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!
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.
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 ~~
~~ I love houses ~~
But I promised you a garden tour, so let’s continue, around the end of the house to the columned porch.
Notice the mirror over the fireplace.
This is the view it reflects.
The pool is surrounded by formal boxwood hedges and brick columns.
If you prefer a more natural landscape we can go back to the pergola and gaze at the oval pond.
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.
If we continue on past the pergola to the other end,
we can visit the cutting gardens and the greenhouse.
Last year the cutting gardens were filled with tulips!
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,
these outdoor lights (I’m searching for new ones this year for my own house so I’m noticing them everywhere I go!)
and the garden statuary are all calling to me. Look at that brickwork border along the top of the wall!
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!
This folly will be covered with wisteria later in the summer.
Wildflowers and ferns line the paths.
Plantings beckon in every direction and peek through openings between trees and shrubs.
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.
But I thank all the generous home and garden owners who share their beautiful spaces every year for this cause.
Trade Secrets 2016 is this coming weekend, and I’m so excited because we will be visiting Bunny Williams’ garden again
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?
I’m joining the fun at