The Outside World

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Delightful home gardens near Philadelphia

What a treat it was to visit several gardens in the Philadelphia/Brandywine Valley area that were actually personal home gardens.  Thanks to Marian St. Clair and Hortitopia tours, we got to see three of them last week.  This is where the real advantage of taking a tour with a professional pays off.  These gardens are not generally open to the public. david culp David is a garden designer, speaker and garden writer.  His recent book, The Layered Garden, is award-winning.  David…

Philadelphia – the birthplace of the American garden

I just got back from the most amazing tour of gardens!  I went with Marian St. Clair's Hortotopia tours with 27 other women to tour several public and private Philadelphia Gardens for one week.  What a great time! Philadelphia is truly the birthplace of American gardening.  John Bartram (1699-1777) was regarded as "the greatest natural botanist in the world" during his time.  He was a Quaker who's family farm was located just outside of Philadelphia.  Though he only completed a…

Visit Butchart Gardens!

In July I was fortunate to visit Butchart Gardens near Seattle, WA while visiting my son.  Butchart (pronounced like "butch" with an ART on the end) Gardens is actually located in Victoria, BC, Canada.  Every gardener should make a pilgrimage there once in their life!  How beautiful! The garden Butchart Gardens were started by Mrs. Jennie Butchart, whose husband moved to the current garden location in the early 1900s.  They moved there to take advantage of a limestone deposit on…

Visiting Bellevue

While in Seattle last month visiting my son, I dragged my family to yet another garden - the Bellevue Botanical Garden.  While the most famous Bellevue is in New York and houses mentally ill, this Bellevue is for people who are crazy about gardening and plants, which would be me. From their website: "The Bellevue Botanical Garden is an urban refuge, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. The living collections showcase plants that thrive in the…

Love Japanese Gardens!

The Kubota Japanese Garden is amazing.  I just returned from visiting my son and his wife in Seattle, and together with my husband they tolerated garden after garden with me during my visit.  I had visited this garden last winter, but summer made it perfect. The first place we visited was Kubota Japanese Garden.  A (free) public park since 1987, it was started in 1927 by Fujitaro Kubota, a Japanese emigrant. Today, it is maintained as a public park by…