West Cornwall’s ‘ungardener’ shares her happiest of places.
Pictures + Words by Dee Salomon
Friday, 8:45 a.m.
My perfect 24 hours would be a Friday. Friday is the day of the week when I meet three of my girlfriends (four including my schnauzer Scout) for a walky kind of hike that has become, as we’ve gotten to know each other better, more of a talky kind of walk. We have a handful of favorite trails, most lined with native plants such as mountain laurel and hobblebush. When it’s too cold for the short hike and obligatory swim in Mohawk Pond we head to Dean’s Ravine in Fall’s Village or, when we feel more ambitious, to Pine Knob Loop in Sharon. Divulging these special places might be breaking some unspoken code amongst locals, but I’m all for more people experiencing the pristine woods.
Friday, 11:35 a.m.
Earth Tones Native Plants
From here we drive to the southern-most corner of Litchfield County for an end-of-season plant fix. It’s worth it. Earth Tones Native Plants in Woodbury is like Disneyland for native plant lovers. As with Disneyland, the nursery is divided into zones where different environments are created to show how native plantings work in terrain types such as wetlands, shaded woodland and meadow.
Friday, 12:05 p.m.
It’s a short 15-minute drive to the gardens at Hollister House where we can see native and non-native flowers, shrubs and trees living together in an exquisite setting. Even in fall it’s beautiful.
Friday, 1:20 p.m.
I say goodbye and drive to Kent to meet my boyfriend Rob and our friend, art advisor Kim Schmidt, for a pizza at Swyft. From here it’s a few steps to RT Facts, where we tour monumental architectural esoterica, whimsical indoor and outdoor furniture, planters and ornaments and cabinet-of-curiosity delights. All to add a bit of decorative umami to one’s home style.
Friday, 3:15 p.m.
James Barron Art
About five minutes away by car is James Barron Art, a by-appointment-only gallery at the end of a long entry road studded with Beverly Pepper sculptures. We’re taken through the several rooms that make up the gallery and the wooden folly nestled in the landscape; the artwork is shown alongside mid-century furnishings creating a cool, homey feeling.
Friday, 4:35 p.m.
Jane Herold Pottery
Time to turn around and head in the direction of home and dinner but two more stops on the way add icing to the cake of my perfect day. The first is the pottery studio of Jane Herold. Jane creates everyday items—plates, bowls, mugs—that are sturdy and elegant and have a magical ability to make food look and taste better. Restaurants all over the country (and Canada) commission her work and I’ve been adding to our collection over the years.
Friday, 6:25 p.m.
Michael Trapp Home
Then to Michael Trapp, Litchfield County’s mecca of decorative treasure. My home wouldn’t be as splendidly interesting were it not for Michael’s keen and worldly eye. His shop in West Cornwall closes in December so that he can spend a few months replenishing stock which I imagine he does through a time machine that sets him on the Silk Road in an exotic location, with camels to carry back his stash.
Friday, 8:15 p.m.
Dinner, Frank Food
Time for dinner in West Cornwall at Frank Food. And frank it is: well-crafted, straight-forward fare, fresh and tasty. All of Cornwall is seemingly here, sitting inside in cozy nooks or the communal table and, when weather permits, outside on the patio. A delicious and perfect end to the perfect day.
Saturday, 7:45 a.m.
Breakfast, The Smithy
We wake up hungry and head to The Smithy in New Preston has choices that are healthy and delicious. My pick is the spicy sweet Golden Milk Latte and a breakfast slider made with turkey sausage. Yes!