Trade Secrets 2016


Another amazing Trade Secrets event!  This year’s Trade Secrets was held on May 14th and 15th. After 16 years it has grown exponentially to become the garden event of the season! Created by Bunny Williams as a major fundraiser for Women’s Support Services which offers crisis intervention, counseling and education as well as other assistance to foster a community free of domestic violence this agency provides a broad range of services beyond just emergency services.  Their goal is create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education.

Trade Secrets is an annual rare plant and garden antiques sale held on Saturday with tours of various private gardens on Sunday.  This year’s garden tours were sold out!  Luckily I always get my tickets well in advance. The support from the community with people traveling great distances to attend confirms that when we come together to fight a cause we have strength in numbers.

This year on Saturday I was so busy buying that I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures.  I actually had to make a trip home to unload a very packed car and go back to get the rest of my purchases.  Might I add that I live about an hour away!

Antiques galore!
Support towers and Peony rings from Old Farm Nursery – needless to say my garden is filled with these


The vendors on Saturday are diverse and very knowledgeable in their respective fields, be it antiques, orchids or trees. The handcrafted metalwork to support your clematis, peonies and perennials is truly one of my favorites.  This year I was on a mission since I have a new garden.  I went early and had a plan.  I zipped around like a “crazy lady” as my husband would say before the things I wanted were gone.  I got Japanese Maple trees, Lilacs, shrubs, perennials, peony rings, antique gates, pottery and hose guards.   We should have bought more of those!  Like I said 2 SUV’s full and I still had to make a third trip early Sunday morning to Old Farm Nursery to pick up the rest of my loot that wouldn’t fit in the previous 2 trips!

Did I mention I love this event!  Of course, my favorite day is always Sunday.  I love exploring new gardens that you only get into by invitation.  This year I went to both the garden of Judy and Patrick Murphy of Old Farm Nursery in Lakeville, CT a wonderful New England Farm showcasing a fruit tree allee, secret garden and swimming pool, a river garden and breathtaking views. Next stop for us was the historic Weatherstone estate.  This is the CT home of Carolyne Roehm.  Weatherstone is a vast property with horse barns, boxwood topiaries, a pool, tennis courts, a fruit orchard and an unbelievable peony border that surrounds a cutting garden and potager. I have been many times to the spectacular property of Bunny Williams and John Roselli and also to Michael Trapp’s in West Cornwall so we skipped those this time. Words are not necessary to describe any of these properties but WOW sums it up nicely!

Come tour with me these lovely gardens!  thank you to both the Murphy’s and Carolyne Roehm for opening your homes!




Old Farm- wouldn’t you love to have this much room for veggies!


It is hard to describe Weatherstone. It didn’t disappoint!  Carolyne is a meticulous designer and plans every detail of her gardens.

Planting plans
View back from the horse barns


A guest house
Wouldn’t you just love to sit here!
Side gardens with tulips and roses
Back patio with Hydrangea standards
Blue and white her favorite!

And lastly, no tour of this property would be complete without at least a few pictures of flowers since Carolyne is known for those gorgeous bouquets!


White tulips

Bye till next year! Save the dates- May 20 & 21, 2017.  A big thank you also to all the volunteers who make this event possible and to Lion Rock Farm for opening their property to all of us on Saturday.

“Bunny Williams’ and John Roselli’s longstanding love affair with their Falls Village home becomes abundantly clear after a stroll through the gardens.  John’s vegetable and cutting garden reflect his skills in the kitchen while Bunny’s eclectic aesthetic is evident in her entertaining spaces – from the greenhouse to the Greek temple-style pool house.  Together, the two have created a well-curated journey from the sunken formal garden to the wildflower-dense woodland, by way of heirloom apple trees and charming heritage-breed chickens.”

Again, I have been fortunate enough to have been to this property at least 4 times over the years for both Trade Secrets events and Garden Conservancy Days. This is a compilation of my journey through their gardens.

Greek temple style Pool House


Pool House



Sunken Garden – her first outdoor project on the property



Conservatory – my favorite room


The Aviary



Cutting and vegetable gardens










Michael Trapp’s Garden is an “Old World-style garden and reflects his renowned aesthetic and eye for detail.  Overlooking the Housatonic River, the intimate property has a distinctive French/Italian flavor with cobbled paths, terraced gardens, raised perennial beds and reflecting pools.”  Cornwall Bridge is a lovely spot to visit and watch the kayak races on the river or just to check out the Covered Bridge and grab some lunch.






















Down to the river

Powered by

Up ↑