Inspired at Squire House Gardens: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


Our tour buses took us out of Minneapolis on the last day of the recent Garden Bloggers Fling — an annual event with 60+ garden bloggers touring Minneapolis this year — through St. Paul and on into charming Afton, Minnesota, where we visited nursery and gift shop Squire House Gardens, which operates out of a nearly 150-year-old home.


A formal garden, surprisingly planted with many native plants, flows out from the house/gift shop. Where two paths intersect, a focal-point urn draws the eye, as do giant silver thistles.


A strikingly unusual choice


Elsewhere in the garden, still-blooming thistles proved irresistible to bees.


Nearby, a formal pool surrounded by potted plants adds the cooling music of splashing water.


A small, hedged garden room along one sunny border holds a lawn, a bench…


…and a druid-adorned sundial.


But much of the garden is quite shady, with white statuary and garden decor, like this ram’s head, to brighten dimly lit spaces.


I believe this is black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), a lovely native plant that unfortunately, to my nose, has a strong bug-spray scent. But others didn’t seem to mind it. It lit up the shady garden so nicely.


Another look


A small Zen-style garden offers a quiet place to sit…


…and contemplate life.


At the back of the property, a sunny space makes a perfect spot for a large vegetable garden, formally laid out and screened from a neighboring house with tall junipers.


Tall wood-and-wire trellises add additional screening, structure, and support for climbing plants.


The owners of Squire House generously treated us to beverages and refreshments, and we wandered with our glasses, enjoying the garden and the beautiful day. Here are Ally and Layanee being eavesdropped on by an intent young man.


The Texas bloggers — always the largest group from any state at the Fling — posed here for a group shot taken by the mischievous Barbara Wise (thank you, Barbara!). From left to right: Shawn and Laurin of Ravenscourt Gardens (Houston); Pam (moi) of Digging (Austin); Chris of Watching My Garden Grow (Austin); Vicki of Playin’ Outside (Austin); Andrea of Grow Where You’re Planted (College Station); Caroline of The Shovel-Ready Garden (Austin); Ally of Garden Ally (Austin); Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden (Austin); Laura of Wills Family Acres (Austin); Susan of The Bicycle Garden (Lubbock); and Rebecca of Rebecca’s Retreat (Buda).

Up next: A snapshot of Noerenberg Memorial Gardens plus the gardens of nursery owners Steve Kelley & Arla Carmichiel. For a look back at Marge Hols’s elegant St. Paul garden, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Touring Linden Hill Gardens with Nan Ondra


I’ve been reading author and plantswoman Nancy Ondra’s blog, Hayefield, for nearly a decade. Although we’d never met, we’ve been friendly online. After all, she donated one of her books as a door prize for the first Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin in 2008, I’ve written about one of her books, and she published some of my photos in her latest book, The Perennial Matchmaker.

So when my friend Diana and I were planning our Philadelphia-area garden-touring trip for early June, I asked Nan if we might stop by for a visit. She kindly gave us a tour of her beautiful, sunny garden, which wraps around her charming log home, and even introduced us to her pet alpacas (aloof yet so cute!).


Afterward, she treated us to a personal tour of Linden Hill Gardens, the gorgeous display garden and retail nursery owned by designer Jerry Fritz. Nan helps Jerry with the gardens, and she’s intimately familiar with the plants and design.


Being from a far different climate, I’m unfamiliar with many of the plants, so I won’t focus on IDs. But I hope you’ll enjoy the views and design as much as I did, starting with this elegant formal garden, where Nan told us a wedding had recently been held.


Linden Hill is located in bucolic Ottsville, Pennsylvania — farm country — and when you turn into the parking lot, a massive old stone barn and silo greet you. The barn is the central focal point of the gardens…


…and eye-catching from every angle, here with a jolt of chartreuse from painted picnic tables.


In back, lushly planted formal beds make a tapestry of color against a sweeping lawn…


…set off by a low stone wall.


An old farmhouse with blue trim stands closer to the road. A kitchen garden is planned for this space.


A long border facing the road advertises the nursery and design business and was lush in early June with purple iris and gold, green, and burgundy foliage.


Wine-colored smoke bush was in full “smoke” (fluffy hairs on the spent flowers).


One more look


Nearby, a dawn redwood allee offers a shady respite from the sun.


Along the back of the property, a winding path leads through a deer-resistant garden highlighted with clusters of golden-leaved shrubs.


Rustic stone pillars are used to mark transition points.


A large pond occupies a sunny spot.


I like this sculpted stone bench.


A black-painted, shed-like office sits in the central garden, a striking backdrop for green, gold, and purple-flowering plants in the surrounding cottage beds.


Delphiniums


Wine-red and orange look fabulous against that black paint too.


But chartreuse — ahhh!


That modern jolt of chartreuse is carried through on the door as well. A groundcover with sparkling blue flowers edges a flagstone path to the front steps.


Elsewhere, gold-flowering sedum traces flagstones in a patio.


In one corner, blue, lavender, and purple plants rule in the Blue Profusion Garden.


