Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group
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Pop-Up Event: Home Garden Tour in Chestnut Hill, PA
Saturday, May 18, 2024, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
Category: Pop-Up Events

 A Visit to Linda and Bob’s Secret Garden
in Chestnut Hill, PA

Join us for a springtime visit to a beautiful “Secret Garden” in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. The “secrecy” is created by privacy screens in both the front and the back, consisting of a variety of shrubs and trees. The beauty of these natural fences, however, only makes one want to venture inside the garden to experience the beauty within. Linda and Bob have graciously invited us to their “Secret Garden” to do just that!

Front Yard

The hedge at the front of the yard consists of five-foot high crytomeria planted as basketball-sized bushes 12 years ago. These shrubs get perhaps the most questions and comments from passersby – who also lament that they are unable to clearly see the two beds of stunning Colorblends® tulips when in bloom. Additional bulbs – Galanthus (snowdrops) and winter aconites – line the driveway and provide some winter joy.

Entering the garden through the gate, a purple Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ greets you from above. Just beyond is an old pink rosebush underplanted with bluebells and pink bleeding hearts. A nearby fuchsia-colored butterfly bush blooms beautifully in midsummer.

Linda’s favorite front yard plant is a tricolored beech, which despite Bob’s initial protest, found its way from Paxson Hill Farm to Chestnut Hill. Additional front yard highlights include a berry-bearing viburnum loved by the birds, a yellow sweet-smelling ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel, a blue lacecap hydrangea, various lilies, and other spring and summer blooming annuals and perennials.

Back Yard

Springtime blooms in the backyard start with a Magnolia stellata (star magnolia) in early April – a botanical showstopper with white flowers. Then there is a profusion of fuchsia-colored blooms on the stand of rhododendrons, encircled by some low pink azaleas. In May, a large ‘Hattie Carthen’ magnolia is covered in large yellow flowers (reminiscent of a Swedish holiday tree with yellow candles).

Come summer, the salvia bed is beautifully abuzz with bees and hummingbirds. The ‘Black & Blue’ salvia now grows happily as a perennial, thanks to advice from a fondly remembered neighbor, Paul Meyer. A few fuchsia-colored ‘Wendy's Wish’ salvia have recently been added to this bed. Blue hydrangeas with smoke bushes as background, and large potted blue agapanthus in front of the back patio bring additional midsummer color. Coneflowers round out the summer picture. When the center seedheads dry out in early August, they attract a plethora of goldfinches – a delight to watch.

Linda saw Mahonia plants on a garden tour 30 years ago and had to have them. In autumn the leaves turn beautiful colors, and the shrubs are decorated with multi-colored berries.

Providing the secrecy for this “Secret Garden” in the back is a privacy screen of trees, including two ‘Nellie Steven’ Hollies, dawn redwoods, giant Cryptomeria, Leyland cypress, and many Schip laurels.

Linda and Bob look forward to sharing their secret garden with you and hope you enjoy your time in their garden! After your garden visit, you might want to check out two of their favorite spots, the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market at 7673 Germantown Ave and the Chestnut Hill Hotel at 8229 Germantown Ave.

This is a Member’s Only event, but registration is required. $5 per attendee. Maximum number of guests is 15.

This event is full.  Rain date is Sunday, May 19th. Click here if you would like to become a member of HPS/MAG before registering for this event.

Address and parking directions will be sent to all registrants in their confirmation email.

Contact: Dawn Freeman at [email protected]