Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Find Mothers Day Gifts That Keep Giving At Plant Sales In Connecticut’s Fairfield County

Flowers may be fine on Mothers Day, but plants that give pleasure all year may be even nicer. Best of all, consider a day out with Mom to choose her own special plant.  Two exceptional plant sales at the Garden Education Center of Greenwich beginning May 7 and the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford on May 7, the day before Mothers Day, offers a day in beautiful surroundings in Connecticut's Fairfield County and experts to help with the choices.


This is the Golden Jubilee celebration of the May Gardeners' Market at the Greenwich Garden Education Center, located in Cos Cob. The 50th anniversary celebration will run the entire week of May 7 at this organization dedicated to promoting home horticulture. It will feature landscape designers, garden planners, noted plant, garden sculpture and furniture sellers, and floral designers all week, culminating in an extraordinary Gardener's Market of spectacular plants on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The setting of the Center in the 91-acre Montgomery Pinetum adds to the day's pleasures. The property, once a private estate known as Wild Acres, features over 80 species of beautiful pines.  From the flagstone terrace of the Garden Center office, the view is manicured lawns ending at a reflecting pool, framed in spring with masses of tulips, daffodils and early azaleas. Peony and primrose gardens always are at their best in May. The Garden Education Center of Greenwich is located at 130 Bible Street, Cos Cob. Phone 203-869-9242 or see www.gecgreenwich.org for further details.


Not far away in North Stamford, the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens will be holding its own semi-annual plant sale, on Saturday, May 7th from 8:30 a.m.-3:00p.m. Expert advice will be available to customers from Bartlett staff and Master Gardeners from the University of Connecticut. Specialty made Herb Baskets will be available for purchase just in time for Mother's Day. Hours are seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Proceeds help support the Arboretum, another exceptional 91-acre spot for strolling. The property features the best of Connecticut's native landscapes, with award-winning Champion trees, themed gardens, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, ten woodland walking trails, and varied wildlife. Magnolias, rhododendrons and conifers are among the specialties at the Arboretum that is conveniently reached off the Merritt Parkway Exit 35.

The Visitor Center houses a horticulture resource library, an art gallery and a plant clinic that remains open during the growing season.  The Bartlett Arboretum is located at 151 Brookdale Road in Stamford. For information: 203-322-6971 or see www.bartlettarboretum.org.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hollister House Garden Launches 2011 Season with Escorted Daffodil Walk on April 30 Washington CT

The Hollister House Gardens sets its 2011 season in motion with a one-of-a-kind Daffodil Walk at 10 a.m. on Saturday April 30.

George Schoellkopf, the garden's creator and steward for the past 32 years, will escort an informative and entertaining tour of the 25-acre property, speaking about what to plant for the early spring garden and sharing tricks that he has discovered for better gardening in Northwest Connecticut, all born of long experience.  He will be accompanied by Krista Adams, Hollister House's chief gardener and the person responsible for planting and maintaining the extraordinary property which combines the formality of a classic English garden with a generous abundance of common and exotic plants in surprising combinations.

Mr. Schoellkopf is well known in horticultural circles as a gifted garden designer and charming raconteur. He has written articles on gardening for Town & Country, House & Garden, House Beautiful, and Rosemary Verey's The American Man's Garden. The Hollister Homestead, site of the garden, was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its significance in American history and the garden is also one of only 16 Garden Conservancy Preservation Projects.

The April 30 Daffodil Walk is the first of a series of Garden Walks planned for 2011, with a Daylily Walk scheduled for July 23 and a Dahlia Walk for August 13. In addition, there will be two festive evening events this season: Twilight in the Garden cocktail party July 9 and a Moonlight Serenade dinner dance on August 20.

Admission to the Daffodil Walk is $5, identical to the fee requested during normal garden visiting hours. Hollister House Garden is open every Saturday in season. From April 30 through May hours are 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; from June through August hours are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and September to October 1 hours are 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The garden is located at 294 Nettleton Hollow Road in Washington, CT. For more information on Hollister House Garden, its history, special events and directions, go to www.hollisterhousegarden.org.

