Vines & Vignettes Garden Tour in Black Rock
With the tag line of “Experience the Splendor,” the garden tour at the Rose Cottage in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport is gearing up for fall this weekend. Landscape architects, designers, and nurseries have been hard at work on this three-acre property to capture the spirit of the season. Each vignette will walk you from fall through winter, with all of the holidays in between.
The inaugural event for Vines & Vignettes took place last spring. It was a great success, but there was a desire to kick things up a notch. “With so many garden tours in the spring, we wanted to be different,” said Meghan Conway, the event’s chairperson.
She went on to say that choosing the fall was a challenge for many of the landscapers and designers. In the spring, flowers are blooming and the weather is warming up. But in the fall, harvest time is gone and Mother Nature is just starting her long winter’s nap. Conway made the point that the committee “really didn’t want to give them the same thing twice.”
While the grounds are immaculately landscaped with garden spaces, ponds, and walkways, the house itself is no slouch either. Sweeping patios roll toward a wine cellar and an open fire pit with a pool just beyond it. Large windowed spaces give the house an open feel awash with natural light. There is also a chestnut barn, so called because of the wood used to build it, toward the back of the property near the organic garden.
“The house has such a rich history,” Conway said.
The Rose Cottage was once a part of the famous George Hotel, a portion of which remains standing as the Black Rock Yacht Club across the street. The Black Rock Harbor and St. Mary’s-By-the-Sea was a 19th century haven for Manhattanites seeking a summer refuge and a great stopping point between New York City and Newport, R.I. The hotel was constructed under the auspices of George A. Wells, the public relations director for P.T. Barnum. The house is now owned by Theresa Tillinger, the principal at St. Ann School, and her husband, Mark.
A gala event kicks off the festivities on Friday, October 7th. The tours run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th. Enjoy wonderful food, wine tasting, live jazz and garden-related lectures.
Sponsors include Amity Wines & Spirits, Bigelow Tea, David Bravo Photography, Chad’s Landscaping & Design, Nestle Waters/Poland Spring, People's United Bank, Sono Baking Co. and Stop & Shop, and many more.
Vendors include Austin Ganim Landscape Architects and Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist, Beau Maas Antiques, Byrne Woodworking, Chad’s Landscaping & Design, Epicure of Design, Harborview Market, Interior Concepts by Amy, Izzo's Country Gardens and Landscaping, Kelly Designs of CT, Lindquist Landscape Design, Riedel & Cody Fund, Nest of Southport, Runk Douglas Antiques, Sono Baking Co. & Cafe, “Where’d You Get That?” as well many other designers, sculptors and boutique artisans.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. The proceeds will benefit the St. Ann’s School and a portion will be given to the school’s sister charity, the Black Rock Food pantry. Parking is available at St. Ann’s with a shuttle bus running to the Rose Cottage. For more information, visit their web site at vinesandvignettes.com.