Plants

Earth Day Celebrations in Washington!

        

Steep Rock Association, Washington Environmental Council, and the Town of Washington are organizing events this Saturday April 22 in celebration of Earth Day.

There will be an Annual Roadside Clean-up: adopt your road for Earth Day and participate in cleaning up Washington. Trash bags and a dumpster are available at Bryan Memorial Town Hall. A shredder truck will also be available to residents from 9 am until noon.

     

Join WEC & Steep Rock Association in the Steep Rock Preserve for their first annual Earth Day 5K. It is one of the prettiest 5Ks in CT! The race starts at 9 am. Come and cheer on the participants and enjoy the beautiful scenery the Shepaug River and Steep Rock Preserve have to offer. There will be fresh baked goods after the race!

To register for the race visit active.com

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Local Events in Washington this Weekend!

If you have some free time this weekend and are looking for fun and educational events in Washington, check out these events open to the public!

Thanksgiving Floral Design Demonstration

On November 18th at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Loretta Stagen, a professional floral designer for over twenty years, will be giving a free lecture and demonstration on designing Thanksgiving centerpieces.

During the event Loretta will demonstrate her designs by creating 5 different Thanksgiving centerpieces with flowers, foliage, and vegetables.

Loretta Stagen's floral designs are described as lush arrangements that are both stylish and timeless. Her designs will bring joy to your Thanksgiving meal!

Friday November 18th at 10:00am (Free)

                                     

Evening Owl Prowl with Steep Rock Association!

Join Fran Zygmont and Rory Larson in search of Saw-whet, Screech, Barred, and Great Horned owls.

The event will start at the Macricostas Preserve parking lot, off Christian Street. There will be a 15 minute informative talk about the different owl species, then the group will go and search for them in the preserve and around Lake Waramaug

.

Participants are required to bring a flashlight and wear quiet clothing.

Saturday November 19th  6:30pm - 9:00pm (ages 6 and above)

Check out their website to register and for more information on the event!

 

 

Steep Rock Association Fall Programs!

Join Us for Fall Fun with Steep Rock Association!

Check out the fun-filled and educational nature exploration programs that Steep Rock is hosting this fall. From studying reptiles and insects to historical hikes in our beautiful Steep Rock Preserve, there is something fun for everyone!

Space is limited! Register online to secure your spot for one of these great programs!

Snakes of Connecticut                               

Tuesday September 20, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Join Brian Kleinman of Riverside Reptiles for a power-point presentation on the natural history and identification of Connecticut's native species of snakes. This will be followed by an introduction to several of Connecticut's snakes, including the famous Northern Copperhead.

The program will be held at the Gunn Memorial Library: 5 Wykeham Road, Washington CT.

For Ages 12+ - children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information on this program visit their website.

River Bug Hunt!

Saturday September 24, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Join Rory Larson, Steep Rock Association's Land Steward, for a morning in the Shepaug River. Scour submerged rocks immediately upstream of the riding ring bridge in Steep Rock Preserve and identify the dislodged bugs! All equipment (nets and bins) will be provided.

The program will start in the parking lot near the riding ring in the Steep Rock Preserve.

All ages welcome – children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information on this program visit their website.

Hike with us on the Roxbury-Tunnel Road Connector

Saturday October 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Hike from the Tunnel Road from the Steep Rock Preserve Riding Ring in Washington, to Roxbury’s Battle Swamp Preserve during a collaborative Roxbury Land Trust – Steep Rock Association hike. Guides from both the Roxbury Land Trust and Steep Rock Association will lead the three-mile, one-way hike. Along the way, these hike leaders will discuss, among other things, the history of the preserves, land trust resource management, and the Shepaug River.

The program will start in the parking lot near the riding ring in the Steep Rock Preserve.

For Ages 15+ - children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information on this program visit their website.

Nature on the Go…at the Library!

Saturday October 1, 1:00 p.m. for families

Tuesday October 4, 3:00 p.m. for K-1st graders

Thursday October 6, 3:30 p.m. for 2nd and 3rd graders

Explore nature indoors with stories and crafts. Nature books read to you by Steep Rock Association (SRA) staff & volunteers surely add delight to your day. From sunflowers to butterflies, children will discover some of nature’s joys and mysteries.

