Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Spring E-Newsletter. This month, our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will give you tips based on a common theme: "Plant a Seed." We'll talk about gardening, about organic cotton clothing, bringing houseplants outdoors, but also "planting a seed" as a metaphor for one's own growth and development. We hope you can grow, learn and profit from our spa gurus' expert advice.




Spa Director Betty Loiacono takes our "Plant A Seed" theme and turns it into a metaphor.

Don't just plant a flower or a tree this spring, although those are lovely things to do. Plant the seed of an idea to help yourself live and grow in a positive way. Here are 26 varieties of "conceptual" seeds that can bring forth some immediate results and, in the long run, may help change your inner spirit and outer sphere of influence.

Plant a seed of Altruism - Find a cause to support that touches your heart.
Plant a seed of Beauty - Organize the clean up of an unsightly place in your neighborhood.
Plant a seed of Compassion - Stand for understanding and empathizing with the unique situations of others.
Plant a seed of Diversity - Publicly appreciate the differences in humankind.
Plant a seed of Exuberance - Cultivate a sense of joy in daily life.
Plant a seed of Friendship - Evaluate friendships for their value and authenticity.
Plant a seed of Generosity - Change the change in your purse into a donation.
Plant a seed of Humor - Remember to laugh at yourself and the absurd. Humor heals.
Plant a seed of Inspiration - Listen to the dreams of others and validate their goals.
Plant a seed of Justice - Champion the underdog. Don't tolerate bigotry. Be brave.
Plant a seed of Kindness - Practice kindness and encourage others to do the same.
Plant a seed of Love - Really, truly love to the fullest those you cherish.
Plant a seed of Moderation - Eat, drink, spend, and use only that which you need.
Plant a seed of Niceness - Be nice. It is self - perpetuating and returns back ten - fold.
Plant a seed of Opportunity - Give someone a chance to become a better person. You!
Plant a seed of Patience - Look for occasions to exercise patience. Surprise! You can learn to be patient!
Plant a seed of Quiet - Lower the noise in your head. Breathe. Hear peace. Breathe again.
Plant a seed of Resourcefulness - Never say: I can't. Say: "I am" and you are free to act and achieve.
Plant a seed of Serenity - Clear clutter. Carve time for yourself. Reduce chaos. Be still.
Plant a seed of Tolerance - Petty annoyances sap energy and humor. Let them go!
Plant a seed of Unselfishness - Without seeking reward, give freely of your spirit.
Plant a seed of Virtue - Examine the content of your own character. Fix flaws.
Plant a seed of Wisdom - Stop. Look. Listen. Stop. Listen. Stop. Should you speak?
Plant a seed of eXample - Be careful that you are worthy of being imitated.
Plant a seed of Youthfulness - Enjoy a carefree, unbridled sense of infinite possibility.
Plant a seed of Zeal - Into everything you do, add vibrant energy to good intentions.



From Chef Daniel's Kitchen

Executive Chef Daniel Chong-Jiménez, who as a child took great joy in planting seeds in the rich soil of his native California, shares with you his garden experiences from last summer. And, as always, he's ready with nutritional information that may persuade you, if you're not already convinced, that the harvest of an organic garden at home is well worth your investment of time and labor. (Go into it with a spirit of fun and discovery and involve the whole family, especially young children.)

I planted a fully edible garden for the third consecutive year last year and thankfully, the harvest was better and more plentiful than the previous. In addition to making improvements on the soil health, identifying fast growing and long-lived plant varieties for New England, where I live, has been crucial to early and long-lasting harvests.

The only rule I encourage is that nothing synthetic be allowed. Pesticides and fertilizers should be whatever the earth itself provides (ladybugs, praying mantis - Connecticut's state insect - kitchen vegetable waste compost and steer manure) or whatever the kids pick off with their hands. Rewards are offered to whoever picks the most bugs. This is done daily, a few minutes at a time. Eventually, insect populations drop to manageable levels, where the harm they inflict is tolerable. Deer are the worst pests, however, whose numbers seem to be growing each year in our part of the country. Only tall fences and noise - makers keep these critters away from your garden.

As a home crop, chard is very nutritious and high in beta-carotene (vitamin A). Planted from seed it sprouts early and grows vigorously into late fall. Even after the first frost, the plants continued growing until the ground began to freeze. We ate chard in many different ways: braised, sautéed and in salads. The flavor was earthy and crisp.

