Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trade Secrets Redux

This past weekend was the annual Trade Secrets Garden Show in Sharon, Connecticut.  I wrote about attending it last year (it is a "must do" in our calendar), so I'm not going to go into too much detail here about the show except to say that this year's well-attended event was a glorious one, and held on a blissfully lovely day.  It was heaven!

Reggie's topiary loot purchased at Trade Secrets
sitting on a bench at Darlington House

Litchfield County, Connecticut, where Trade Secrets is held on a gentlewoman's handsome working farm, is known for its rolling hills, quaint villages, open farmland, and estates hidden down long gravel driveways.  The area is a magnet for rich New Yorkers who prefer its low key charms to the frenzied mayhem of what has become of the Hamptons.  Nothing showy about this part of Connecticut, Dear Reader—it's all very discreet and tasteful.  Which is just how Reggie likes it, by the way.

We were joined at the show and over the weekend by the charming and amusing Meg Fairfax Fielding, of Pigtown Design fame.  The weekend was a non-stop gabfest of stories, laughter, and socializing.  I encourage you to check out Meg's blog, Dear Reader, as she is a kindred spirit, indeed.

So what did Reggie succumb to at the Trade Secrets show this year?

Topiaries.  Again!  And not just a few, mind you, but rather nine of them (an instant collection!), purchased at the booths of Atlock Farm and Snug Harbor Farm.  While Reggie has vowed time and time again not to buy any more myrtle topiaries (given his unfortunate history of murdering them), he is not a very disciplined fellow and he rationalized while considering his topiary options at the show that adding only one myrtle to the mix was permissible.  That's because if when he murders it at least he'll (hopefully) be able to console himself with the several remaining (non myrtle) topiaries that (he prays) will have avoided such a dismal fate awaiting the (currently healthy) myrtle one he bought at the show.  In the meantime, the topiaries he brought home with him are giving him lots of pleasure, which is what it is all about, isn't it?

Wish me luck!

Photograph by Reggie Darling


  1. You new collection of Topiaries looks beautifully chosen, Reggie. I have recently been freed after admitting to being a serial topiary killer. (I did it because I loved them so much, over-watering, overfeeding, etc). Yet i am sure I will be on another spree soon!

    Art by Karena

  2. Such a fun weekend with two of the best friends EVER! Thanks for having me up for the weekend and for the show. Everything was FAB!

  3. Isn't Meg the best? I bumped into her last week. Oh how I love topiaries...best of luck Reggie Darling! xx

  4. Reggie, is there such a thing as a serial topiary murderer? Anyway, good luck...this time!

    April, Just Verte Style

  5. I noticed the nice ones on the mantle in the Snuggery. They were still healthy!

  6. Snug Harbor Farm may be the most beautiful nursery anyway. I'm heading down there next week for my annual batch of fresh topiaries--and yes, mine will all die too...we can't all be Bunny Mellon...

  7. I have total faith in YOU! There is a secret! Do not overwater! Make sure no water remains...

    No, never mind....it is like telling people about how to have chickens.....(we love our chickens)
    they "get it"; or they don't"!!

    I think Reggie does love these indoor plants....and he will make it work!!

    Our chickens are our favorite! We almost lost some today!Eveobryone forgot to close the door to the coop!"

    We have bobcats.......coyotes......and "Cooper's hawks"!!!

    Hen with the 5 chicks.....still doing beautifully (viciously attacks my hand.....it is OK!)
    and a new hen sitting on 9!!

    a happy ending

    all happy here in the Bianchi "COOP"!!!

    Happy Spring!!!

  8. I seem to recall a friend who had a topiary secret that involved spraying with water and dry cleaning bag mini greenhouses. All of his topiaries were magnificent.

    I had the same problem with them and Bonzai trees... killed them regularly. I have used the technique on herb plants I bring indoors quite successfully.

    PS. My Litchfield addiction is White Flower Farm

  9. The Triumph of Hope over Experience! I, too, would not be able to resist these little green baubles. Good luck at breaking your killing streak!

    Yr. Sister,

  10. Hi there Reggie,

    Everyone has their Trade Secrets Ct. addictions, and mine for the last few years has been hand made iron garden ornaments that came from Michael Trapp, Old Farms Nursery, Campo de Fiore, and Battle Hill Forge. Each one is a wonderful bit of sculpture or jewelry for the garden.

    How lucky we are, to be able to get to a place like Sharon Ct in about two hours from the Albany, NY area and experience that wonderful event.

    If you have a moment look at the Martha Stewart Blog, she did a nice photo display of everything that we all saw that day at Trade Secrets. I did see Martha myself, as we were entering at 10AM.

    Fred Gonsowski

  11. It is a great way to spend the day and is on my calendar for 2014.

    Congratulations on having your home featured in the most recent issue of AD! So nice to find out your real name.


  12. Oh, dear , Topiaries again- There is absolutely such a thing as a serial topiary killer-I am one-If I buy them for gifts, I have to get them to the recipients within 12 hours- In fact my mother, who can stick a wooden coat hanger in the ground and get it to sprout says they die so fast in my care she sometimes suspects suicide


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