Famed Connecticut Chef And Restaurateur Carole Peck Opens Zeeburger In Woodbury CT

Trend-setting chef and noted restaurateur, Carole Peck is opening a casual eatery called Zeeburger, whose hamburger menu will reflect her love of local and farm fresh. Located in the Sherman Village Plaza at 670 Main Street in Woodbury, not far from her acclaimed and award-winning restaurant, Good News Café, Peck, following 18 years of serving high-end cuisine to diners far and wide, and many noted celebrities who have homes in Connecticut, will now turn her eclectic and tasteful art of cooking to a more grounded hamburger, hotdog and shake fare that the whole community can enjoy.

With the influence of her French husband Bernard Jarrier who refers to a hamburger as "Zeeburger," Peck says the proximity of her new eatery close to Good News Café is an ideal situation that she couldn't pass up. "I see a real need in town for a family place where people who are pressed for time can enjoy a burger that's tasty, healthy, and fun, and that's what Zeeburger is all about," Peck says. "Burgers are totally hot again and everyone loves them, so why not engage the community by giving them what they love and support our local and regional farms."

Peck is indeed supporting area and regional farms. She is sourcing meat for the burgers from several organic and grass-fed farms. The milk for Zeeburger's milkshakes and floats will come from Arethusa Farm Dairy in Litchfield, and she's created a maple syrup shake using fresh maple syrup processed in Woodbury.

Zeeburger will offer a moderately priced menu appealing to both meat eaters and vegetarians. The hand-formed organic beef burgers, all served on brioche buns will include: Zee 5 ounce Burger with cheese, Zee Compact Burger, Zee Monster Burger, Zee Juicy Lucy Blue Burger, and Zee Bacon Cheeseburger. For those looking for an alternative to beef, there is: Zee Meat without Feet Salmon Burger, Zee Shroom Burger, Zee Falafel Burger, Zee ground Hot Dog on a pretzel roll and Zee on-going Grilled Cheese with bacon. Burgers and hot dogs all come with different toppings and can be accompanied by Zee hand-cut French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries.

For those who want a lighter, vegetarian fare, Zeeburger offers three types of Zee Green Goods: Caesar Salad, Chopped Salad and Crunchy Kale Salad.
Fresh dairy beverages sure to be a hit among children and adults alike are real and hand-dipped milk shakes and floats that come in either two ounce or 12 ounce sizes with a variety of flavors, including, chocolate, vanilla, malted, coffee, banana, raspberry, mint, hazelnut and maple syrup. Beer and wine will be served for adults.

For more information about Carole Peck, Zeeburger and The Good News Café, visit: www.zeeburger.com, www.good-news-cafe.com. For information on Connecticut's beautiful Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Touch A Shark April 16-24 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - Fairfield County CT

Visitor response was so positive to "Touch A Shark" in February that the special exhibit will return for an encore April 16-24 to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

As similarly offered in February, "Touch A Shark" will feature live nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum), a comparatively docile species that tolerates having their backs gently touched by human fingers.

"We had a great response to 'Touch A Shark' during the winter school break," said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium's marketing director. "Visitors were surprised at the feel of the sharks' tough skin. And, importantly to us, they also learned that sharks aren't the violent bloodthirsty beasts that they're portrayed as in the media."
Aquarium volunteers will be on-hand to make sure the shark-human interactions are safe for both parties.
Interpretative graphics will provide details about nurse sharks and how they hunt and eat their prey, and also about how sharks sense their world.

Plus, be sure to bring your camera to "Touch A Shark" for a shark dive-cage photo opportunity! A real diving cage, used for safe approaches to large sharks, will be positioned next to the Aquarium's cast model of a 16-foot great white shark caught in the eastern end of Long Island Sound in the 1970s.   Step inside the cage and pose to look like you're having a real underwater encounter with the largest species of predatory shark – a species you don't want to touch.