Zucchini is a very popular home garden delight, and if you're not growing it, someone else is sure to be and thinking of giving some away to you. Technically, zucchini is a fruit because the seeds are on the inside. It is high in beta-carotene, foliate and potassium. As with many fruits and vegetables, the nutrients mostly reside in the rind - the darkest or brightest-colored part. This plant may take a while to produce and needs a lot of sunshine. Once it kicks into bloom, it keeps pushing out zucchinis well into fall. Foods made with zucchini include the favorite breads, zucchini and corn medleys, etc. As a food, few others can rival its versatility. It can present well in either sweet or savory dishes.

Tomatoes are beautiful in the summer, and there is no better tomato than the one picked just prior to eating. Notice how it looks as if it wants to explode, with skin so red and taut. Tomatoes are also a fruit, and they are high in vitamin C and lycopene, both antioxidants. Curiously, cooking tomatoes reduces the vitamin C content, but increases the bioavailability of lycopene. Vitamin C aids people with fatigue and in collagen formation. It is also believed to shorten the duration of cold symptoms. Lycopene is believed to lower the risk of heart disease, prostate, cervical and other cancers. Start tomato plants indoors (or buy them ready go) to get an early start in production - and water often.

Fortunately, there are too many to mention in detail, but it seems that everything grows in New England: corn, peppers, peas, cucumbers, squash, herbs, eggplant, and on and on. If you are thinking of starting a garden or you already have one, you will find that planting your favorite food plants will make the effort more rewarding. Save some garden space for a plant you don't know that well. Give yourself the opportunity to grow and eat something different. Experiment with new flavors and have a happy time gardening and cooking!



From The Boutique

Retail Director Cheryl Urso thinks there is a lot to love about nature this spring by way of organic cotton clothing and the fruit ingredients in some of our best private-label face and body products.

Seeds and plants yield beautiful clothing and nourish beautiful skin!

We're pleased to offer active lifestyle wear that is functional, fashionable, and - organic cotton! New lines in the finest organic cotton (defined as grown without toxic chemicals, pesticides, or insecticides) benefit us today and the world tomorrow. You can choose tops, tanks, Capri's, or pants. Colors include eggshell, chestnut, basil green, black, green tea, and rose.

And how about some fruit to freshen up your skin? Our private-label Spa at Norwich Inn Fruit Enzyme Peel for the face, that is! The enzymes papain and bromelain help to exfoliate dead skin cells while spearmint brightens the complexion. This lovely product can be used on all skin types. $40

Now is the time to try our new Apricot Harvest Body Scrub with jojoba beads and apricot seeds. Get ready for spring and summer now by gently exfoliating and refining your skin for a smoother texture. $28




Executive Housekeeper Maryann Rodino doesn't consider herself a plant expert, but she is a plant lover with years of gardening experience. This month she talks about how she transitions houseplants from indoor to outdoor spaces in her own home.

In the fall I bring in plants that have bloomed all summer such as various geraniums and my dragon-wing begonias to fill the sunroom at my home with as many plants as the room will hold.

When it is warm enough to put the plants outside, I give them a "haircut and trim," feed and water them well and get them ready to bloom for another year. I love to put herbs and colorful blooming plants together in a single container.

Being thrifty, I like to root clippings in canning jars and watch them grow roots. When they're ready to go into potting soil, I have multiple new plants without having to purchase them! Be creative with planters - you can use almost anything, even an old watering can. I love stone planters, and I pack them full of various blooms with different colors.

To look for sources of new and interesting plants, check to see if local garden clubs are having plant sales in the spring. Or get together with friends and exchange cuttings or dig up and divide perennials to share.

I think it is so nice if you have lost a loved one or a pet to plant a tree or shrub in his or her memory. If you have room on your property and you love plants and blooms, make a meditation garden incorporating your favorites and make a seating area. Take the time to go there to read, relax or daydream.

Plants, like people, can brighten your life. I always feel as if I have accomplished something when I see how my plants progress over the summer.



A Special Note to Friends and Guests

Every once in a while, a guest will email us a photo and a warm and happy account of a special gathering enjoyed at The Spa at Norwich Inn. We have stories of a four-generation gathering of women, of numerous, laughter-filled "Girlfriend Getaways" enjoyed by "girls" of all ages, and stories and pictures from women who've come to our spa to celebrate another anniversary of being cancer-free, bringing their friends, relatives and even some health-care professionals who nursed them during their original illness. Couples wed at spas, or elope at spas.

The media has picked up on this trend, and we are occasionally asked to provide examples of how and why people gather at spas to connect and enjoy good times with friends and family. If you have a story and a JPEG photo you would like to share, please email it to Peggie Cosgrove, our pubic relations representative, at [email protected].

Please provide a daytime and evening phone number for us to contact you for permission to share your story, and also please provide the names of the people in the photograph. We also may want to share some stories, with your permission, in a future E-Newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.