BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — For the past four years, a west Bridgeport garden has been making waves by showcasing waves of evolving spring blooms. Colorblends House and Spring Garden at 893 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, features a half-acre idea garden bursting with 40,000 spring bulb flowers of various types, all blooming in sequence to create an ever-changing display over a six week period. The garden and adjacent renovated mansion are open to the public daily from March 31 through May 14 this year.
“Spring really is three seasons here, not one,” said Tim Schipper of Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs, based in east Bridgeport. “The bloom is continuous, with three peak phases anchored by massed displays of crocus, then daffodils and, finally, tulips which include everything from ground-hugging wild types to towering Dutch hybrids.”
“The first time people see how things change, week by week, they’re surprised,” says Schipper. “Then anticipation kicks in as new types of flowers keep coming – one thrill leads to the next.”
In spring, the garden is open to the public daily without charge. Street parking is plentiful. Those planning a visit can find out what’s currently in bloom at the garden’s Facebook page facebook.com/colorblendshouseandspringgarden.
“Each fall, we plant a fresh selection of featured tulips in beds throughout the garden, so the look is different each year,” says Schipper. The balance of the garden is naturalized, with mature plantings that come back to re-bloom and multiply over time.
For Schipper, bulbs are in the blood. His family has been in the bulb business for generations, in Holland since 1912 and the U.S. since 1949. In 2013, Colorblends purchased the distressed Clinton Avenue property with an eye to turning its double-size lot into a seasonal idea garden. Schipper asked famed Dutch garden designer Jacqueline van der Kloet to join the project and together they agreed on the design that visitors see today.
The garden is all about getting up close and personal with bulbs in bloom. For many visitors, including professional landscapers, the chance to see the colorful role played by Colorblends’ signature, pre-mixed bulb blends is a highlight.
Visitors follow a series of mulched paths through the garden. Some areas are planted to look as they might in nature, others are planted in a more traditional color-block style. Everything is designed to inspire homeowners with ideas for their own yards or gardens.
The property, located in Bridgeport’s Stratfield Historic District just off Route 1 (Kings Highway East), also includes Colorblends House. Built in 1903, the mansion is an excellent example of Colonial Revival architecture, painted soft yellow, with white pillars, porches and a towering front portico. It is one of 280 houses circa 1840s to 1930s in the district, which is known for its cohesive collection of fine residential period architecture.
While it was the huge side yard that originally attracted Schipper, the handsome, if crumbling, house proved to be equally captivating. The beautiful turn-of-the-last-century mansion is now fully renovated, recapturing the charm of that bygone era. Its history is detailed in a professionally-researched booklet for visitors. Each spring, Colorblends House stages a curated pop-up art gallery featuring the work of local artists. An artist-in-residence lives in the house year-round.
To visit Colorblends House and Spring Garden:
Colorblends Spring Garden is open daily, dawn till dusk, with no admission fee, March 31 through May 14, 2018. The house is open daily 10 am till 4 pm. To visit the house and art gallery, a suggested donation is requested of $3 per person, $25 for groups of 10 and up. Those wishing to bring a group are encouraged to call ahead, 888-847-8637, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, so the garden team can ensure a special visit.
Save the date: On Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Colorblends will host a Spring Celebration, open to all. Refreshments will be served.
For updates on “What’s In Flower,” visit ColorblendsSpringGarden.com. To follow on Facebook, Facebook.com/colorblendshouseandspringgarden.
To watch the Welcome to Colorblends House video, visti: https://www.youtube.com/colorblends