Sarah Worden, owner of Sarah Worden Natural Design and director of events at The White Barn at South Farms knows all about floral design and event planning. Here she shares her favorite resources and tips for where to throw a beautiful floral fete.
1. What are some of your favorite local flower resources?
Anderson Acres Farm, Lindell Flower Farm, and the Connecticut Flower Collective, which connects designers directly with products from local flower farmers. We also have been known to forage by the side of the road or in generous friends’ gardens!
2. What flowers do you prefer to use in fall arrangements?
Fall is one of the best times for local foraging and floral arranging. I love using branches of all kinds (Burning Bush, Oak leaves, and Privet when it turns to berry), Hydrangea paniculata as it starts to turn, grasses of all sorts, and pods and berries.
3. What cutting flowers are easy to grow in Litchfield County?
Establishing a robust peony planting for early June is a must. Even if only for two weeks, it will be worth it. Check out Cricket Hill Gardens in Thomaston, a local treasure. Dahlias for late summer and early fall are another must. Overwintering them can be intimidating but is actually fairly easy. Flowering shrubs like Hydrangea and Spirea are low maintenance and provide loads of blooms.
4. What local store has great vases/vessels for arrangements?
We are big scavengers for vintage vessels! Litchfield County offers so many opportunities ranging from private estate sales to flea markets like Elephant’s Trunk to thrift stores like Goodwill. Guy and Ben Wolff (father and son) are our local favorites for custom pots. I recently bought a Dumais Made pottery vase—there are so many gifted artisans in our area.
5. What is your favorite flower?
My favorite garden flower that can be grown in our area is the fall-blooming perennial Japanese anemone. I love its delicate petals and wiry stems. My favorite flowering shrub for the landscape or the table is Mock orange. Our Lead Designer, Lauren Merriam, is fawning over Cynoglossum right now, which looks like forget-me-not and another one of our favorites, Tweedia.
6. What makes a big impact on a small budget?
Designing en masse or limiting to one or two colors or shades of the same color for more impact. Don’t forget the candles!
7. What are some of your favorite event venues in Litchfield County?
I am biased here because I helped launch The White Barn at South Farms and am very involved there, but I do think South Farms is very special and offers all the amenities needed for a great event. I also love Winvian. They truly are a garden-to-plate operation with fabulous food. Troutbeck in Amenia has a spectacular walled garden, and The Mayflower in Washington, which now offers a tent for events. Lion Rock Farm in Sharon is also a knock-out setting for a tented wedding.
8. Your favorite restaurant in Litchfield County?
I’m a big fan of the White Hart Inn in Salisbury right now. I like what they are doing with their menu and mixing up different kinds of themed evenings like upscale tacos or fried chicken picnic—great for families, great drinks, great setting!