The 1750 Matthew Curtiss House at 44 Main Street, which is the museum and headquarters of Newtown Historical Society, was the stepping-off point for the society’s 18th Annual House & Garden Tour on Saturday, June 28. Participants obtained maps there of the houses and gardens that were open to ticket-holders on Saturday. The 18th annual event was well attended, and again served as a fundraiser for the historical society. This year's event offered eight properties on Main Street, one on West Street, and one on Newfield Lane. Tourgoers observed that while they may have passed the properties on display many times, they were not aware of the elaborate gardens present in their rear yards.
Jeff Shwartz is a beekeeper, which entails much more than a sweet, amber-colored reward. “Believe it or not, I thought I wanted honey,” he said. Regarding the work he began in 2007, he said, “I thought that a couple of times a year you pull on a deep sea diving suit and steal honey” from the bee hives. He soon discovered that tending bees was a far bigger business. He and his wife Nancy acquired books and delved into the world of bees, he said, “I learned it was much more.” He began attending workshops and consulted with apiculture societies, backyard beekeeping associations, beekeeping clubs, and more.
“A Glimpse Of The Garden” is a seasonal miniseries focusing on the heart of a gardener’s work — a special spot, an extraordinary plant, a place of respite, or a place that evokes a heartfelt memory. What is down the garden path of your friends and neighbors? What is down your garden path? This week, a visit with Liljan Minck, who for nearly 60 years, has sat on the broad porch of her nearly 200-year-old home, resting after a session of dedicated work developing the gardens that surround her house. “I see everything from here,” she said — trees, birds, flowers, shrubs, and people going by." Over the course of many years, she and her late husband Albert did all of the landscaping on their property. Nestled up against the foundation of the house is a flowerbed filled from front to back with seasonal delights, such as the fragrant White Festiva Maxima peonies, several varieties of hosta, golden leaf spirea, and lush bleeding heart shrubs. Peeking out from these are long fronds of Solomon’s Seal here and there, and the silvery white foliage of Snow-In-Summer. Daisies bloom abundantly at the side of the house, as well.
Stop & Shop Store Manager Rich Marcuccio, right, FAITH Food Pantry co-chair Nancy Taylor and event co-organizer and Newtown resident Chris Sferruzzo gathered in front of several pallets of food collected for FAITH Food Pantry during a June 14 car show and raffle held at the South Main Street grocery store in Sand Hill Plaza. The event featured a DJ, The Big Beat Band, food, activities for the kids, and dozens of hot rods, classics, customized, and stock vehicles ranging from vintage to a gull wing DeLorean complete with its space age “flux capacitor.” Mr Marcuccio said the event raised $10,000 in food and cash donations for the pantry located in Sandy Hook Center.
Paper may be the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary, but for those involved with Hearts of Hope, something in ceramic may be even more appropriate. Barb Tarpey and her two daughters were among a few dozen people who attended the first anniversary gathering of the Hearts of Hope-Newtown chapter on June 18. She and her daughters were in the hall of Newtown United Methodist Church to paint palm-sized ceramic hearts for the first time Wednesday evening, and Mom was having a little trouble deciding where to begin.
Mother Nature more than cooperated and gave Barn Star Productions a perfect day for the first Newtown Antiques Market on Saturday, June 21. “We sure did get off to a great start,” Frank Gaglio, show manager, said, “and the dealers made it happen.” Eighty-five exhibitors came for the market, staged just off the flagpole green on the Fairfield Hills campus, with the booths surrounding Shelton House. “We had a nice turnout, about 100 people were in line when the show opened at 10 am and by 5 pm when the show closed, about 800 visitors had shopped the show,” Gaglio said, and “many of the dealers reported having good sales and a profitable day.”
“Write On, Newtown!” is the theme of the upcoming 2014 Newtown Labor Day Parade, Monday, September 1, celebrating the wealth of authors and illustrators who call Newtown home. One of those numerous scribes, Sydney Eddison, has been selected to serve as Grand Marshal of the parade. Best known for her gardens and the knowledge of gardening she has shared over her 50 years as a resident of the town, Ms Eddison is a prolific writer. Not only has she published seven books on gardening, she has written two novels (unpublished), hundreds of articles for The New York Times, Litchfield County Times, and other publications, and is a poet. Writing, she said, is one of the creative arts that has always been a part of her life.