I’ve had gardens and landscaping on my mind for the past week. Last weekend I attended a garden show, this weekend I visited a few homes on a local garden tour, and earlier this week I received an email regarding a garden tour taking place in June. The email was sent to announce a garden tour sponsored by Positive Directions, a provider of behavioral health treatment and prevention programs. However, this is no ordinary garden tour. What caught my attention was the fact that the event will be held at 48 Turkey Hill Road South, Westport, Connecticut. Does that address sound familiar? It is the address of the property known as Turkey Hill, the Connecticut property Martha Stewart once called home for over 40 years. It also served as the backdrop for her original television show and magazine. One could say it was the house that helped launch an empire. The event will feature self-guided tours of the garden, garden talks with Martha Stewart and a chance to tour the home and have refreshments on the terrace with Martha. I won’t be attending the event but I am using this as a wonderful excuse to take a look back at some of my favorite images of Turkey Hill and see how the property has evolved. If you’re a fan of Martha you may have seen many of these pictures. They are oldies, but they are goodies. And with any enduring style, they continue to inspire. And that’s “a good thing”.
In 2007, the property was sold to Chuck and Casey Berg. The new owners began to make changes of their own. The couple called upon architect John Fifield of Fifield Piaker Elman to help the couple redesign the home in a manner that was “part restoration, renovation, and addition”. In 2009, the homeowners were presented with a Preservation Award by the Westport Historic District Commission “for enlarging this outstanding Greek Revival house in a sensitive and appropriate manner…The unobtrusive addition, which is at the rear of the house, does not detract from the original historic structure.” The Commission further stated that “This is an example of how an antique house can be successfully rehabilitated to accommodate the needs of a 21st-century family.” Here’s a look at the home after it was purchased by the Bergs, including the changes made both inside and out. In 2014, the grounds of the home were featured in Cottages and Gardens Magazine (photos below). The head gardener, Levy Froes, stayed with the Bergs after working with Martha for over 20 years. It’s his legacy, he explained. This was a good move on the Bergs part as he has been the one constant working on the land, other than Martha herself. But when the property was purchased by the Bergs, the landscape was very agricultural. They hired Chris Kusske, of Kolkowitz/Kusske Architects, to help them clean up and edit the property. The site is lovely. And given that it is Martha’s first home that helped launch a career, I would venture to say that visiting Turkey Hill is bittersweet.
If you want your own personal tour of Turkey Hill and a chance to meet Martha Stewart in the flesh, you can get more information here.