Everything’s Coming Up Green

Best resources for your garden

photograph by julie curtis

Recently when I was helping my 12-year-old with her English homework, I was reminded of those wonderful lines by the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth on the imminence of spring:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze”

Speaking of the new season, Litchfield County has many gardening resources, and understandably so, given the sheer number of gardeners among us. Here is a selection of some of the best resources for preparing your garden for spring.

Few plants are revered as much as the tree peony, and for good reason. Not only is it the national flower of China, but some are more than 200 years old. Every garden must have a few of these gorgeous plants. Lucky for us, Litchfield County has one of the best resources. Since 1988, Cricket Hill Gardens has grown hundreds of different kinds of tree peonies and welcomes hundreds of visitors each spring to see acres of the flowers on display. An amazing sight! Cricket Hill Gardens, 670 Walnut Hill Rd., Thomaston, 860-283-1042, treepeony.com.

If you are like me and always thinking about making changes to your landscape, having a new garden installed or adding more irrigation, Kent Greenhouse and Gardens is a great resource. They installed some of the landscaping at my house, and years later, the trees and shrubs are still thriving. It’s also worth a visit to their garden store, open daily. Kent Greenhouse and Gardens, 30 South Main St., Kent, 860-868-0727, kentgreenhouse.com.

Further up on Route 41 in Sharon is Beardsley Gardens specializing in all types of landscaping and offering an eclectic selection of perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs from the new and different to the tried and true. All plants are grown regionally—most right here in Connecticut. Beardsley Gardens, 157 Gay St., Rte. 41, Sharon, 860-364-0727, beardsleygardens.com.

photograph courtesy of white flower farm

Most of us are familiar with White Flower Farm through its extensive catalog of bulbs, perennials and gifts. Visiting the retail store and nursery is a whole other necessary experience. From the quality of their plants to the design inspiration from the gardens and potted flowers, it’s a feast for the senses. One greenhouse is devoted to English hybrid begonias, which have the seduction of a siren. Gorgeous and lush—yet my gardening downfall! White Flower Farm, 167 Litchfield Rd., Morris, 860-567-8789, whiteflowerfarm.com.

The Garden in Woodbury is a great resource for just about all your gardening needs. I get many of my annuals there in the spring, including impatiens and heliotrope, and they have very healthy and large perennials. It seems when most garden centers are running low, they usually have good stock! The Garden in Woodbury, 155 Main Street North, Woodbury, 203-266-4439, dietrichgardens.com.

Hollandia Nurseries, on the border of Litchfield County, is one of the most extensive nurseries and garden centers I have been to. It has an entire greenhouse devoted to vegetables, including a delicious variety of tomatoes. They also sell a diverse selection of garden roses, including my favorite, the Yves Piaget Rose, with its magnificent scent. Hollandia Nurseries, 103 Old Hawleyville Rd., Bethel, 203-743-0267, ctgrown.com.

After you’re done creating your own gardening masterpieces, you might want to pay a visit to Hollister House Garden, which boasts one of the counties best gardens inspired by the “classic” English style. Begun in 1979, the gardens are the perfect mix of formal and country. Every time I visit, I return to my own house and want to start over! Hollister House Garden, 294 Nettleton Hollow Rd., Washington, 860-868-2200, hollisterhousegarden.org.