a benefit attended by Princess Diana, Chris Giftos was the event director. When Lila Acheson Wallace, cofounder of Reader's Digest, endowed the Met with enough money to have fresh, huge, glorious floral arrangements every week in the Great Hall, Chris Giftos was the talented designer who created them.

For 33 years, Chris Giftos created floral arrangements and cultural and fund-raising events befitting the "crown jewel" of American museums. As the Metropolitan's events planner, he was responsible for everything, beginning with the theme, the music, the menu, the seating, and, of course the gorgeous floral arrangements. For every event, he was the maestro, responsible for the flawless execution of fabulous evenings for the glitterati, the literati and the "who's who" of the world. Along the way, he appeared on the Martha Stewart show and the Oprah Winfrey show. He has traveled throughout the United States and the world giving lectures on floral arrangements.

Presentation and Refreshments: $40 per person.

Prime Sponsor Seating: $75 per person.

Reservations: Joan Burgess (860) 567-2270 or

The Litchfield Inn is located on Rt. 202 in Litchfield, CT.

The Litchfield Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club of America and the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Property of The Week

3 Bedrooms, 2 baths, brand new kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, Mexican Tile floor in family room, new roof, heated in ground pool.  Quiet location, plus all the amenities of Woodridge Lake.

Stephen Drezen, owner/broker  860.491.2000


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Uses for Egg Shells

We eat a lot of eggs which means we're left with a lot of egg shells. Usually they go right into the compost pile but recently we decided to take a look into other uses for them. Here's what we've gathered up:

1.Finely crushed, they help keep your drain clear.

2.Eggshells in the garden have many uses. Moderately crushed shells placed around your plants discourage cats from using your garden as a potty and they also keep slugs away. Mixed into the soil that surrounds tomato or pepper plants, they're an excellent fertilizer.

3.To remove stains from a tea pot, thermos or water bottle, fill it with a mixture of crushed egg shells and a little bit of water, shake vigorously and let sit overnight. You can also use the same technique in your kitchen or bathroom sink.

4.Crushed eggshells added to a greasy pan helps remove stuck or baked on food.

5.Don't toss the water that the shells have been sitting in. Use it to water your plants.

6.Use a half shell for starting seedlings. It not only makes a great container but the calcium carbonate in the shell provides the growing plant with some extra nutrition. Crack the shell to remove it when your plants are big enough to be moved to your garden.

7.Mix crushed eggshells with your coffee grounds for smooth coffee. The calcium in the eggshell helps to reduce the acidity of coffee and will also help any loose grounds sink to the bottom of the cup.

8.Dry them out by placing in a low oven for a half hour. Crush them finely and add them to your dog's food for a boost of calcium.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Berkshire Word Fest

From Rural Intelligence:

A host of well-known and beloved writers who reside in our neck of the woods—such as Roy Blount, Jr., Susan Orlean, Ruth Reichl, Dani Shapiro and Simon Winchester—have signed up to participate in the first annual Berkshire WordFest (July 23 - 25), which will take place at The Mount, the Edith Wharton estate in Lenox. Tickets go on sale June 2 for the festival, which includes readings, Q&As, parties, poetry readings, and panel discussion such as “Old Money, New Money” with Kurt Andersen , Tad Friend, Katy Lederer, Martha McPhee, and moderated by Winchester .“A literary festival has been on our radar for some time,” says The Mount’s executive director Susan Wissler. “Now that The Mount is gathering momentum and expanding its mission to become a center for the written word, we felt this was the right year to make Berkshire WordFest a reality. We believe it’s a unique and important addition to the Berkshires’ world-class cultural calendar”

Once again, words will prevail at The Mount. For the past thirty years, actors, directors, gardeners and decorators have lovingly put their stamp on Edith Wharton’s 1902 estate and gardens in Lenox. But the literary community is taking it back. Now that the Mount has stabilized its finances, removed the velvet ropes and eliminated the hauteur, the board of trustees has committed to making The Mount not only a well-preserved historic landmark but also a dynamic center for contemporary writers. The first Berkshire WordFest (July 23 -25) is proof of the board’s seriousness, and they have lined up a roster of writers who are familiar to anyone who reads The New York Times Book Review such as Kurt Andersen, Tad Friend, Laura Miller, Francine Prose and Katie Roiphe.
“The theme of the weekend is ‘Channeling Edith Wharton,’ but it’s not a conference on Wharton,” explains 2010 WordFest director Audrey Manring. “It’s not going to be heavy and academic. The authors will discuss themes from Wharton’s books, and there will be at least one writer on each panel who has a deep knowledge of her work.”

