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Weatherproof beauty beckons in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County

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The weather may still be cool and April may bring showers, but it isn’t too soon to glory in the flowers of summer. Two special greenhouses in Western Connecticut invite everyone for a sweet preview of what is ahead. From rare begonias to a fairy garden, these indoor oases are an inspiration for gardeners and a happy harbinger of the warm days ahead.

  • A Fairy Garden

Kids of all ages love the whimsical Fairy Garden in the greenhouse at the Audubon Center in Fairfield. Who wouldn’t love searching for fairies, tiny pigs and ponies in a mini forest filled with teensy plants and foliage. Fairy gardens can be a delightful small-secluded area in a home garden. Seeing the mini-version may well inspire the creation of a life-size version.

This Fairfield County greenhouse also is filled with many colorful plants such as geraniums, verbena, begonias, oxalis, primrose, and many kinds of ferns. Some are in pots, others in garden beds. In April and May, narcissus, squill and other spring blooms can be seen before they are ready in the gardens outside.

The Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield is located at 2325 Burr Street. The Center is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, see www.ctaudubon.com or phone 203-259-6305.

  • Bountiful Begonias

At White Flower Farm in Litchfield, one of America's leading sources for fine perennial plants, the big greenhouses open in April with a wide display of flowers. Most popular of all is the Begonia House, which is usually ready in early May when the plants are more fully developed. White Flower Farm is known for its fine begonia selection including prize varieties from Blackmore & Langdon of London, which are only available here in this country. These extravagant blooms come in many varieties and in a rainbow of shades. They range from large showy blossoms like Golden Hind, Pink Champagne and Scarlet Pimpernel to trailing varieties such as Orange Cascade and Firedance.

The nursery is located at 167 Litchfield Road (Route 63) about 3 1/2 miles south of the center of Litchfield. Hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. April through October. For information, see www.whiteflowerfarm.com or phone 860-567-8789.

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