Bunny Williams and Her Connecticut Guest House

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The peaceful northwestern corner of Connecticut is home to many secret gardens and beautiful homes, including several whose owners generously open gates and doors to the drooling public for the benefit of various charities.  Fifteen years ago Bunny Williams held a garden open house, and its success inspired an annual tradition known today as Trade Secrets, a two day event which includes tours of four area gardens (always Bunny’s garden and three others) and a rare plant and garden antiques show. This event is a fundraiser for Women’s Support Services, which offers confidential support for victims of domestic violence, including crisis intervention, counseling, education, and legal, medical and housing assistance.  This year I had the pleasure of meeting Bunny herself, and if her name is not reason enough to love her, then her dedication to this cause and her friendly, spirited personality will hook you immediately.

Also her guest house.  Come along with me for a little tour.

Our path takes us through these amazing boxwood balls.  I wonder what the chances are of getting mine to look like this, so perfect and round?  Not likely, I suspect.

Bunny Williams

The sage green guest house is just to the left of one of the side porches of her wonderful old restored farmhouse.  I love the trim and columns on the side porch (and yes, the ceiling was haint blue).  A quick walk through the courtyard and we could enter through those sliding barn doors.  To me, this is where they belong, on the outside of a barn (and I love them here!).

Bunny Williams

Instead of entering through these doors, however, we’ll take a more scenic route.  The property has every type of garden style you can imagine, all carefully separated so you never feel confused, just entranced with each turn.  The woods behind the buildings have winding trails with ponds and waterfalls.

Bunny Williams

Have a scenic seat on one of many styles of faux bois benches and tables…

Bunny Williams

…or wander down perfect steps through ferns and wildflowers…

Bunny Williams

 

…and step through this delightful gate.

Bunny Williams

Glancing to the right we see more benches, pots and statuary…

Bunny Williams

…and just ahead planters filled with violets.  I would like to see this garden later in the summer.

What would you put in these pots when the temps rise?  I am thinking vats of petunias.

Bunny Williams

These fabulous brick walkways criss cross the white knot garden which is filled with more perfectly trimmed boxwood.  This would be such a cool place to sit in the summer, if we could actually tear ourselves out of the guest house (be patient, it’s coming!)

Bunny Williams

If we follow the paths to the far end of this garden and turn back towards the house, we will see our destination:

the sunroom entrance to the guest house (the gate through which we entered is on the left).

Bunny Williams

The sunroom serves as a dining room, complete with a long table and linen-covered chairs.

Bunny Williams

I know there was a kitchen but I’m not usually focused on cooking so somehow I missed taking a picture of it for you.

Perhaps this potting room will help you forget about the kitchen.

Bunny Williams

Although the day was quite warm, inside was cool and breezy.

The french doors at the far end are framed by the sliding barn doors we saw earlier on the outside.

Bunny Williams

Looking back towards the dining room door you can see the potting room on the left.

I had an urge to pour myself a cool drink and flop into this comfy sofa.

Bunny Williams

Then I caught sight of this collection of garden books!

Bunny Williams

I wonder if I would be more conscientious about updating my blog if I could land my laptop here.

Bunny Williams

Actually I might be even more distracted than usual with all the intriguing goodies scattered about.

Bunny Williams

Of course a guest house like this would have to have a fabulous bedroom.

Yes.  Up these stairs with this unique iron rail.

Bunny Williams

Then through the door.

Bunny Williams

Are you sighing?  And do you want to touch ~~ the wood, the fabrics, the little interesting goodies scattered about?  Yes?  Well, our interior tour is over, but I’ll be back with more of the other buildings.

And the GARDENS!!!

Bunny Williams

One last glimpse from the landing:

Bunny Williams

I could easily become the guest who would never leave this inviting house.

My iPhone pics are just not capturing the magical draw of the collections and atmosphere!

So would you enjoy a weekend here?

Linda 🙂

i’m joining the fun:

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15 thoughts on “Bunny Williams and Her Connecticut Guest House

  1. Hi! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

  2. Linda, if I were a guest there, I know I would never want to leave! I love how Bunny’s guest home feels just as warm and inviting as her main home. There’s no doubt who designed/decorated this space. My comment would be a mile long if I named all the things I saw that I loved. Those bunnies near the “spoil-the-guests-beyond-belief” bar area are sooo cute! I was stunned when I saw the white knot garden…just breathtaking! The white flowers almost seem to glow! Your photography is so beautiful, almost as good as being there. Thanks so much for this wonderful treat, Linda! I need to make the trip to Connecticut one year to see it in person. Then I just might need a side trip over to Cape Cod. 🙂

  3. Oh Linda, I feel I’ve walked this garden and home tour with you and what a delight it was. Yes, petunias would be perfect in those pots. I am sighing at the sight of the gardens and green house. The dining room and the potting room are gorgeous!
    The house is lovely and how wonderful to have such a grand house to showcase for charity. Loved every pic Linda………..

  4. I’m drooling with envy over those amazing boxwood balls! I lost 29 boxwood bushes two winters ago, and spent last summer digging them out and preparing the soil for the replacement planting. I haven’t done anything yet because I think I’m still mourning those cute little boxwood bushes. I don’t know that I’m brave enough to plant boxwood again, and risk losing them over another bad winter; maybe I’ll try a yew hedge instead. I love Bunny’s gardens, and that bedroom has such a cozy, welcoming feel. However, I’m not sure about the drawing room. It seems a bit too knick knacky for my taste. I mean, where does the eye rest? What a delightful tour, Linda! I love your eye for detail!

  5. wow, what a fun place to tour……………those gardens are amazing and so beautiful, and would make one want to sit
    out there for a while and sip sweet iced tea with lemon…………..lol
    The house is amazing too, and yes, it would probably be quite a fun treat to stay there for sure.
    Thanks for sharing this fun post.
    Blessings, Nellie

  6. I’m in awe that you got to do this and I love the pictures you took! You captured her gardens and guest home beautifully! I have her books and have dreamed about being there. There is another blogger that I know of that got to go there and have a personal tour with Bunny- lucky! Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Am I the only one who thought: “Who’s army cleans that house and keeps the garden trimmed?”

    It’s a delightful house, so rich with detail (too rich for me). Thank you for the photos, it is indeed a very classy-classic home. The French gardens are impressive.

  8. Linda, not sure why I missed this post, but thanks for telling me you had posted it. Wonderful photos! This just makes me that much more eager to attend one of these tours. I’m surprised that her garden is so full and lush by mid May. Like you, I could easily be held captive in the guest house. Let’s see, I think one could easily entertain themselves with gardening books for years. That is if gazing out at the gardens didn’t take up all the time. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this experience.

  9. You captured everything beautifully with your iPhone! The tour was captivating. So much to take in I will need to go back and look more closely. These tours had to be exciting to attend. You are blessed to live nearby. That many gardening books would be heaven.

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