A Romantic Luxury Inn for Couples in Stowe Vermont

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Luxurious Gardens

Having survived Minnesota for 23 years, I promised myself when we moved back to PA that I would avoid residences with climates that dominate your life; i.e. a six-month winter.  Besides the emotional “stir-craziness,” they impose upon its denizens, they are especially hard on the golf game.  Not that golf needs to be the center of existence, but when you visit old friends that live in Florida or San Diego and try to compete with their year-round play, you often come out on the short end of the contest.

Today, I still enjoy golf, but two things have changed:  (1)Despite my promise, I have returned to a very NORTHERN climate, so I’m back on the six-month program; and (2) in my aging years I’ve found something I enjoy as much and often more than golf:  gardening.  Having passed the Penn State gardening course back in 2007, a little knowledge has encouraged me to literally ‘dig in,’ such that I often find myself losing track of time while getting my hands dirty!  I love it!  That’s what this note is about.  So, let’s talk gardening.

Stowe, Vermont –  Zone 4.  This is a definite contrast to PA — Zone 6 — where a mild climate allows you to grow darn near anything. After almost three years I’m still learning Vermont plants, and surprising to me, (given 20 below winters with six to ten feet of snow each year) many are striking.  As an example, this plant (pictured), is one that I find to be exquisite – one of the most spectacular that I’ve ever seen (short of some of the Longwood Garden orchids located just outside of Philly).

Zone 4 Gardening

This is currently blooming in our gardens.   Each of our guest rooms has a sliding glass door that allows them to walk directly into the back yard and explore the perennial gardens along with the man-made, 80’ path of streaming water lined by blooming flowers that ends with a three foot drop into a small pond.  

The objective of these gardens is to mirror the luxury found throughout the inn and its guest rooms.  Plus, the gardens provide locations where beauty overcomes everyday concerns, thus, naturally encouraging romance!  Yea!

 

Do you know this plant?  Isn’t it beautiful?  It is part of a small genus of flowering plants in the Iris family, Iridaceae. It is native to the grasslands of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. They can be evergreen or deciduous perennials that grow from basal underground corms.  Ours are deciduous.  Do you know its name?  Let me know if you think you can identify it.

We have many noteworthy plants in the gardens.  Gooseneck Loosestife (white) is very stunning but it is nearly invasive (the purple version of Loosestrife had been declared an outlaw in MN because it is so invasive and loves water — MN has 10,000 lakes!)  Because their blooms last a long time we will occasionally use the white Loosestrife among the daily flowers that adorn the dining room tables for breakfast.  However, because it’s so aggressive and has taken over too much territory, this Fall I will dig several hundred of these plants.  Hopefully some will find a home with other gardeners.

No doubt you’re aware of Heliopsis helianthoides?  Me neither.  Stone Hill was the first time I had ever seen them.  Early bloomers, they light up the garden with a blanket of at least a hundred square feet with brilliant yellow flowers.  They last for about two weeks and when not blooming are comfortable taking over new territory in the garden via rhizomes.   They aren’t cutting flowers.

Rudbeckia looks like daisies; also called coneflowers or black-eyed-susans.  We’ve got a bunch of them – and in groups of several hundred they are impressive – a sea of joy and energy.  About 2-3 feet in height, yellow-gold and they last for weeks.  We often use them in the dining room.

There’s tons more, but you get the idea.  Try to imagine the luxury of enjoying Baptisa, Euporbia, Lysimachia,  Weigela  and a dozen other species that make the gardens at Stone Hill Inn a delightful romantic encounter!   Oh you can bring your gloves if you want!

Stowe Hot Air Balloon Festival July 11-13, 2014

Stowe Hot Air Balloon Festival

After a Spring of wonderful weather we head into Summer and the many festivals that dot the Stowe calendar. First up – the 28th annual hot-air balloon festival held less than a mile from our Stowe bed and breakfast –  the Stone Hill Inn. Over 25 of these beautiful creatures will paint the sky with vibrant colors from July 11-13. A wonderful photography venue but better yet – you can go for a ride!

Ballooning, as you probably know, is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. The first flight was a two-person journey on November 21, 1783 from Paris, France! (Wikipedia)

We’ve arranged for several of our guests to go hot-air ballooning this Spring using our local balloon provider Jeff Snyder and his Above Reality balloon company. A recent couple celebrated their honeymoon by ascending 1,600 feet and traveling over 11 miles. Weather is always a factor and Jeff, designer and builder of balloons, is very conservative. He suggests not betting on only ONE day, but have at least two or three days from which to choose in order to be more assured of getting weather needed for a flight.

According to Jeff, very few say that they are afraid once they are in the air. He says that it’s because unlike a cliff, there are no edges to look over when you are in a balloon. We had a chance to experience a taste of ballooning two weeks ago – 75 feet up from in one of Jeff’s tethered balloons. Quiet, soft, fresh perspective. Looking for a great way to celebrate life together! Come!

Honeymoon in Vermont : Two Couples Celebrate at Stone Hill Inn

At Stone Hill Inn we love celebrating special occasions! Pictured below are Annabel and Jamie, who arrived Friday May 16 to celebrate their honeymoon in Vermont. Dominic and Stephanie from Ottawa enjoyed their honeymoon at Stone Hill Inn just a few days earlier.

Jamie is in the retail business and loves animals. Annabel loves to paint and is also an actress and will be in two pictures soon to be released. The first picture stars Cameron Diaz; the second stars Denzel Washington!

These bring the total number of honeymoons celebrated so far at Stone Hill Inn in 2014 to eight! If you are considering a honeymoon in Vermont, be sure to check out our Vermont Honeymoon Package, which can be customized to your wishes.

Best wishes to all our newlyweds!

Vermont Honeymoons

Select Registry – Vacation of a Lifetime

Yesterday Montreal denizens, Michael and Sossi honored our Stowe bed and breakfast as their third stop on a one year tour (gratis!) of all Select Registry properties. They have a year to stay at as many locations as they want, each for one night – a Vacation of a Lifetime!!

Select Registry WinnersThey are one of three couples chosen at random among those who either have opened a rewards account or have stayed at a Select Registry property during 2013. The more nights you stay during the year, the more chances you have of being selected.

Michael is a retired police officer from the Provincial police where after being an investigator he now is credit director (F&I) for the past 8 yrs in a major automobile dealership in Montreal. Sossi worked for almost 25 years in the travel industry; even owning and operating her own travel agency. An extraordinary program and it was such fun to be with them even if only for a day!

Spring. At Last!

Gardens at Stowe VT InnThe Garden Awakes. Undaunted, despite a winter for the record books, the Geraniums and Day Lilies emerge (picture) and soon will begin to add texture and beauty to the garden! Spring! We’ve removed several hundred pounds of sand from our driveway and parking lot (we have it hauled away for reuse), captured dozens of renegade branches that have escaped their trees, begun serious weeding and pruning, completed our normal, April “deep cleaning” of each guest room & shampooed rugs throughout our Stowe inn (yea Tony!). We’ve painted the interior trim around windows and doors, initiated a major change for the West Branch room, completed plans for a new exterior lighting system, and commissioned a new landscape plan for the front of the inn. Strategic mulching today and window washing, and opening the “Back Porch” with new rattan furniture, are on the agenda for tomorrow. Today we’re deciding about painting the inn! Temperatures in the 60’s this week.