The idea, of course, is to put The Mount on today’s literary map so that it becomes to the written word what Jacob’s Pillow is to dance and Tanglewood is to music. “A literary festival has been on our radar for some time,” says executive director Susan Wissler. “We felt this was the right year to make WordFest a reality. We believe it’s a unique and important addition to the Berkshires world-class cultural calendar, and we hope it brings attention to our region as a national literary destination.”

Though it’s being branded as the Berkshire WordFest, many big name writers from neighboring counties in our region are participating: Ruth Reichl (above, who has a house in Columbia County) will be interviewed by WAMC’s Joe Donahue; Susan Orlean (left, who lives in Columbia County) will be interviewed by Susan Arbetter (late of WAMC’s Round Table); Dani Shapiro (who lives in Litchfield County) will participate on a panel called “Well-Behaved Women”. The Berkshires will be well-represented: Roy Blount Jr. (Mill River) will be interviewed by Donahue; John Hockenberry (Egremont) will be have a conversation with Elizabeth Samet about “Writers in Wartime”; Jim Shephard (Williams College) will be interviewed by Donahue; Simon Winchester (Sandisfield) will moderate “Old Money, New Money,” a panel discussion with Kurt Andersen, Tad Friend, Katy Lederer, and Martha McPhee, “We’re delighted to be bringing together some of the country’s most acclaimed writers for a weekend of talks, interviews, readings,” says Manring. “The concentration of talent makes this an exciting opportunity for all those who love words and ideas.”

Even as it prepares for WordFest, The Mount is unveiling this weekend a new exhibition about adaptations of Wharton’s books in other media called Dramatic License: Edith Wharton on Stage and Screen. Appropriately, the guest of honor at the opening party on June 5 will be a writer: Jay Cocks, who collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the 1993 film The Age of Innocence and shared the Oscar for best adapted screenplay with him.

2010 Berkshire WordFest

To buy tickets now: Click here

July 23 - 25

Dramatic License: Edith Wharton on Stage and Screen

Opening reception June 5 at 4 p.m.

RSVP: 413.551.5113

Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Make Your Garden Tools Last Longer

Helping Your Garden Tools Last Longer

One of the best ways to live more sustainably is by keeping the things we have as long as possible. A "green" product is not just one that's made with the best materials or the best manufacturing practices; it also should be something that's well-made, so it can last as long as you need it. Garden tools are a perfect example of something that makes sense to choose based on quality. Once you've chosen something well-made, it's up to you to take good care of your tools. Here are some tips for keeping your garden tools in perfect shape.

•Wooden handles on garden tools need regular maintenance. Once a year or so, wipe the handle off and use fine sandpaper to gently smooth the wood. Clean off the dust, and rub in linseed oil, letting it soak in. Keep rubbing the oil in until the wood stops absorbing it. After about an hour, wipe off any remaining oil.

•Metal parts of tools can be cleaned off with a wire brush once a year. The wire brush removes dirt and light rust; if there's more serious rust, try soaking the tool in vinegar or using steel wool. Cutting tools should be filed to keep them sharp.

•It's a good idea to store metal tools in a bucket of coarse sand mixed with vegetable oil. (Use 3/4 quart of oil in 5 gallons of sand if you have a lot of tools. For a smaller container, try upcycling an old coffee can). The sand helps clean off dirt, and the oil prevents rust. Tools can be stored in the bucket over the winter, as well as between uses. If you don't clean your tools this way, you should rinse, dry, and oil them after each use.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free Things To Do This Weekend

Saturday June 12th

8th Annual Mineral and Gem show at the CT Antique Machinery Assocaition Museum in Kent, 860.927.0500

37th Gallery on The Green in Litchfield 860.567.4789

Lake Waramaugg, 19th Century Summer Resort-Lecture Gunn Memorial Library 860.868.7756

Exploring Sunny Brook State Park, White Memorial Conservation Center. 860.567.0857


Angie Annie Sings the Blues: Miranda Vineyard, Goshen 860.491.9906

Electronics Collection Day This Weekend

The Electronics Collection Days have been scheduled as follows:

Saturday, June 12th: Torrington Water Pollution Control Plant - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Saturday, October 23rd: Torrington Water Pollution Control Plant - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m

Monday, June 7, 2010

For Those of Us Without Our Own Tech Guy or Gal

From Apartment Therapy

Just like anything, home offices have their pros and cons. Pro: You can design your productive space to your own mood and taste. Con: There's no IT guy to solve those bang-your-head-against-the-wall technical problems. Luckily, there's search-able online databases full of those cryptic error codes to help you get to the root of the problem. Here's two of our favorites.

