2 The day started off a bit rainy and cold, but that didn't stop visitors. By lunchtime, the sun came out. Trade Secrets is held at LionRock Farm in Sharon, Connecticut. http://www.lionrockfarm.com
3 This is Trade Secrets' 15th year anniversary. It's a two-day garden event that was established by interior designer, Bunny Williams in 2000. I always enjoy going into all the booths to see what new and unique plants they have.
4 This particular booth was run by Hillside Nursery, a small nursery, plant culture lab, and research facility in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. I visit this tent every year. On this day, they had many rare specimens that caught my eye. http://www.hillsidenursery.biz
5 I purchased several plants from the Hillside Nursery booth including Anemonella and wild ginger - they will look great in my gardens.
6 The next stop was Opus, a nursery in Little Compton, Rhode Island, which specializes in unusual perennials. They always have nice plants also. http://www.opusplants.com
7 I can always find something at Opus. Here I am talking with Ed Bowen, the owner of Opus.
9 As we were walking through the many booths, we came across these pieces of sedum sod hung on a stand. They were very interesting.
10 Each one was a sod-like matt containing a mix of sedum plants. It can be used for ground cover or on green roofs. Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, commonly known as stonecrops and including up to 600 species of leaf succulents.
11 Trade Secrets is a very popular sale, and the booths and aisles filled up quickly. More than 60 garden experts, antiques dealers and artisans gather here every spring for this philanthropic event to benefit Women's Support Services, an organization which offers free confidential assistance to victims of domestic violence. http://www.wssdv.org
12 Typically, I am not drawn to red plants, but the one in this grouping caught my attention - it's cytisus. I purchased two. Cytisus scoparius, commonly known as common broom or Scotch broom, is a perennial ornamental shrub found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils.
13 I bought a few plants at Broken Arrow Nursery, another great source for rare and unusual specimens. Here I am with Chris assessing my list of purchases. https://www.brokenarrownursery.com
14 When buying items at Trade Secrets, everyone is assigned an ID number, which is then tagged on each purchase and taken to a holding area for pick-up at the end of the visit. This very organized system makes it convenient for patrons to continue shopping.
15 I was going to purchase this beautiful set of vintage plates and serving vessels, but someone else beat me to it.
17 Conifers are any gymnosperm tree or shrub of the phylum Coniferophyta. They typically bear cones and evergreen leaves and include pines, spruces, larches, yews, junipers, cedars, cypresses and sequoias.
18 Here I am talking to the owner of Conifer Kingdom, Brent Markus.
19 Brent showed me what he had in stock, and we discussed what might work well at my farm.
20 The tent was full of beautiful conifers in various colors and species. All living conifers are woody plants and most are trees.
21 The leaves of many conifers are long, thin and have needle-like appearances. Some can also have flat triangular scale-like leaves. In the majority of conifers, the leaves are arranged spirally.
22 Conifers are among the smallest, largest and oldest living woody plants known. The more than 500 conifer species are distributed worldwide with about 200 species in North America.
23 It was difficult to choose from such a vibrant collection.
24 I ended up with some nice specimens.
26 They had a whole section of pretty herbaceous peonies.
27 Garden Vision Elimediums nursery and gardens is a small, retail mail-order business located in Phillipston, Massachusetts. Epimediums are easy to grow perennials that prefer well-drained, moisture retentive soils.
28 I was very interested in the hellebores at the Pine Knot Farms tent. Pine Knot Farms is located in Clarksville, Virginia. Here I am with its owner, Dick Tyler. http://www.pineknotfarms.com
29 This booth had a beautiful collection of ferns.
30 The sun came out by early afternoon, which was great for the visitors and all the vendors. With all there is to see and learn, it's a good event and a good cause rain or shine.
31 Every year, I always stop at Peony's Envy, too. They come to Trade Secrets every year from Bernardsville, New Jersey. http://www.peonysenvy.com
32 Trade Secrets is also a very nice source for outdoor and garden antiques. This is a very charming wire plant stand.
33 Here is a unique outdoor garden set.
34 These metal chairs with wooden seats were also very interesting.
35 A pair of outdoor lounging chairs - they looked well-maintained.
36 Here is a very long, metal "sectional" for an outdoor patio space.
37 Trade Secrets even had some antique and vintage bird cages. There is a lot of energy and spirit at this sale - everyone always walks away with some kind of treasure.
38 There were many different kinds of antique planters - made from every material known, such as marble, stone, clay and metal.
39 Here are more outdoor planters.
40 At this booth was a large assortment of antique pots - can you see the patina on them?
41 There were also lots of textiles.
42 At the end, here is what I purchased from this year's Trade Secrets, plus three magnolias, which aren't in this picture. Luckily, we had three trucks, so it all fit.
43 This is the loading area where visitors picked up their purchases and loaded them into their vehicles.
44 It was time to head out, but the next stop was a visit with Bunny Williams, and then our annual luncheon at the weekend home of our senior EVP of merchandising, Patsy Pollack.