Dear Members of our Community,

As the new Executive Director of Women’s Support Services, I want to thank all of you for your patience and forbearance during our Trade Secrets Fundraising event. This weekend event attracts hundreds of people to the northwest corner of Connecticut and provides significant funding for our mission to create communities free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education.
This year, we experienced record attendance and an unforeseen break down in our traffic control system.  The combination of the two caused lengthy delays on Route 41 for which we sincerely apologize. Ensuring a better traffic experience for all involved is a top priority as we learn and move forward.  We will be talking with town safety officials, traffic managers and others whose input will allow us to better manage the traffic for this popular event and important fundraiser.
Women’s Support Services exists to serve adults and children who have been affected by domestic violence and abuse and to offer preventative education.  Serving 570 individuals last year and reaching over 7,000 people in our outreach programs, our clients are members of our service communities (Kent, Cornwall, Salisbury, Canaan, Sharon and Falls Village and nearby New York and Massachusetts).  They are our neighbors, friends, and family members whose lives are transformed for the better by the services we offer.  When we transform individual lives, we also transform our communities in a positive and profound way. The Trade Secrets event allows us to continue this vital work and offer all of our services free of charge.
As committed as we are to stopping domestic violence and abuse in our communities, we are also committed to being good neighbors.  Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support.

D. Elizabeth Mauro
Executive Director



Welcome to Trade Secrets 2016

Welcome to Trade Secrets better known as the “northeast’s garden event of the year!”  This spectacular two-day garden event brings legions of gardeners (along with Martha Stewart) to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut every spring in support of a wonderful cause -- Women's Support Services (WSS).  This year Trade Secrets Rare Plant and Garden Antiques Sale is on Saturday, May 14, at the lovely LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT., and the Extraordinary Garden Tour on Sunday, May 15

The garden tour features four superb Litchfield Connecticut gardens including the signature garden of Trade Secrets founder, Bunny Williams and her husband, John Roselli – always a treat; Carolyne Roehm’s “Weatherstone”; Pat and Judy Murphy’s “Old Farm Nursery”; and the rarely viewed home garden of Michael Trapp.

On Saturday, Trade Secrets is hosting a special book signing to celebrate three new gardening books:

  • “Outstanding American Gardens; A Celebration – 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy” edited by Page Dickey
  • “At Home in the Garden” by Carolyne Roehm
  • “The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques” from Chanticleer
  • "The Rooftop Growing Guide" by Annie Novak
  • "The Plant Lovers Guide to Magnolias" by Andrew Bunting
  • "Garden Revolution" by Thomas Christopher

We are excited to welcome to our Trade Secrets family some wonderful new vendors this year: 

  • The Sugarplum Antiques from Wilmot, NH
  • Eastern Plants from Bath, ME
  • Ashfield Tools from Ashfield, MA
  • Churchill Building LLC from Lakeville, CT

WebsmBunnyandMartha.jpgFounded by Bunny Williams, Trade Secrets is the signature fundraiser for WSS of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. The WSS mission is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education by offering free, confidential, client-centered services focused on safety, support advocacy and community outreach.

What They’re Saying About Trade Secrets

“There are a few events that go on my calendar each year that I consider sacrosanct: my family’s birthdays, my summer vacation in Maine, my Christmas party, my Easter egg hunt and Trade Secrets.”   
Martha Stewart in Martha Stewart Living, May 2015
"What makes the event so appealing to garden lovers — last year it drew 1,200, from as far away as Texas and Canada — is its magnificent hilltop setting, as well as vendors like Campo de Fiori, which specializes in stone troughs and other moss-covered outdoor decorative pieces, left, and a large staff of volunteers to assist visitors."
The New York Times, Jane Garmey, 2009

“Here’s the real secret—and I think we should shout it from the roof tops—this lovely event, hosted by Elaine LaRoche at the magnificent LionRock Farm, fuels the tireless effort of Women’s Support Services to stop domestic violence in our community in all its insidious forms.
That’s right, Trade Secrets is more than a fabulous garden event. It’s a tremendous effort by hundreds of volunteers who support the Women’s Support Services mission. It’s a generous giveback to the region, specifically to those harmed or threatened by domestic violence which affects so many of us or those we know and love.” 
“It's so indulgent, I admit it, but I can't help myself when it comes to attending such an event as Trade Secrets…….”
Matt Mattus, Growing with Plants