Humans and computers speak different languages. When people are upset, we use words—computers use wacky combinations of letters and numbers that nobody but a computer could understand.

OK, some really well-practiced techies can speak "error code." But the rest of us, at home setting up our Wii to network with our home PC, will have to use online error code translators like these:
ErrorGoblin is a great simple search engine that lets you "look up any Windows error code to find out what it actually means." Click. Type. Read. That's it.

•If you're a Mac, or looking for help with a video-game error code, try ErrorKey. ErrorKey can search error messages from a slew of different platforms, including Apple, Windows, Mozilla, Nintendo Wii and Playstation.

Property Of The Week

New Price!  $399,900

Hardwood floors, fireplace, large kitchen, open floor plan, 2 car garage, located in the Woodridge Lake community.

This home is priced to go!

For more infomration, contact Portfolio Properties Group 860.491.2000

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Litchfield Hills Road Race

June 13th 2010

Quite simply, a grand Litchfield Tradtion. This year marks the 34th annual Litchfield Hills Road Race. I’m sure that it would bring a tear to Joe Concannon’s eye to know that his beloved race, the race he put together with Billy Neller and a group of his best friends from Litchfield, begins its 34th year and is still going strong. Joe wanted a vehicle to bring his out of town running friends together with his hometown friends and thus the Litchfield Hills Road Race was born.

Based on the famous race in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the Litchfield Hills Road Race course was plotted, runners were invited, volunteers were um, recruited (or shanghaied?) beer was put on ice and in 1977 the first Litchfield Hills Road Race was underway. One of the most exceptional things about this small town race is that a Bill Rodgers and an Ovidio DeRubertis can run the same course at the same time and receive equal measures of appreciation from the fans who line the streets and who have, from day one, made this race loved by those who are sweating out the seven and then some mile course.

The history of the race just unfolds from there. The race got bigger, more volunteers were needed, more planning was necessary, more Litchfield families opened up their homes to runners, and deep, long-lasting friendships were forged between people who, if not for Joe, would never have met one another.

LHRR has seen runners from all over the world, representing Ireland, New Zealand, Kenya, Great Britain, Belgium, Tanzania, Canada, Yugoslavia, Morocco and Poland, keeping pace with some of our more famous American runners, including Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit, Dave Dunham, Randy Thomas, Patti Catalano and Vin Fleming to name a few and of course some of our infamous Litchfield runners, such as Rick Evangelisti, David Driscoll, Father Tucker, the Hound, Paula Brunetto, The Hawk, Bill Sivhra, always several McKenna’s; the list is endless.

The exciting battles that have been witnessed over the years for top finishers are legendary; the pre-race, race day and after-race parties and stories that spin off of those get-togethers are even more legendary. The buzz starts when the daffodils begin to bloom in early spring – stories are taken out of the closet, brushed off and are told and re-told, and there are whispers of John Clock sightings. . As late May rolls around, more and more runners are visible in White’s Woods, training for the big day. It’s kind of like when the swallows return to Capistrano…..

Race day brings something different for everyone. For some, it is the culmination of months (and in some cases weeks or days!) of training. For others, it is taking the time to man a water station or a mile marker or a fire truck. And for many, it is a time to pick a spot on the course and marvel at the thousand plus runners who have what it takes to get out there and give it their best. And for all, it is a glorious reunion of friendships. Litchfield Hills Road Race is known to many as the Friendship Race, a very fitting name indeed.

The Race is rich with traditions ….the firing of the cannon by the First Litchfield Artillery, the “Hill”, the barricade brigade, the infamous line from Bill Rodgers, “I had to go into ninth gear” referring to his trek up Gallows Lane, Dave Skoneiczny calling the runners to post, the Elite 11 (Those who have run every year in the race), Dodgie Doyle leading the pack of runners down Meadow Street, the Village, the bands that line the course, the flags hanging uptown that represent so many countries, the welcoming encouragement from marshals George and Roberta and their pet flamingos at the bottom of the school hill, and of course the wonderful spectators, encouraging the runners every step of the way.