Golden foliage adds welcome contrast.


Here’s Nan (in the sunglasses and hat) talking to Diana and taking notes about what needs to be done in the gardens — a born multitasker!


This rustic shed caught my eye because of the tiny flowerpot edging by the front steps.


Behind the barn, the nursery tables and more display gardens vie for attention.


A massive slab of stone bridges the lawn and gravel paths, with flowering heuchera on either side.


With wine-red and silvery-pink leaves and flowers dotted with pink and cream, it’s a stunner.


Love!


Even the nursery tables are artfully arranged.


A raised planter made of old shutters and a rebar tuteur? Yes, please! The retail shed is lovely too.


A wooden arbor bridges shed and barn.


The beautiful old barn


A linden allee leads into the garden from the gravel patios behind the barn.


A side view of the linden allee


Behind the barn, a French-style gravel patio runs its length, with pairs of wrought-iron chairs and small tables inviting you to sit and enjoy the view.


What a beautiful place to work, eh?


A pretty vignette under an old window framing watering cans


Thank you, Nan, for sharing Linden Hill Gardens with us and your own special corner of Bucks County!

This concludes my series about Philadelphia-area gardens I visited in early June. For a look back at the amazing Chanticleer Garden, click here; you’ll find links to additional posts at the end.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Garden marries home at destination nursery/garden shop Terrain


Anthropologie meets Flora Grubb Gardens? Yes, please! While in the Brandywine Valley outside of Philadelphia earlier this month, I was eager to visit Terrain, a nursery, home and garden shop, and restaurant located in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. (There’s a second location in Westport, Connecticut.)


Founded by the company that owns Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, Terrain is an upscale eden of lush plants, beautiful garden furnishings, and tempting home goods arranged and displayed with the same creativity and attention to detail that makes Anthropologie stores such a delight to shop in.


My traveling companion, Diana/Sharing Nature’s Garden, and I arrived after our visit to Winterthur.


From the moment we walked in, I was wowed by the plant arrangements and displays, with everything layered on stands and tables so you can really see it.


Love these grapevine tuteurs


A smoke tree underplanted with pretty companions


Signs cleverly advertised potted succulents for Father’s Day.


Hanging lights and lanterns are displayed throughout the nursery. I like these metal-strap orb lights.


I think I’ve seen these Moroccan-style metal lanterns at Barton Springs Nursery here in Austin.


Or how about a plant “picture” for your walls?


An even bigger vertical garden fills a shed wall near the parking lot.


Display gardens are set up to tempt you before you even get out of your car.


After oohing and aahing over the entry diplays…


…let’s explore the nursery grounds, which are extensive, with plenty of room for event-space rentals. People even get married here.


Beautiful seating areas are set up throughout the grounds. I can imagine someone coming in and saying, “I’ll take the whole room.”


This casually perfect arrangement evokes a Swedish garden, don’t you think?


Wooden pots filled with creeping Jenny line an outdoor dining table.


Little pots of sunshine


Multiple rustic outbuildings add charm to the display gardens, including this one adorned with old funnels planted with asparagus fern and white lantana. (The painted sign alludes to Styer’s, a popular nursery that formerly occupied the site. When Terrain took over, they kept Styer’s as part of their name for this location.)


Each funnel row is planted with just one type of plant.


Isn’t it fun?


I love it when stores display their Fermob furniture this way, in a rainbow of colors across a wall.


‘Bonfire’ begonia and lantana baskets for summer color


So many plants for sale


Check out these massive fire pits.


Terrain has a potting bar where their stylists pot up cool table displays.


You can also buy the supplies you need to make your own.


“Potting stone” — i.e., colored glass to top off your pots.


And then you step into the garden and home shop, where rustic wooden walls, glowing lights strung across the ceiling, and beautifully merchandised tables and shelves invite you to open your wallet and just hand the whole thing over.


And this is just the entry room! The biggest part of the shop is still to come.


Above the register, a chalkboard sign advertises events at the nursery.


Orchids in glass goblets


A candelabra makes a pretty place to hang jars of sweet peas and baby’s breath.


Succulent platters


Terrariums


Tillandsias too


More “potting stone” in a range of pretty blues, white, and green


There is so much more, but we were hungry, so we popped into the cafe for dinner. Terrain’s Garden Café serves lunch and dinner, farm-to-table style.


Diners were seated in the greenhouse dining space, and you’ll notice it’s all women. I did see one man eventually, when the place had filled up, but clearly Terrain appeals most to women.


Everyone else seemed to know to BYOB, but we didn’t realize that Terrain doesn’t sell alcohol, so we were sadly without wine. Even so, dinner was absolutely delicious, with service that was attentive and knowledgeable.


What a wonderful way to end our first garden-touring day! How I’d love to see Terrain open a store in Austin — or even Dallas or Houston. But perhaps it’s best for my wallet if that doesn’t happen.

Up next: Longwood Gardens’ formal spaces, including the rambler rose pergola and the dancing fountains in the Italian water garden. For a look back at Enchanted Woods, the children’s garden at Winterthur, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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