I found out about Trade Secrets CT on the decorator, Bunny Williams' blog. I adore Ms. Williams' style and found her book, 'Affair with a House", to be an inspiration to me while planning our carriage house and manor house at the farm.
Each year in May at Lion Rock Farm in Sharon CT, Bunny and a group of her friends (including Martha Stewart) have a plant and antique sale on a Saturday, with Sunday reserved for local garden tours. The proceeds from this event, now in it's 13th year, go to Womens' Support Services in Connecticut, a non-profit group that assists with domestic violence and abuse - a very worthy cause, indeed.
I went to the Trade Secrets CT sale last May (my first year), and I'd say there were at least 70-80 vendors. There were, of course, lots of plants for sale, but there were also antiques dealers and vendors selling garden furniture, pots, hats and all sorts of goodies. I vowed I'd be back the next year with more money. I could have spent a fortune.
Last year I went prepared and brought the F-250 like the good farm girl I try to be. You can never be out of place in a Ford pick-up truck. Oddly enough, all the other women were there trying to cram their giant purchases like stone benches into the backs of their Mercedes station wagons and BMW SUV's- good luck with that!
I was hoping for some garden statuary for the farm. I was looking for a piece to put amidst the ruins of the old mill. Unfortunately, I did not see exactly what I was looking for, but there were some larger pieces for sale, including this little number, that were rather interesting:
The weather could not have been finer for last year's show - sunny and low 70's. Be prepared to be out in the sun a lot if you plan on going, so bring a hat and sunscreen. Even if you don't want to buy anything, you can purchase a ticket and just walk around. Celebrities are known to attend this event in droves, so to go for the people watching is almost worth the ticket price alone. The Lion Rock Farm grounds are spectacular, and it's a pleasant ride from Albany south to Millerton, NY and then over to Sharon, CT. I think it took me 1 1/2 hours last year in the pick up truck from Albany.