In the words of Jean Evangelisti, “…the festivities, hospitalities and friendships that are the trademarks of race weekend give you something that borders on magical.” There have been so many who have kept this magic alive over the years, those dedicated to keeping the original flavor and homegrown feel of the race, carrying on the traditions of those before them.

Joe Concannon called the race, “A labor of love and a celebration of community”. His dream of bringing all his friends together in one place on one special day began it all. Thirty three years later we are still running that dream. Thank you, Joe.

Registration Information


1. Online Registration

Click here to be linked to our online registration.

2. Download printable application from the website and mail in to us.

3. Pick up registration form at various retail stores in Litchfield.

4. Day-Of

Race Day Registration if available will begin at 10:00 am and end promptly at 12:30 pm at the registration tent AS LONG AS REGISTRATION IS NOT FULL BEFOREHAND

When you get there, pick up your race packet at the registration booth on the green on race day; tent opens at 10:00.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Roxbury Land Trust Hike This Weekend

ROXBURY– In its ongoing effort to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy its nature preserves, the Roxbury Land Trust is urging the public to hike its Lilly Preserve over Memorial Day weekend.

The 140-acre preserve offers two hiking trails: a 1.5-mile loop that starts near the intersection of Route 317 and Bacon Road and a 1-mile loop that traverses the upper wooded portion of the trail and is best accessed off Old Tophet Road.

"The Lilly Preserve offers a Roxbury microcosm," noted Julie Steers, executive director of the Roxbury Land Trust. "It combines marshlands and wooded swampland showing beaver activity with mixed hardwoods, old stone walls, rock outcroppings and farm fields. There's a little bit of everything in this preserve and we encourage families and friends to explore what Mother Nature is offering there this Spring. It's a great way to spend a few hours over the long holiday weekend."

For those who want a longer hike, the preserve connects across Route 317 to the 60-acre Baldwin Preserve, which offers a 1.5-mile wooded trail up to Lower County Road and back.

Established in 1970, the Roxbury Land Trust now oversees 3,400 acres, which includes 573 acres contiguous to Roxbury in neighboring towns, in its nature preserve system. There are 32 preserves throughout the town of Roxbury, which include trails for hiking and horseback riding, miles of the Shepaug River and brooks protected for fishing, and tranquil sites for picnics overlooking spectacular vistas. There are farm fields, large swaths of woodlands and wetlands that preserve precious habitat for wildlife, and numerous historic sites, both hidden and well-preserved. The nature preserves are open year-round, weather permitting.

The Land Trust is a non-profit organization that depends on membership contributions and charitable donations for acquisitions, educational programs and preserve maintenance. For more information, please visit or call 860-350-4148.

From the Litchfield County Times.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hammertown Barn Tent Sale

Always a favorite event with residents of the Northwest Corner, it's the 13th Annual Hammertown Barn Tent Sale.  Discounts up to 75% off.  This event will be held May 29th and May 30th, 2010  from 9 am to 5 PM at the Pine Plains location.

3201 Route 199, Pine Plains, NY 12567


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green Your Indoor Air~This Weeks Green Tip

From Good Morning America

Today the Organic Mechanic, Mark Highland, dropped by "Good Morning America" to show how some pretty plants can improve air quality in your house.

Mark Highland suggests how to purge indoor air of toxins.In addition to sprucing up the place, these household plants actively target certain toxins and keep the air you and your family breath clean, Highland said. These plants are labeled O2, which means they improve your home air quality. 

Household Plants to the Rescue

Peace Lillies : Peace Lillies, native to the Florida wild, can remove benzene, a chemical found in tobacco smoke.

Ferns: Those long, slender plants not only give a room a little character, they also help remove toulene from the air, a chemical found in printer and copier inks and glues.

Anthuriums: If your house is smelling a little bit like ammonia, some anthurium plants could help remove the chemical from the air. Anthuriums are beautiful plant with dark foliage and heart-shaped flowers.

Dieffenbachia: The low-maintenance dieffenbachia plant has large, colorful leaves. It can also help remove formaldehyde from the air that could come from foam insulation, carpets and plywood. While these plants look great in a bright room, their leaves are toxic if consumed, so keep them away from small children and pets.

