Wednesday, April 26, 2017

House and Spring Garden in Bridgeport @ Colorblends

The Colorblends House & Spring Garden located in Bridgeport on 893 Clinton Ave. is open to the public from early April through mid-May and is free. Opening and closing dates will depend on the weather. Please follow on Facebook for up-to-date flowering reports. 

The Garden
The spring garden is located on the south side of the house and occupies about half an acre. More than 40,000 flowerbulbs have been planted since fall 2014. These plantings, the handiwork of Dutch designer Jacqueline van der Kloet in collaboration with COLORBLENDS, are designed to show what is possible with bulbs.

Whether you want to brighten your front walk, backyard or vegetable garden, whether you want to plant 200 bulbs or 2000, the COLORBLENDS spring garden will show you how to create a great spring display. The plantings exhibit a range of choices in spring-flowering bulbs and give ideas on where to plant them and how to maintain a bulb display year after year.

The garden also shows how you can attract birds, bees and other wildlife to your yard. Aging trees, which provide habitat and food for many birds and small animals, have been spared. A new fruit tree has been planted. An innovative compost pile screens the vegetable garden and provides a haven for birds and insects.

The House
COLORBLENDS purchased the house, a fine example of Colonial Revival architecture, from Nationstar Mortgage LLC and Fannie Mae in a short sale on December 4, 2013, five years after it was put on the market.

The house was built in 1903 for Albert S. Wells, general superintendent of the Bridgeport Malleable Iron Company. It is set among other beautiful houses in the Stratfield historic district in Bridgeport.

The long road to restoration COLORBLENDS intends to bring the house back to its former glory. Initial steps have included opening up three porches that were enclosed over the years and clearing out the basement, which had been divided into nine small rooms during a period when the house was used for private tutoring. Other previous uses of the house were as offices for an architect and before that a doctor who also lived there with his family.

Fortunately, many original elements, such as the woodwork on the stairs and several stained glass windows, have been spared over the years. Replacing them would have been prohibitively expensive, if not impossible.

The goal is slow, steady progress towards restoration. During the spring while the garden is open the House will also be open with a pop-up gallery featuring works from 4 to 5 local artists.

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