1 This is Trade Secrets' 16th year anniversary. The two-day garden event was established by Bunny Williams in 2000. I always like to get there bright and early on the first day.
2 The town of Sharon is surrounded by Salisbury to the north, the Housatonic River to the east, Kent, Connecticut to the south, and to the west, Dutchess County, New York. It was a foggy start, but the fog lifted as the morning progressed.
3 With all there is to see and learn, it's a good event and a good cause rain or shine. This day was perfect - temperatures were in the high 60s with lots of sunshine.
4 More than 60-vendors and garden antiques dealers from around the northeast region set-up their wares under tents at the LionRock farm. http://www.lionrockfarm.com
5 One of the first tents I saw was filled with these beautiful pots - I am always happy to see Wolff Pottery. Guy Wolff and his son, Ben, are master potters.
6 I have been using Wolff pots for many years. Guy has been on my television shows, and his pottery has been featured in my magazines and on my web site at marthastewart.com.
7 I prefer the more historical shapes that Guy creates. My tropical plants look so pretty displayed in his signature white clay vessels.
9 I often see friends at Trade Secrets. Here are former garden editors, Tony Bielaczyc and Margaret Roach. Margaret is an author and blog publisher. Tony is now the head gardener at Cat Rock in Garrison, New York. http://awaytogarden.com/
10 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. http://www.hillsidenursery.biz
11 Anemonella thalictroides 'Cameo' has full double light pink flowers that slowly fade into white.
12 Aconitum krylovii, or Krylova's Monkshood, has numerous spikes covered with creamy white flowers that rise above large deep green leaves.
13 This is Jeffersonia dubia, Asian Twinleaf. It's a popular plant among beginning gardeners because it is easy to care for and maintain.
14 Polygonatum 'New Yorker', also known as Solomon's Seal. All of the stems arch in different directions giving it a pretty bouquet appearance.
16 I have a lot of Mayapples thriving in my shade garden - they are so beautiful.
17 Some of the vendors were from other states. Hoffman & Woodward is located in East Berlin, Pennsylvania. They had many different types of twine, and other essentials for the garden.
18 And colorful cloches - small covers, usually made of glass, for protecting or forcing outdoor plants.
19 They also carried an array of Japanese gardening tools.
20 Trade Secrets is a very popular sale, and the booths and aisles filled up quickly - all to benefit Women's Support Services, an organization which offers free confidential assistance to victims of domestic violence. http://www.wssdv.org
21 I always enjoy going into all the booths to see what new and unique plants they have.
22 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.
23 Under the David Burdock Daffodils & More tent, it was the "& More" that was so eye-catching - Neoregelia, a genus of flowering plants in the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae.
24 This one is Neoregelia 'Dragon'.
25 And, these are Neoregelia 'Fireball'.
26 There were many different kinds of antique planters - made from every material known, such as marble, stone, clay and metal. R.T. Facts had two of these giant 19th century green painted urns by J.L. Mott Ironworks. http://www.rtfacts.com/
28 This is a giant seed pod, also at the Pergola tent.
29 Pergola was also selling this extra large staghorn fern - so beautiful.
31 Many vegetable plant seedlings - they all looked so healthy and green.
33 A duck sprinkler
34 And another duck sprinkler
35 The distinctive pots of Pennoyer Newman were also at this year's Trade Secrets sale - I love these pots. They are containers that have been cast from estate originals. http://www.pennoyernewman.com
37 Here are more Pennoyer Newman outdoor planters.
38 They even had smaller selections for displaying plants on the table.
39 Lots of watering cans were available too.
41 Do you know what these are?
42 They are old brass or bronze garden hose nozzles.
43 Nearby, a stone dog garden statue
44 And more antique planters and urns - these from the Village Braider in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
46 They had lots of beautiful specimens from which to choose.
47 Ellen Tasho had some interesting "leaf" tables.
48 And vintage garden chairs
49 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
51 And so does Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, Connecticut.
52 I recently bought several trees from Broken Arrow Nursery - another good source for rare, unusual, and garden-worthy plants.
53 The tent was full of beautiful conifers in various colors and species.
54 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.
55 Trade Secrets is also a very nice source for outdoor and garden antiques such as these 13 and 14 foot French apple orchard ladders.
56 It's always a pleasure to see interior designer Bunny Williams, who is the Honorary Chair of Trade Secrets.
57 Joining me on this year's trip to Trade Secrets are Lisa Wagner, Kevin Sharkey, and Ryan McCallister.
58 Michael Trapp, from West Cornwall, Connecticut, always has beautiful items. Here are stacks of garden chair cushions in bold colors. http://www.michaeltrapp.com
59 More cushions in tan
60 He also carried bolster pillows.
61 And more chair cushions in gray
62 At one end of the farm was the pick up area where volunteers carted purchases to a place in the field designated for each customer. The event is always very well orchestrated.
63 Here is what I purchased from this year's Trade Secrets.
64 As Ryan carefully placed each item into the back of the truck, I checked it off the list to make sure we got everything we bought.
65 Fortunately, we drove two trucks up, so there was plenty of room.
66 Somehow, I always know just how much I can buy in order to fit it all into the vehicles. Everything is packed securely for the drive home to the farm. I can't wait to start planting.
67 Ciao, Trade Secrets - I'll be back again next year.