Trade Secrets: Secret Gardens

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Spring has sprung here in the Northeast and that is good news for all secret garden lovers!  The northwest corner of Connecticut, known to the world as Litchfield County, is full of exquisite homes of all styles tucked into the hillsides: small cottages with cottage gardens to match, farmhouses with orchards and fields, and stately colonials with elegant spaces to rest outdoors.  Today I’m taking you to one of my favorites, Twin Maples, which was included on last year’s Trade Secrets tour.

(you can see more information on Trade Secrets and my visit to the guest house and garden of Bunny Williams here)

Come along with me.  No matter what your style is, I will be very surprised if you do not find something to love on this property.  For instance, look at that fabulous light over the front door!

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

While visiting this house I spent a bit of time examining the choice of window shutters as I was in the process of having new shutters made for our own house.  Our original slatted ones were losing pieces every time the wind blew, but I had been obsessing over whether to replace them with more slatted ones, or to go to the solid design.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

The practice of using slats on the upper windows and solid on the lower arose long ago, when we actually closed the shutters every night.  The slats on the upper levels allowed air to circulate and cool the house, while the solid wood on the lower level kept out unwanted visitors.

I was here to visit the gardens, but I could not take my eyes off all of the exquisite details: magnificent chimneys with their clay chimney pots, dentil molding under the slate roof, the keystones over each window, and that pergola!

~~ sigh ~~

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

~~ I love houses ~~

But I promised you a garden tour, so let’s continue, around the end of the house to the columned porch.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Notice the mirror over the fireplace.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

This is the view it reflects.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

The pool is surrounded by formal boxwood hedges and brick columns.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

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Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

If you prefer a more natural landscape we can go back to the pergola and gaze at the oval pond.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Even the beautiful Litchfield hills in the background and the custom designed wrought iron railing can’t keep me from noticing this planter surrounded by lavender and boxwood.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

If we continue on past the pergola to the other end,

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

we can visit the cutting gardens and the greenhouse.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Last year the cutting gardens were filled with tulips!

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Where should we look first?  The brick walkways, boxwood hedges and perfect balls, the edging, the copper gutters, a planter perfectly placed to draw the eye along the walkway,

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

~~~~

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

the weathervane,

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

these outdoor lights (I’m searching for new ones this year for my own house so I’m noticing them everywhere I go!)

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

and the garden statuary are all calling to me.  Look at that brickwork border along the top of the wall!

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

But the absolute best part of this house and garden is the variety of styles incorporated into the landscape.  I live in a brick Georgian colonial too, but I could be just as happy in a cabin on a lake or a cottage by the sea ~~ I blame it on my Libra birthday ~~ I can’t make up my mind and I see the beauty in all!  So I was delighted to find this trail leading to more gardens, and on this particularly hot and humid May day I was happy to wander into the shady woods.  Come along!

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

This folly will be covered with wisteria later in the summer.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Wildflowers and ferns line the paths.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

~~~~~~

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Plantings beckon in every direction and peek through openings between trees and shrubs.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Sadly, I was not allowed to move into this house or even vacation here, and eventually had to go back down past these birch trees and the peonies in the center waiting to pop in a few weeks, and out through the brick columns at the edge of this secret garden.  So our tour will come to an end here.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

But I thank all the generous home and garden owners who share their beautiful spaces every year for this cause.

Trade Secrets: Twin Maples

Trade Secrets 2016 is this coming weekend, and I’m so excited because we will be visiting Bunny Williams’ garden again

AND

the incredible Weatherstone, home of Carolyne Roehm.  

If you can’t make it this year, put it on your calendar for 2017 and I’ll meet you there.

Hope you enjoyed this tour!

Was I correct?  Did you find something to love?

Linda 🙂

I’m joining the fun at

Rattlebridge Farm

Home Sweet Home

15 thoughts on “Trade Secrets: Secret Gardens

  1. What beautiful gardens, Linda! The boxwood calls to me. I love those hedges. Your pictures are gorgeous, too. What a joy to look at these pictures!

  2. Yes, Linda! I love it all, and I love that you shared details of the home as well. Oh, I’m truly envious that you will visit both Bunny Williams’ garden and Carolyn Rhoehm’s gardens. I eagerly await photos from your visit. Thanks for sharing these. Have a fabulous time!

  3. Oh my I enjoyed every thing! Thank you for the tour- what a fabulous place. The home is magnificent with all it’s details. What a treat going through the gardens and seeing the tulips. I dream to live this way 🙂
    I remember your visit to the Bunny Williams gardens before- so jealous and now you are going there again and to see Carolyn Rhoeme’s! Well as they say I will live through you vicariously! Can’t wait to see the next posts!

  4. Oh Linda! Thrilled for you that you will visit both Bunny Williams’ garden and Carolyn Rhoehm’s gardens. You are so thoughtful to share your experiences with us. Have a fabulous time!

  5. Linda, beautiful home and garden! Having just gone through a redo of our curved balcony porch, I can’t help but see all the maintenance involved with such glorious details of this property – the curves, the reticulated brick wall, the pool & pond, landscape – all of it – yet it draws me in. Like you, I also am drawn to the ‘downgraded’ version of wooded lot and all its amenities, and would be just as happy in a cottage setting. Thank you for the tour!
    Rita

  6. OMG, what a stunning estate! I didn’t know about the solid and slatted shutters, fascinating! We were talking at lunch yesterday about what it must have been like to live without A/C {here in the south} ! Thank you for the tour, Linda, and I’m a sucker for architectural details myself… Love the folly, and all the garden magic. The outdoor room with a “view” is breathtaking!

  7. Oh yes, Linda. I did find something I loved ~ everything. It would be a pleasure to follow along with you on the trail. Lol on you becoming sidetracked on the shutters. When I go to a builders’ decorated model home, I have been known to examine window treatments or perhaps a paint color. It is so much easier to get an idea of how something looks in real life than a sample. Thank you for the lovely garden tour. Regards, Jill

  8. Oh my goodness… let me repeat…OH MY GOODNESS!! What a fantastic tour you’ve taken us on…thank you SO much! I enjoyed every inch of it & just drooled over those gardens. The style of homes are very much like what I see here in Hudson, OH. Stately, classic, Western Reserve type & I LOVE it! Maybe someday I’ll get to see the area in person. I’ve never been to Connecticut.
    Now I’m off to see your posts on the Bunny Williams’ garden and Carolyn Rhoehm’s gardens! I just subscribed to get your posts via email. Don’t know why I hadn’t done that earlier…it is always a pleasure to read what you’re up to!

  9. Oh my Linda, I certainly did love my tour of the outside of this fabulous home, and the wonderful stops along the way, of the outside. To see it all in person must’ve been such beauty for the heart and soul. Thank you for taking me along with you, through your words and photos.

  10. What a gorgeous house and property! The house reminds me of the Southern Living house plans, so much detail. The gardens have so many beautiful spaces! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  11. Swoon Linda! What a gorgeous tour and estate! The hills in the background take my breath away along with all the architectural details. I’m a sucker for weather vanes and chimney pots! I have two salvage chimney pots that I have planted with ferns by my shed. I’d love to experience spring again with the bulbs and trees in bloom, minus the pollen of course. 🙂 Thank you for the tour~ Bunny Williams AND Carolyne Roehm, I’d be beside myself!

  12. I loved everything. So beautiful with many exquisite details. You are a lovely tour guide. I will look forward to the other tours. I’m going back for a second look. Thank you.

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