Archive for May, 2011

The Bleu Willow in Simsbury CT - Party and Shopping!

May 28th, 2011 by nancyross

Yesterday, I (Nancy) went to one of my favorite shops – The Bleu Willow, located in Simsmore Square in Simsbury CT.  Laura, the owner, hosted a very nice springtime open-to-everyone reception, and I had so much fun talking with her and her colleagues, and sharing stories with the other shoppers.

I have followed this store from its birth in Granby CT to its relocation in Simsbury CT (thankfully,  just a few miles south of us).  It is definitely one of the best “feel good” places around.  This shop is exquisitely designed, stocked with wonderful vintage-hip finds, both trendy and antique, and has many unique artistic treasures.  The Bleu Willow offers an eclectic mix of antique and vintage pieces, as well as beautiful reproductions, that Laura has found in her travels – architecture, trinkets, new design trends – as well as the most fabulous artistic décor, accessories, furniture, and specialty gifts that are designed by local artists.  The jewelry is beautiful as well (and fun to try on!) – all designed by talented artists.

Here at the Dutch Iris Inn, we have several beautiful items from the Bleu Willow intertwined throughout our home, including unique pieces from the local artists.  One of our most commented on pieces is our Halloween tree, which is a beautiful table-top sculpture created by a talented artist from Simsbury.  Come visit us in October, and you’ll see it for yourself!

The Bleu Willow prices really and truly fit everyone’s budget…really.  Whether you are in the mood to shop, or simply in the mood to be inspired, The Bleu Willow will provide a fascinating experience for you.  At the moment, I have my eye on several garden gate pieces on display, and an old section of decorative curved fence…and then there is that little glass-glitter sign…and the decorative clocks… and the old vintage hooks… and on and on… I hope all of these are still there when I return!  But if not, that’s OK.  Laura always brings fresh items into her shop, so I am never without a new find to love, purchase, and cherish.  “Vintage Hip, Simple Living” is what The Bleu Willow is all about.  Check it out!

Spectacular Garden Tour - Open Garden Days at O’Brien Nurserymen

May 24th, 2011 by nancyross

We always enjoy working in our gardens, digging in the earth and watching nature take its course. Over the past few years of owning the Dutch Iris Inn, a good friend of ours, John O’Brien, has helped us plan beautiful landscaped gardens and borders around our property. His artistic abilities and never-ending knowledge of horticulture makes him very well known in our neck of the woods…and he’s a great guy all around! He specializes in hosta, America’s #1 selling perennial, but he offers so much more to complement all gardens.
John’s home is also his business location – O’Brien Nurserymen, a specialty nursery here in Granby CT. His property is landscaped to the hilt (of course!), and a trip to his place is like visiting an arboretum – only better. John opens his grounds to the public on “Open Garden Days” during designated weekends April – October, and it is truly like strolling through a fairy tale when you visit. We spend hours roaming the lawns, walking among the trees and woods, stopping to admire the streams and pond. There is so much more to absorb when you visit, and John truly makes you feel at home. We would like to share with you some excerpts from John’s annual newsletter for 2011:

“We [have assembled] a plentiful array of fantastic plants to tempt you with. Actually, it’s a year round job acquiring plants to have new and exciting selections on hand. Our extensive display gardens feature over 1,900 hosta varieties as well as other shady characters including epimediums, woodland peonies, primroses, spring ephemerals, tricyrtis and arisaemas. The gardens also include a wide variety of unusual dwarf conifers as well as over a hundred varieties of Japanese maples. We also carry other gems, such as coralbells, daylilies, sedums, and daphnes.” …and don’t forget ferns, alliums, ornamental grasses, flowering trees, and on and on we go. “We continue to add new display gardens for your viewing pleasure. On occasion, we have customers arrive in the morning when we open, and then we are amazed when they reappear from the display gardens in the afternoon.”

O’Brien Nurserymen’s Open Garden Days have themed weekends – highlighting what is in season, offering expert advice on all things wonderful. His 2011 Open Garden Day Weekends run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and Memorial Day) on the following weekends: April 22, April 29, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, July 1, July 8, July 15, July 29, August 12, August 19, September 2, September 16, September 30, October 14. Visit O’Brien Nurserymen online at http://www.obrienhosta.comfor more information and to view a listing of his beautiful garden temptations.