Fooling Mother Nature

One of the ways that I satisfy my craving for spring, is by forcing arching branches of forsythia to bloom indoors. At Connecticut Country House, towards the end of February, is when I venture outside armed with a pair of sharp Fiskars hand pruners, clip a bunch of branches laden with buds, plunk them into…

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Spring Has Sprung Indoors

Though the ground was blanketed with a thick layer of snow, it didn’t stop Scot Haney of WFSB 3’s Better Connecticut from stopping by Connecticut Country House. As their Better Living lifestyle contributor, I shared my favorite tips on keeping indoor plants happy, and showed just how simple it is to decorate with little touches…

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Planting Bulbs For Home & Garden

Whether getting the gardens ready for spring or prepping for the holidays, now is the time to get planting for gorgeous blooms! I had a great time in the WFSB 3 Connecticut studio, with the hosts of Better Connecticut, Kara Sundlun and Mark Zinni. (They are just lovely!) As their new contributor for ‘Better Living’…

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Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Tumbling over the stone wall in front of Connecticut Country House is one very happy Sweet Autumn Clematis. When I admire the drifts of tiny, snow-white blooms, it’s hard to imagine that a one-gallon nursery pot, (click here for baby pics and blog post) began its humble beginnings tucked inside a big old hanging basket…

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West Side Story

From early spring into late fall, we crave spending time outdoors. The patios at Connecticut Country House serve as natural extensions of the interior spaces. My approach to arranging these areas is just like how I design my rooms. I consider the scale of the space, height, windows, walls, form, function, texture and color. Sounds…

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Snip It. Snip It Good.

It was love at first sight and snip! Whether I’m giving my rosemary topiaries a haircut, just snipping a couple of fragrant branches to cook with, or adding a touch of evergreen pretty to a platter, I love my Fiskars Softgrip® Micro-Tip® Pruning Snip. Quite the impressive name for such an efficient and compactly designed…

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Country House Oven-Dried Garden Tomatoes

From ear to ear I grin. Daily. I love this time of year. Each trip to the kitchen garden reveals something ripe and ready to be picked. The tomato crop in particular, has been satisfyingly prolific. While we whole-heartedly embrace the short-lived decadence of eating these still warm from the sun, juicy gems fresh, oven…

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Style Snippets for Country Living

I’m incredibly honored that Country Living magazine featured an article based on the simple style snippets that I presented at their 2016 Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. For those who couldn’t attend this fabulous gathering of like-minded souls, you must put it on your to-do list for next year! In the meantime, check out…

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Scented Small Spaces

This all-American vintage fruit-picking bucket gets a lovely French twist with the addition of small pots of lavender. Lined with a disposable foil loaf pan and tucked in so not to see the plastic pots, I love how the soft green foliage and hue of the spires looks with the patina of the galvanized metal.…

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Sage Advice

This antique French hanging basket gets a makeover with every season. At the moment, Russian sage is making a big ethereal statement in the gallery. Brimming with elegant silvery green aromatic spires of lavender-blue tubular flowers – 8 one-gallon nursery pots, if you’re counting – the potted plants were too heavy for the basket. To…

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Grow Arugula

My arugula crop is a kitchen garden success! Planted in early spring, the seeds have sprouted and the dandelion-like leaves have provided a peppery bite to our sandwiches and salads for weeks. Like lettuces, the plants prefer cool temperatures. Now that it’s warm, the arugula, also know as rocket in some regions, has bolted. Tall…

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Garlic Roasted Garden Tomatoes

At Connecticut Country House, we welcome tomato season every year with open arms and mouths. Freshly picked tomatoes from the kitchen garden are quickly incorporated into all manner of deliciousness. Whether tossed into a crisp and refreshing garden salad, incorporated into a fabulous Caprese Salad, or a savory Oven-Roasted Tomato Spread, these garden stars always…

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Baby Boxwoods In Window Box

Uniformly clipped baby boxwoods, lined up in an old wooden window box, blur the line between inside and out. Placed in the large bay window of the family room, it’s a simple way to add a touch of elegance to the space and does a great job of drawing the eye to the gardens beyond…

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Copper Love

As a year round, die-hard gardener, I can’t resist a vintage copper watering can. Any shape. Any size. I am not shy about owning more than one. Having an assortment allows me the ability to choose the right can for the right job. If I had to play favorites, my indoor go-to can, has a…

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Midsummer Blues

Country Home magazine was here recently, photographing Connecticut Country House for their upcoming Winter 2017 issue. It was a great opportunity to showcase the light and airy results of our Project Refresh. With the rooms revitalized with fresh white paint and the upholstery dressed in a new wardrobe of white cotton denim slipcovers, it has…

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Grilled Summer Squash

While vacationing on Cape Cod a few years ago, the small cottage we rented came complete with a tiny herb garden abundant with fragrant oregano. Paired with freshly picked yellow squash from the Orlean’s Farmer’s Market, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, pepper and placed on the grill, the delicious results perfectly captured…

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What’s Up In The Kitchen Garden

My kitchen garden is my happy place. It’s my baby. I’m drawn to open the picketed gate every day. Not because I have to check on it, but because I want to. I’m enchanted by the magic of putting seeds into the earth and growing plants. I look forward to seeing how things are coming…

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An Edible Arrangement

Before planting that flat of perfectly gorgeous lettuce you just bought, how about using it as a simple summery centerpiece first? Beautiful spring green romaine lettuce makes for an unexpected, inexpensive and unique arrangement. At home on a kitchen island or party ready placed outside on a picnic table, it looks great anywhere. It’s so…

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Getting All Spruced Up!

Dear friends! So very excited to invite you to Connecticut Country House, Sunday, June 26th, 11-5, for the Newtown Historical Society House & Garden Tour! Murph and I will be here to welcome you and show you around! As you know, Project Refresh Part 2 is in full swing! Braun Movers were here yesterday swapping rooms…

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The WOW Factor

I posted these yellow peonies on my Nora Murphy Country House Facebook page and everyone has had the very same comment: “I have never seen a yellow peony!!!” Neither had I! So the story goes . . . . One fall day I was poking around my local Agway and happened upon a bunch of…

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Country Living Fair Here I Come!

The Volvo is stuffed with all kinds of gorgeousness! I’m looking so very forward to not only attending the Country Living Fair, in Rhinebeck, NY today, but also to giving a live presentation and demonstration. I can’t wait to share with you some style snippets of how to create stunning, living arrangements by simply combining…

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My Chives Are Blooming!

Every spring, I know it’s time to clean up the kitchen garden when I see the grassy bright green tufts of the chives poking through the soil. Chives are the first to come up in the garden, and definitely the very last to die back with the first hard frost in the late fall. No…

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A Scentsational Walkway

My first Snowball Viburnum came from a local Mother’s Day fundraising plant sale. I liked the idea of having something fragrant growing by the stone walkway that led to the main entrance of our house, and with the promise of branches dotted with baby powder scented, snowball-like blooms that would last into the summer, I…

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Bridal Veil Spirea

One of my favorite flowering shrubs that are in bloom at Connecticut Country House, is a Bridal Veil Spirea. Also commonly known as Bridal Wreath Spirea, its graceful, arching branches are covered with a profusion of tiny, snowy, rose-like blossoms. I just love how wild and billowy it looks in the garden right now! After…

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Greenfield Hill’s Dogwood Festival

My hometown, Fairfield, CT, where I grew up, has changed a bit over the years. It’s become more populated, busier, and the Mom and Pop shops frequented as a kid, now reside next door to bigger, corporate owned establishments. Despite the changes, one thing you can count on annually is the Greenfield Hill’s Dogwood Festival.…

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