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Shopper’s Diary: Campo de’ Fiori in Sheffield, MA

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Shopper’s Diary: Campo de’ Fiori in Sheffield, MA

November 11, 2015

Well known beyond the Berkshires for their Campo de’ Fiori line of classic terra cotta pots and planters, Barbara Bockbrader and her husband, Robin Norris, also have a shop well-loved by locals in western Massachusetts.

Located in a barn on a four-acre site in the Berkshires town of Sheffield, the Campo de’ Fiori shop is packed–indoors and out–with an unusual selection of handmade and locally designed garden accessories and furnishings. Is it possible to take it all in during one visit? Probably not, but let’s browse:

Photography by Rich Pomerantz.

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Above: The inventory includes one-of-a-kind pieces of iron, bronze, wood, concrete, and wood, and glass. And, of course, terra cotta.

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Above: Many of the pots for sale at Campo de’ Fiori, including the small pie-crust pots shown here are designed by Norris and manufactured in Mexico, near San Miguel de Allende. The hand-turned Pie Crust Planters also are available online in three sizes at prices ranging from $16.25 to $33.75.

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Above: A carved stone obelisk (at Left) stands at the entrance to the shop, which is housed in a barn.

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Above: Horticulturalist Bockbrader arranges plants in pots to suit their personalities. An Aged Campanula Planter with a leafy pattern at its base is from the shop’s Botanical Designs line and is also available online, for prices ranging from $72.50 to $147.50 depending on size.

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Above: Specializing in moss-covered terra cotta pots that look ancient, Norris and Bockbrader have been collaborating since they met in the 1980s. Their first foray together into retail was a roadside stand on Route 7 in western Massachusetts, where they sold organic vegetables, plants, and pottery they imported from Mexico.

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Above: Vessels acquire their distinctive mossy look in a greenhouse on site where spores travel from one pot to the next to create a living layer of green velvet.

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Above: The design of the Eleanor Planter (available online for prices that range from $33.75 to $52.50 depending on whether you want one with or without moss) is based on a self-portrait sculpted in 1920 by artist Eleanor Longear Wallace, a friend of Norris’ mother.

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Above: Made of iron, Wire Balls are available online in four sizes; prices range from $47.50 to $247.50 depending on size.

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Above: Trained as a tree, a white Brugmansia trumpet vine scents the shop’s front path. A tropical plant, Brugmansia needs to come indoors for the winter in New England. For a similar plant, a Brugmansia ‘Betty Marshall’ is $22 from Plant Delights.

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