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.