"Touch A Shark" will be free with Maritime Aquarium general admission: $12.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors and $9.95 for children 2-12.

For more details, go online to www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700 or visit www.MaritimeAquarium.org.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Roller Coaster Ushers In 103rd Season At Quassy Amusement Park

What do you get when you put more than 140,000 board feet of lumber, 200,000 nails and 35,000 nuts and bolts all together? In this instance, a wooden roller coaster! Quassy Amusement Park is celebrating the year of the "Wooden Warrior" in 2011 as the 103-year-old park ushers in its new marquee attraction on April 23 and 24th with its Annual $35 Campership Fund Weekend where proceeds go to help send underprivileged children to summer camp.

Designed by The Gravity Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, the "Wooden Warrior" is more than 1,200 feet long and towers 35 feet into the air. With the natural topography of the park playing into the blueprints, the ride drops more than 40 feet overall and crosses over the park's miniature railroad twice, adding additional thrills for riders on both attractions. The ride will obtain a maximum speed of 35 mph with one six-car train, with a capacity of 12 persons, running the course.

"Our new roller coaster is a family ride – one parents and grandparents alike can ride with children," park owner George Frantzis II asserted. "It will not be an extreme or white-knuckle experience – that is not who and what we are."

Later in the season, Quassy will  usher in the summer of  its new marquee ride by staging the "Rock 'N Roll 'R Coaster" laser light spectacular on May 27 and 28. The outdoor laser light show will take place in the great lawn area of the park after dark. Canned food donations will be accepted as admission to the show area in support of the Connecticut Food Bank.

The park will be staging a variety of other special events and live entertainment, including the African Acrobats International July 2 – Aug. 12 at the Silverleaf Resorts Carousel Theatre. For a complete listing of events visit www.quassy.com.
About the Park
Quassy Amusement Park features more than two-dozen rides and attractions, beach, "Saturation Station" interactive family water play area, redemption arcade and restaurant. All-day wristbands or individual ride tickets are available. There is no general admission fee to walk around the amusement park, but guests must have an all-day wristband or pay a fee to enter the beach and waterpark area. Parking is $5 on weekdays and $6 on weekends. July 4 parking is $7.

The park is open weekends through mid-June and then operates daily through Labor Day, before returning to a weekend schedule to close out the season.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meet The Snakes... At Earthplace !

Earthplace in Westport Connecticut has a long history of educating the community about nature and the environment.  True to their mission on  Saturday, April 16 from 2:30 – 3:15 pm  families are invited to get up close and personal with a snake !  Animal Care Technician, Andy Todd, aka The Snake Guy, will take participants on a journey to learn all about the world of snakes.

Andy will answer questions and provide key information and insights into snake behavior, snake size, daily diet, and which snakes make good pets.  "Snakes are one of the most misunderstood and unjustly feared and hated animals on the planet" said Todd.   "I want kids to come away feeling like they just got to participate in something exciting and out of the ordinary; something that they will remember when they are adults."

Children over the age of 3 will have the opportunity to see and touch different types of snakes. The program runs from 2:30-3:15 and is included with the price of general admission and free for members.  Contact Linda Roberts at (203) 227-7253, ext. 115 for more information.F

Founded in 1958 and accredited by The American Association of Museums, Earthplace, a non-profit organization maintains an 84-acre wildlife sanctuary with trails, contains an interactive natural history museum, houses live wildlife for public viewing and hosts many public nature programs and events for children and adults. Other activities include a state-licensed and accredited nursery school, summer day camp, a wildlife rehabilitation program, and the Harbor Watch/River Watch water quality testing program, which this year is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its formation.

Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center is located on 10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT 06880.(I-95 Ex.17. Rte. 15 Ex. 41). (203) 227-7253. Grounds are open daily 7 to dusk and the Center is open Mon.-Sat. 9-5, Sun. 1-4. http://www.earthplace.org.