Sansevieria : All the way from India , Indonesia and tropical Africa, the Sansevieria is a hardy houseplant and can help remove acetone from the air. Acetone is often found in nail polish, paints and paint removers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Freshen the Garage The Green Way

Lets face it, the garage can smell.  For many years, apartment living meant we had no garage or any kind of outdoor storage space. With no need for lawn equipment, it was really no big deal. But now we're moving to a house with a one-car garage and a big lawn in need of mowing. And that garage stinks. Here's how we're planning on combating those garage-y smells, the green way.

We haven't even moved in to our house yet, and the garage, which will also be our laundry room, already smells like a tractor barn. (For those of you who didn't grow up on a farm, think diesel.) Needless to say, we want to nip this in the bud.

These outdoor areas tend to be bigger than the power of vinegar and baking soda, which we use to soak up odors inside the home. Here are a few green ideas we've found to deal with the smells. If you've used any of these methods, let us know how you think they work.

1.Air out the garage or shed. Ventilation is key to dissipating smells.

2.Try Gonzo Odor Eliminator for Basements and Garages: lava rock in a mesh bag that soaks up odors, from pet-related to automotive. Sounds like it's worth a shot.

3.Use kitty litter a lot like you would use baking soda. While kitty litter, which is generally made from clay but can also be made from a slew of recycled materials, can sometimes be the source of a bad smell, it can also be used to soak up smells much like activated charcoal would. Put the (clean) litter in an open tub and let it do its magic.

From Apartment Therapy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Green Living At Woodridge Lake

Green Living At Woodridge Lake

Located in Woodridge Lake, this home is one of the most energy efficient homes in town! This four bedroom two and a half bath home has a geothermal HVAC system that was featured in the New York Times Business Section. Hardwood floors throughout, large master bedroom suite with walk in closet and bath with whirlpool tub. Great 12x62 ft. back deck, granite counters and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, plus all the amenities of Woodridge Lake!

Also available as a lease with purchase option.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


photo from the White Flower Farm Web site

The Annual Tomatomania celebration will be held this weekend Friday May 21st until sunday May 23rd At White Flower Farm in Litchfield.

Once again, it's time for Tomatomania! This unique event brings Tomato enthusiasts from all over the East Coast to our nursery. For 2010, we'll offer more than 100 varieties of Tomato seedlings, all fresh from our greenhouses. You'll also find fertilizers, stakes, ties, containers, and a selection of the best-tasting herbs and vegetables for home gardeners. Tomato guru Scott Daigre will be on hand, helping you choose among the many varieties of heirlooms and hybrids and answering questions about growing Tomatoes for best yield and flavor.

This year our guest speakers will include representatives from Fine Gardening and Fine Cooking magazines. Stop by the Garden Conservancy's display booth and find out about Open Days gardens in your area.

Customer favorites you can expect to find again: cherries 'Sungold' and 'Black Cherry', paste varieties 'San Marzano' and 'Martino's Roma', beefsteaks 'Red Brandywine' and 'Mortgage Lifter', slicers 'Carmello' and 'Black from Tula', and colorful 'Gold Medal Yellow', 'Cherokee Purple', and 'Green Zebra'.

Varieties that will be making their first appearance at Tomatomania include: 'Missouri Pink Love Apple', 'Orange Flesh Purple Smudge', and 'Pink Ping Pong'. You have to love these names!

Meet our speakers under the tent for the following free programs:

Friday, May 21 10:00-11:00 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Friday, May 21 11:30-12:30 "Homegrown and Homemade" - Danielle Sherry, Associate Editor, Fine Gardening, and Sarah Breckenridge, Web Producer, Fine Cooking.

Ms. Sherry will demonstrate how to design and plant a container filled with assorted edibles. Find out how to select the right plants (veggies, herbs, and edible flowers), mix up a special potting soil, and take care of your mini-garden throughout the season. This will include a live demonstration of the proper planting technique -- ensuring that your pot will look as good as it tastes.

Ms. Breckenridge will highlight the exceptional and robust flavor of heirloom Tomatoes, with a simple, yet sophisticated recipe for Tomato Napoleons. You'll learn how to make each component of this dish, including Parmesan crisps and a zesty vinaigrette for a fresh herb salad. She'll also provide tips on how to keep Tomatoes at their best after picking them.

Friday, May 21 1:30-2:30 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Saturday, May 22 10:00-11:00 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

Saturday, May 22 11:30-12:15 "Patio Edibles: Pots, Raised Beds, Best Varieties and Growing Tips" - Barbara Pierson, White Flower Farm Nursery Manager

Tomatoes and all types of edibles can be grown on your deck or in a raised bed. Find out which varieties to grow, simple growing tips, and why containers are so popular.