The program will be held at the Gunn Memorial Jr Library.

Please contact the Gunn Memorial Library for registration: 860 868 2310

For more information on this program visit their website.

Blessing of the Animals

Sunday October 2, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In honor of St. Francis Assisi’s birthday, an interfaith Blessing of the Animals will be held at the Riding Ring near the main parking lot of Steep Rock Preserve.  Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, hamsters, parakeets...all creatures great and small are welcome to bring their human companions and receive a blessing for health and well-being. Photographs of beloved animals who are no longer with us can also be brought for blessing. Volunteers from Steep Rock Association will welcome you while First Congregational Church of Washington volunteers will be on hand to offer blessing and refreshments of all sorts for animals and their human attendants.

Registration is not necessary!

For more information on this program visit their website.

Holiday House Hike into History

Saturday October 15, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join Steep Rock Trustees for a historic trip back in time to explore the ruins of the magnificent hotel designed by Architect Ehrick Rossiter, which once stood on a Steep Rock hillside overlooking the Shepaug River, and examine how the Holiday House impacted the lives of so many of its visitors.

The program will start at the parking lot near the riding ring in the Steep Rock Preserve.

For more information on this program visit their website.

 

 

Author Susanna Salk discovers All the Little Things in New Preston, CT

Author Susanna Salk seen in the Mirror at Privet House

The details are not the details. They make the design.
Charles Eames

Susanna is all about the details, those small exquisite touches that transform rooms into chic interior spaces. She has staged many houses for us and her design sense is further enhanced by her ability to create powerful vignettes with decorative items. 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is her latest book published by Rizzoli New York. The book highlights how top interior designers like India Hicks and Bunny Williams make powerful statements with beloved objects.

The Book Cover

Recently, Susanna held a town wide book event in every design lover's destination, New Preston, CT, where each shop featured tabletop vignettes created by the author. The day concluded with a book signing at J. Seitz Co, the first design emporium to open on East Shore Road in the town. Below are the images of the carefully curated displays, each of which were in effect a miniature essence of the store itself. 

With a stunning neutral palette and beatuifully crafted antique furniture, Dawn Hill Antiques has fourished under founders John and Paulette Peden for over twenty years. According to a recent magazine article, “The store with its pale Swedish décor looks like a scene from an Ingemar Bergman movie with exquisite furniture and clocks in cool Gustavian shades of white and grey. “

The selection of utensils, ovenware and cooking accoutrements at New Preston Kitchen Goods would delight any budding or experienced chef. Owner, Marty Rook, is a food aficionado trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Marty furthered his experience at Picholine and La Grenouille in New York City. Marty's first-hand, real-world knowledge of what it takes to prepare, cook, and present the perfect meal for any season sets the standard for the store.

D.K. Schulman Design was opened in 2004 by Dana Schulman a well known model and fashion journalist in New York. The shop is a confectionary of sophisticated papers, cards, gifts and stationary collections. They offer everything for your social and special occasions.

Set atop the New Preston Falls, Pergola seamlessly blends natural living plant materials with weathered antiques, prints, books and containers to help you create the perfect indoor/outdoor designed environment. Both owners David Whitman and Peter Stiglin have a masterful eye for finding unusual items on their travels to Japan that cannoit be found in any other garden or design emporium.

Interior Designer Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry's Plain Goods Shop has a common thread throughout of simplicity, craftmanship and luxe materials. The store has a casual vibe and offers a curated collection of antiques, vintage finds, furnishings, textiles and clothing.

Susanna Salk at J. Seitz taken by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence

J. Seitz & Company was founded by former magazine editor Joanna Seitz who was later joined by her husband Bill Seitz, a renowned interior design photographer at that time. This distinctive bastion of furniture, antiques, home decor, apparel, accessories, and jewelry has been housed in the same vintage building for over twenty-five years. Perched above a magical waterfall, it has long been a favorite destination for decorators, collectors, celebrities, world travelers and those who crave an uncommon shopping experience.

