On Saturday, July 14, six private gardens in Carversville, New Hope, and Wrightstown, Pennsylvania, and Stockton, New Jersey will participate in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, welcoming the public to visit from 10:00am to 4:00pm (most locations). The Open Day is rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Admission is $7 per garden; children 12 and under are free. Call 1-888-842-2442, or visit www.opendaysprogram.org for more information. An additional area Open Day takes place on August 4 in New Hope and Wrightstown, Pennsylvania, and Stockton, New Jersey.
Included on the July 14 Open Day:
- The Vicarage, 5925 Carversville Road, Carversville, PA – the gardens are varied and include shade, water, vines, and traditional perennial garden, which have been cared for and enlarged over twenty years. The property features pond, creek, poolside, patio gardens, and an 1763 stone farm house.
- Paxson Hill Farm, 3265 Comfort Road, New Hope, PA – the farm is twenty acres of stunning landscapes including a formal parterre, a 330-foot double-sided perennial border, a maze garden, and a natural earthen structure. The onsite nursery offers annuals, perennials, and shrubs.
- Hortulus Farm Garden and Nursery, 60 Thompson Mill Road, Wrightstown, PA – a 100-acre, eighteenth-century farmstead and nursery, featuring twenty-four separate gardens linked by paths, expansive lawns, and bridges. Many of the plants they grow and propagate for the Hortulus Farm Nursery can be viewed in situ in the Hortulus Farm gardens.
- Bellsflower Garden, 33 Rittenhouse Road, Stockton, NJ – this garden was begun in 1995 with little knowledge but a lot of enthusiasm. July and August feature crape myrtle and summer phlox in pink, blue, white, and coral, as well as many flowering shrubs. The on-site nursery includes field-grown mature trees and shrubs and is a source for unusual varieties.
- The Garden at Federal Twist, 208 Federal Twist Road, Stockton, NJ (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) – the garden is in the New Perennial tradition: plants are massed in interwoven communities and emphasize structure, shape, and form—which are long-lasting—rather than flower. Begun as an experiment to explore garden making in the challenging conditions of unimproved, heavy, wet clay, the garden is ecologically similar to a wet prairie and is maintained by cutting and burning. Flowering begins in mid-June and peaks in mid-July, when the perennials and grasses reach maturity. Two small ponds attract hundreds of frogs, insects, and wildlife, and many gravel paths make garden exploration an immersive experience.
- The Gorrell-Shucker Garden, 36 Brookville Hollow Road, Stockton, NJ – a traditional landscape garden made up of several terraced areas, each supported by dry-laid stone walls, several quite old. The surrounding woodland seems to have demanded that the garden be created with an emphasis on woody plants and ground covers and so it includes many rhododendrons, viburnums, witch hazels, hydrangeas, and various small ornamental trees.
All Open Days gardens are featured in the 2018 Open Days Directory; a soft-cover book that includes detailed driving directions and vivid garden descriptions written by their owners, plus a complementary ticket for admission to one private garden. The directory includes garden listings in eighteen states and costs $25.00 including shipping. Visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call the Garden Conservancy toll-free at 1-888-842-2442 to order with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express, or send a check or money order to: the Garden Conservancy, P.O. Box 219, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Discount admission tickets are available as well through advanced mail order.
The Garden Conservancy introduced the Open Days program in 1995 as a means of introducing the public to gardening, providing easy access to outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice, and proving that exceptional American gardens are still being created. The Open Days program is America’s only national private garden-visiting program, and is made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers nationwide. For more information, a complete schedule of Open Days, or to suggest gardens for inclusion in the program, visit the Garden Conservancy online at www.gardenconservancy.org.