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On Aug 17, 2008, jessesgirl Willimantic, CT wrote:
The last time I went to caprilands was on a cool autumn day several years ago. It was wonderful. The wood stove was going and you could smell the herbs and incense. The shop had all sorts of things to look at and to buy. The grounds were a bit overgrown but I was okay with that because the atmosphere was so welcoming and warm. I saw the "company's" response to a visitors complaint and thought that things must be going well. I listen to the phone message about hours of operations and events etc. and again it sounded good so off I went. But the place is in total disrepair. The shop has all old products, there are cobwebs..it is just a mess. I understand that it is now in the hands of a foundation. I hope that they can revive the beauty and the spirit of capriland's. But, until they have made some headway it would be best not to be open for business. I think having people see the place in its current state will do more harm than good. Your phone message should explain that Capriland's in going through a period of renewal and ask that people check back in from time to time to see what stage you have reached or how they could help..that should probably be the focus of the website too.
I wish the foundation good luck and I hope to have the opportunity to visit a healthy Capriland's in the futrue
Disappointed but hopeful- Yes I too, have wanted to visit Caprilands for many years and finally this summer we departed from vacation iteniary and decided to find it. We never found it.... We stopped to ask locals and know one seem to know what we were talking about. I hope the restoration will continue and we will look forward to finding it again another year.
Bucks County- PA
On Aug 6, 2006, Caprilands Herb Farm responded with:
On Aug 6, 2006 11:28 AM, Caprilands Herb Farm added:
Caprilands has about 65 acres of land and has never moved and never closed. Directions to the Farm are posted on our Web site and a sign pointing to Caprilands has stood for decades and still stands on US44 at the head of Silver Street in North Coventry. Directions are also available by telephoning the Farm and listening to the recorded dirtections, available at all hours.
An artist last week found a full day's work with her canvas, oil paints and easel at the Farm so you missed much."
On May 6, 2006, gardenin_in_CT Danielson, CT wrote:
I was so bitterly disappointed last Spring when I invited my Aunt to join me on a day trip to Caprilands. She drove an hour and a half to my house and then another hour to Caprilands. I remember visiting with my mother about 15 years ago and falling in love with gardening. We spent the day looking at lush beautiful gardens with intricate patterns and plants I had never heard of before. (Mind you I was in my late teens) When we arrived what we saw just made me want to cry. The gardens were overwraught with weeds, the few plants in the back greenhouse were infested with white flies or were half dead. We came across the book store (I remember Adelma Simmons signing one of the books we purchased that day) only to find the rotting remains of something on the floor. The giftshop was still open but the selection of items (except the teapots which were beautiful) ie: herb packets, potpourri, soaps, etc looked as if they had been there for years. I expected the herbs to be dried not petrified. It was indeed very sad to see Ms. Simmons dream wasted away like that. I hope someone will take it upon themselves to revive this once magical place and to restore the dream that was Caprilands.
On May 6, 2006, Caprilands Herb Farm responded with:
On May 20, 2006 10:40 AM, Caprilands Herb Farm added:
These comments are very mistaken.
First, the gardens became overgrown long prior to Mrs. Simmons passing in 1997. By then, Celastrus orbiculatus, had choked much of the garden and killed many trees. It was removed in 1998 when as many as 15 years of growth rings were counted on the larger vines. The gardens had some critical replanting to replace lost specimens, e.g., colonial apple seedlings on East Malling dwarf rootstock , much major work had to await critical restoration of the buildings. So, in 2003, the buildings were repainted and windows reglazed; in 2004 the entire plumbing renewed to assure that water from our 300 ft well remains as pure as when pumped; in 2005 quarry tile floors installed in the two kitchens.
Thr “Bookstore” was shuttered and locked after Mrs. Simmons death and her books removed to the barn gift shop.
All of the dried herbs in the gift shop were upgraded to the best to be found anywhere in the world. For example, lavender flowers are imported from Provence directly in bulk and many hundreds of pounds sold throughout this country each year.
All plants sold are clean and fresh and our greenhouse is clean and certified by the State.
Extensive work on the gardens has begun this year with trimming of the lower limbs of the large trees bordering the main gardens to admit more light. We receive seed annually form the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley and the plants raised from them are not sold but added to the gardens.
It is unreasonable to expect the receipts from the gift shop to support the extensive needs of the gardens and Caprilands in in process of becoming a Public Charity to assure the historic and famous gardens remain.
And the driving time for this this visitor to Caprilands is about half that claimed."