Privet House, featured in the opening image, is the fortuitous melding of the design sensibliities and style of Richard Lambertson (co-founder of Lambertson-Truex) and Suzanne Cassano (former product and concept guru at Calvin Klein). Unearthed French portraits from a barn in Provence find their place amond Morrocan linens, French Bergeres, Italian luxurious skincare and vintage fashion books. A must stop for any trip to New Preston!

Please click on the store links for addresses, phone contact information and store hours.

Susanna Salk's new book, 'IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS: Creating Big Moments in Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff' is a available at Hickory Stick BookStop, click here for their location.

 

 

 


 

 

Recent Editorial about Stacey Matthews and The Matthews Group

Recent Tabletop Styling by Stacey Matthews

We had two recent articles that appeared in Rural Intellegence and Happening in the Hills. One featured indoor plant design and the creative vision of Stacey as well as terrarium creator, Audra M. Viehland. Please find below an excerpt from the story:

"Gardeners might think that they are the caretakers of their plants, but there's another way to look at it. In some native languages, writes author Robin Wall Kimmerer, the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us." Two women in the Rural Intelligence region, Stacey Matthews and Audra M. Viehland, combine their green thumbs with an artistic aesthetic that incorporates nature into interior design. These plants, now works of art, become caretakers of sorts. Who's not happier surrounded by objects of beauty?"

Photo courtesy of Audra M. Viehland

A lovely Window Ledge in the Matthews Home.

To read the entire article in Rural Intelligence, please click here.

Edward Larrabee Platform House in Litchfield, CT

Happening in the Hills featured the significant Marsters home, an architectural gem and a perfect example of a platform house design originally conceived by Edward Larrabee Barnes. The design of the house and its provenance were the focus of this article. Below is the introduction to the story:

"The Marsters House, originally built in 1953, is a significant example of the 'platform house', a design conceived by renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. Every detail stays true to early modernism with clean lines and an elegant grid of rectangular indoor and outdoor rooms. The provenance of the house adds to its interest as the home was designed for Ted Marsters, a classmate of Barnes at Harvard, and his wife Kathy who is the sister of Rufus Stillman, a patron and supporter of Marcel Breuer and modernist architecture in Litchfield at that time."

The Family Room of the Marsters House

Another View of the Exquisite Exterior

To read the entire article in Happening in the Hills, please click here.

 

Copper Fern Terrariums to Brighten the Home in Winter

Succulent Air Plant with Sea Glass

The Copper Fern offers the most exquisite terrariums created by Audra M. Viehland. She makes each one unique by sourcing vintage and antique pieces as well as distinctive objects picked up during her travels. As featured in the photo above, Audra sometimes uses sea glass that she has collected over the years from the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.

Globe with Succulents, Air Plant and Turquoise

All my friends know my passion for indoor plants and incorporating them into interior decoration. Each terrarium created by Audra is a stunning blend of nature and artistic design, perfect to brighten the home during the winter months.

Arrowhead Plant with Shell

Above is a closed terrarium, the first of which was developed by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. While studying insects, he left a jar with plants overnight and the fern inside grew to be a beautiful plant. These plant decorations became popular in the Victorian Era and were called Wardian Cases at that time.

Succulents with Toy Car and Fool's Gold

Open terrariums are best suited to dry plants such as succulents as they keep the air free from excess moisture. These also work work well for plants that need direct sunlight.

Chinese Evergreen with Brass Buttons and Red Air Plant

Audra has wonderful insight into the appeal of keeping a terrarium in the home, " It brings a bit of nature indoors year-round. And similar to keeping a garden, house plants, or flower arranging, caring for a terrarium can be a simple way to de-stress."

Rosemary and Lavender Blooming Air Plant

Audra in Bologna

Audra takes custom orders and uses a variety of plants from succulents to ferns. She uses closed or open containers and has even incorporated a vessel provided by a customer. She brings her artistry and unique style to each and every terrarium.

For orders and inquiries about Copper Fern Terrariums, please email copperfernterrariums@gmail.com

Please note: All terrarium images are the work of Audra M. Viehland