Trade Secrets started in Bunny Williams and her husband John Rosselli’s back yard (country estate) in Falls Village, Ct. Bunny is a nationally known interior designer, author of books on interior decorating and gardening, and has lectured, her husband John is a well-known antiques dealer, and together they own Treillage on 75th Street in NYC. When she had a few too many (extra) plants in her greenhouse, Bunny thought why not sell them for charity, so the Woman’s Support Service was called in, along with some local and regional plant purveyors and garden antiques dealers. The group joined together with their offerings, invited in the local and regional people and a stellar gardening event was born. The Trade Secrets plant sale quickly outgrew Bunny and John’s property so it moved on to the Wake Robin Inn, then it migrated to the estate of Elaine LaRoche called “LionRock Farm” in Sharon, Ct where it is held now. From its conception, Trade Secrets has grown into a world-class display of the best of the best, with now 60 venders displaying the most unusual treasures ever seen. Trade Secrets is like going shopping through 60 of the most unique and upscale stores in one day, while enjoying the fresh country air and magnificent views from Elaine LaRoche’s LionRock Farm.
Trade Secrets being a two-day event consists of a plant and garden antiques sale on Saturday, and a fabulous garden tour on Sunday. Bunny Williams and John Rosselli’s Falls Village estate called “The Manor” is opened yearly for viewing. Their home and grounds were sensationalized in Bunny’s book called An Affair with a House, published by Stewart, Tabori and Chan. With legions of fans and lovers of that most beautiful coffee table book, giant crowds of garden enthusiasts tour the Williams/Rousselli grounds yearly; gathering all kinds of gardening ideas from those two taste makers. Along with Bunny and John’s place, 3 or 4 other equally beautiful, but new, and most likely already seen in national garden or shelter magazine properties are opened especially for this most worthy fundraiser.
So now let’s look at some picture of this year’s Trade Secrets. (to examine further, click on photos to enlarge)There is something for everyone. Things are priced from $5. to over $10,000. I saw a pair of cast iron lions for $9500.I love the cobalt blue bell cloches. Things that could go with a modern or country environment, the choice is yours. An interesting arrangement of hens and chicks and other succulents. I love the look of this clock, do you possibly have a place for it? My friend Marguerite taking my picture in Guy Wolff’s booth as I took hers.More Guy Wolff pots. Some wonderful garden trellises at Privet House. A few years ago Target stores, nation wide, sold Privet House inspired products. There are rare and new introductions of plants everywhere for sale. Trade Secret vendors are at least two years ahead of most plant suppliers for new and interesting things. If you want something new, antique or retro, and definitely not what your friends, relatives or neighbors have, you’ll find it at Trade Secrets. Here is the line of people going into the Party Barn at LionRock Farm for lunch. Gourmet salads, quiches, pulled pork sandwiches and chicken with garbanzo beans, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke wraps, along with big homemade cookies were part of the lunch time offerings. While in line for lunch I noticed Hammertown’s sign. Their store motto is “Love where you Live“. For Trade Secrets it became “Love where you Garden“. Everything at Trade Secrets is Top Shelf. Here is the tent to relax in while having lunch. One of my favorite stores in the Berkshires is Campo De’ Fiore (Sheffield, Ma); I have a lot of their things. Here I am with “The Boss”. Campo De’ Fiore pieces are seen constantly in shelter and garden magazines, and I’ve seen a lot of their decorations when going on Garden Conservancy Tours. More Campo De’ Fiore pieces. So there you have it, a small glimpse into a day at Trade Secrets. There is soo much more to show, but a post can only be so long. The last photo is of the main house at LionRock Farm with the tents and outbuildings around it. This year torrential rains fell the night before the show, and the parking field across from the event was too wet for cars to park. People parked in away lots and shuttle buses brought visitors to the event, or some did as we did and parking on Route 41 and walked in. We walked about a half mile. This year the event had a few less people, probably because of the storm and parking, but for the ones like us who went, the day turned out to be bright and sunny, the lawn eventually dried up, it was easy to wonder through the booths and tents, and a Good Time was Had by All.
Trade Secrets has been written about in national magazines, as well as national, regional and local newspapers. Bloggers like me have sung its praises, and it has appeared on Bill Stubbs lifestyle show “Moment of Luxury” for public TV. At Trade Secrets this year Martha Stewart and her crew were photographing the event for an upcoming magazine article; so look for it on you local newsstand in the near future.
If you are interested in Trade Secrets Ct, seeing pictures of famous people who have gone to the event, or more about the Women’s Support Services, all the links to those sites will be in the first comment following this post.
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