Friday, July 28, 2017

@BranRiverMuseum Brandywine Conservancy Native Garden Tour recap #nativegardens #gardenchat

Brandywine Conservancy
Native Garden Tour

This post gives you a brief online tour of Brandywine Conservancy's Native Garden Tour to six diverse gardens. Only we never made it to all six! We made it to half.

The self-guided tours opened Noon to 5 pm, July 23, 2017. We drove our own car and used our GPS to follow a map that was provided to each location. We sure could have used more time as there was so much to see and enjoy.

Our first stop was to LeeAnn and Tim's garden in West Chester, PA. Upon arrival, we were given a map and plant list of their yard. Tall native shrubs, trees and flowering plants, such as: Phlox, Ecineacea and Rudbeckia lined curvy garden paths and beds. 

Along with compost bins and rain barrels, their small urban ecosystem sure beats the typical rectangle backyard with grass to mow. We saw many birds and butterflies.

Along their back fence, Cup-plant (Silphium) was in bloom. Now we know what to expect when ours blooms. The cheery, small, yellow sunflower-like blooms were clustered at the top of the tall plants vs.  single blooms seen in similarly tall Jerusalem Artichoke plants.
Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
USDA zones 3-8, grows 2-4', shade loving

Other plants that caught my attention included: Zigzag Goldenrod, Sweet Fern, Mountain Mint and Winterberry.
Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Full sun to light shade. USDA zones 2 to 6
Leaves have a pleasant fragrance when crushed
Larval host for Grey Hairstreak butterfly

The second home we visited was also located in West Chester. We drove up a hillside and past a meadow of 300 acres of protected land. When we arrived at Nancy and Barney's home, Barney and his 2 friendly dogs walked down their driveway to meet us. 

A Brandywine greeter was sitting under an umbrella at the entrance. She provided us with some plant info and an impressive map that the home owners had created by landscape architects. 

The large property featured many native plantings along pathways and meadows. We parked in front of a courtyard meadow. We walked along a stone path in between native plants to their backyard.

Their beautiful home was built with a metal roof (how often do you see a metal roof?), large stone fireplace and lots of windows to view the scenery. Their stone patio with pergola (shown below) looked like a lovely spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Showy white blooms of Bottlebrush buckeye shrubs lined the woodland edge.
 Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)
Part shade to full shade. USDA zones 4 to 8
As we walked around the house back to our car, we passed a grove of Redbuds loaded with hanging pods. The pods look like peas because the tree is a member of the pea family.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
pink blooms early Spring 
USDA zones 6a-7b, full sun to shade, grows 20-30'

Our next stop was a little bit south to Kennett Square to tour Margot's property certified by SITES (sustainable landscape design). Her 1.69 acre property is the only SITES-certified residential property on the East Coast.
She had lots of sculptures and artistic touches throughout her sustainable landscape that she created as a Landscape Architect. 
I loved the Ironwork by her friend, Eric Zandotti. Some of his work was for sale. We bought a small vase-like metal gazing globe holder for our garden. I think he also made the bottle trees that we saw (shown above).
Green roof Sustainable storm water capture and reuse
chain into fish pond

Needless to say, we ended up taking our time walking around the hillside vegetation checking out her water features, living roof, etc. We ran out of time to go see the other 3 properties! I'm sure they were just as interesting and beautiful.

By 4 o'clock we were ready to go indoors for a break. We made our way back to Brandywine River Museum and ended our great day with a walk through the Andrew Wyeth in Retrospect works.

Hope you enjoyed the tour recap
Happy Gardening!
Related Links
Kennett Square House for SITES

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July! #GardenCuizine #IndependenceDay #July4th #4thofJuly #loveforall

Happy July 4th!

Harry got his work out this morning pushing Mom in her wheelchair to Moorestown NJ's Fourth of July Parade. She wore my wide brim blueberry festival garden hat, which worked well to keep the bright sun off her eyes.

The warm breeze felt good as we walked along the uneven brick walkway. We left the car parked on the outskirts of Main Street and walked past Trinity Episcopal Church to the parade route. We admired a few lovely gardens along the way on Main Street.

We didn't see anyone else in a wheelchair, but saw lots of baby strollers and wagons to pull small children. Many families dressed up in red, white and blue! The Muslims for Peace group got warm rounds of applause as they marched by holding a banner "love for all - hatred for none."
For those of you reading this who are worried about Mom, she is doing well since her surprising breast cancer diagnosis at age 86. She can walk without a wheelchair, but we would still be walking if we didn't use it today!

We had a good time. Hope you are enjoying your Independence Day too. Click here for a link to view more photos. Check back - I will be adding to the collection all week.

Happy July 4th!

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.