Saturday, May 22 1:30-2:30 "Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes" - Scott Daigre

for more information, please call 1-800.503.9624 or go to

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Edition of Realty Times

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, homeowner, or renter.

This month's issue includes topics such as:

"Five Key Areas to Pay Attention to When Buying a Home";

"Green Your Home with Cost-Saving Remodeling Tax Credits";

"Common Buyer Fears";

"Top 10 Tips for Staging a Home";

"Seniors Looking to Downsize, Seek Opportunities to Socialize in Urban Living Areas";

Plus a roundup of April real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!
Please click here to go to the May issue of Realty Times

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lime Rock Park Events Memorial Day Weekend

We know there are fans out there with family plans that don’t include Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day Monday (sigh...). But what about the Saturday before?

It’s only $25, kids 12 and under are free, free parking, new family Midway attractions including Laser Tag, karting, and hotdog stands!

Remember, active military and veterans (and their immediate family) are free with proper ID.

There are four great races on Saturday:

- Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge GS (killer-fast Camaro, M3, Cayman, 911, Boss 302 et al.)

- Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge ST (crazy-cool Civic SI, GTI, 328i, MazdaSpeed3 and RX-8, Mini Cooper, Audi S4, Boxster et al.)

- SCCA Ford Racing Mustang Challenge (a grid-full of identically prepped GTs bangin’ fenders)

- BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda (15-to-21 year old superstars in the making)

So if you can’t come Monday for the Rolex Daytona Prototype & GT race, do not miss Saturday’s other Grand-Am action, ok?

Thanks for reading...

 call 860.435.5000 for more information

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Springtime Home Improvement

Keep your Central Air Running at Peak Efficiency

If you have a central air conditioner, there are a few items you should check to keep it running at peak efficiency now that the warmer weather is approaching.

The outside component of your unit is called the compressor. It houses the pump and the blower that cool the compressed gas that is then pumped into the home to cool the air inside. We see these units covered with landscaping debris (grass, weeds, bushes etc.) all the time.

When this happens the airflow is restricted and it has to work harder to cool your home. Always keep these units clear from obstructions, so they can easily cool the coils. Keep lawn clippings from blowing on them when trimming the grass. Sometimes dryer vents are located too close to AC units, plugging them with lint.

Read your manual on the best way to clean the unit. Some may be hosed off, ALWAYS TURN OFF THE POWER when cleaning them. Others require more complex cleaning. A dirty AC will waste a lot of energy. When in doubt have a professional clean it regularly, usually at least once a year.

© 2009 A & S Home Inspections

Connecticut Home Inspection Expert David Balkun is devoted to empowering home buyers and sellers throughout Connecticut with the information they need to make informed buying or selling decisions about their properties and give them peace of mind. Register for his free articles at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets is back.The ever-popular Trade Secrets, a rare plant and garden antiques sale, that benefits Women’s Support Services of the Northwest Corner, is celebrating its 10th anniversary Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT.

For the past ten years, Trade Secrets has brought garden-lovers from around the world to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut to discover new plants, topiary, and antiques for their gardens. This year is no exception with nearly 60 vendors and garden antiques dealers from around the northeast region coming to set-up their wares under the tents at the picturesque LionRock farm. With their truckloads of rare garden plants and unusual accessories – those kind of unique treasures that you might search a lifetime for – they’ll descend upon LionRock to offer garden lovers a day of pure treasure hunting! Shoppers can find rare plant specimens from specialized growers and from some of the nation’s best known small nurseries, as well as furniture, antiques, cloches and garden statuary from the choicest purveyors of garden antiques, wrought-iron fencing, textiles from select antiques dealers, and so much more.

New this year will be the Saturday afternoon lecture: “Abstraction; Art, Home & Landscape” with Tom Armstrong, director emeritus of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and chairman of the board of the Garden Conservancy. Armstrong has published and lectured widely on art and gardening.

Trade Secrets includes the antique and plant sale on Saturday, May 15 at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT, from 10am to 3pm, for $35, and the tour of four gardens on Sunday, May 16 for $60 ($50 in advance). For those early-birds on May 15, “early buying” tickets are available for $100, and include early admittance with continental breakfast.

For more information, please go to