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.
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!).
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.
Have a scenic seat on one of many styles of faux bois benches and tables…
…or wander down perfect steps through ferns and wildflowers…
…and step through this delightful gate.
Glancing to the right we see more benches, pots and statuary…
…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.
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!)
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).
The sunroom serves as a dining room, complete with a long table and linen-covered chairs.
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.
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.
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.
Then I caught sight of this collection of garden books!
I wonder if I would be more conscientious about updating my blog if I could land my laptop here.
Actually I might be even more distracted than usual with all the intriguing goodies scattered about.
Of course a guest house like this would have to have a fabulous bedroom.
Yes. Up these stairs with this unique iron rail.
Then through the door.
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!!!
One last glimpse from the landing:
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?
i’m joining the fun: