Sunday, March 15, 2015

Garden Railway

Our top field is still blanketed in snow

Winter may have taken its last gasp in the Poconos, but spring has NOT yet sprung in my garden. Looking at garden blogs around the world today, I see irises, hellebores, tulip trees, crocuses, more hellebores, daffodils, columbines, and even roses (the roses are in New Zealand.) For a taste of spring, check out these and all the wonderful gardens on Carol's blog where she hosts Garden Blogger's Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. The snow has started to thaw here, but no blooms, just a (thinner) blanket of white. I'm sorry Carol, but I will be posting about a trip we took in warmer times, as I dream of the promise of spring coming to my yard.

My grandson, Jonathan, whom you have met several time on this blog, loves miniature trains. We took him to Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia, PA, to see their garden railway, last year. He was there for the trains; I was there for the plantings.

See the hot pepper bottom right?

It may not be edible, but the ornamental hot pepper certainly warms up this space. An interesting annual for garden and planters.

Ornamental Hot Pepper Capsicum annum

A mix of textures near the waterfall in the garden railway

There were lots of grasses. I wished I had a 'map' of the plantings, or that there was more labeling. If a plant is not growing in my garden, I often have trouble with its identification.

 Beautiful blooms ...

Goldenrod Solidago 'Fireworks'

... and of course there were the trains, which Jon absolutely loved.

A pretty coleus at the edge of the track
They used a variety of screening, including this bamboo fence.

Jon and H.H. were reluctant to say 'goodbye' to the trains, but there is so much more to see at Longwood. We went into the greenhouses, sat by the pond, enjoyed the many fountains, and finally my favorite, visited the new meadow garden.

Rosa 'Maria' (my daughter's name is Maria)
The enormous lily pads are amazing
The main fountain area
I was eager to see the new Meadow Garden at Longwood.  This ecologically sensitive landscape offers more than three miles of walking and hiking with accessible boardwalks and interesting bridges. There are open fields, lush wetlands, and diverse habitats for flora and fauna. Other highlights include a Pollinator Overlook, eastern deciduous woodlands where the Lenni-Lenape lived, and the Webb farm with nineteenth century cow pastures.
The new Meadow Garden

“A garden, to be a work of art, must have the soul of the native landscape in it.”
-- Jens Jensen, Landscape Architect

 I resolve to return this year to spend a whole day in the meadow.

 Before we left Longwood Gardens, we lingered at my favorite spot which is so peaceful and serene....

A favorite spot if mine.

Thank you, Carol, for hosting Garden Blogger's Bloom Day; again I offer my apologies for deviating from the rules. Carol says you can have flowers every month of the year. I agree: if not in my garden, then in my memories.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
Pamela x

One of the many beautiful trees ...
... with interesting bark ...
... and fruit.

     Japanese Flowering Dogwood, Cornus kousa

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. That certainly looks like a beautiful garden, what a lovely day you all had :-)

  2. Aw, how beautiful! Those lily pads are amazing!! What a gorgeous garden. My kids would have loved the trains as well! I don't have anything blooming either, though a Christmas cactus is starting a late bloom, surprisingly!

  3. The whole garden is so beautiful. I really love the railway garden. The plants and textures are so well-mixed and every spot is calling for attention. The waterfall part is my favorite. I am writing a bit about cottage gardening in a post that will be published on April 4th. Where I link to your blog. I hope you will stop by then and check it out :)

    1. That's great, Charlotte. But you may have to pop over here and remind me.

    2. Thank you Pam. I will stop by and not only to remind you. Your blog is a treasure for gardeners.

  4. Hi Pam, wowzers you still have a lot of snow. I've ready reports that parts of New England have had more snow than much of Alaska this winter! I can completely understand the need to look back at warmer days....great post on the Longwood Gardens. Happy GBBD!

  5. I do love the train gardens there and even got to see where they store and build the trains for exhibit. I think kids love seeing those trains.

  6. That train gardens are so lovely. You mentioned NZ for the roses? I saw the rose garden and a lot more plants in Queenstown NZ, as well as the Auckland Botanical Gardens and their winter and summer gardes. Maybe some of your plants are also there, how lovely these gardens are. We have limited gardens here in the country as maintained as those and i feel a bit envious.

  7. You are a rebel Pam, but I completely get it!! :-)

  8. Beautiful garden! I like the coleus and the beautiful flower. So inspiring!

  9. Hi Pam, thanks for stopping my blog. I see you have 24 acres. We live on 15...about 6 have some sort of garden the train garden and I liked you weeping redbud....

  10. What a beautiful garden. I didn't visit many gardens when the kids were growing up as they were often bored looking round, but they'd have loved this garden with the train. I think the planting here is wonderful and those lily pads, wow! It certainly looks like a garden I'd enjoy visiting.

  11. Those Lily pads are quite something Pam, but like Jon, I am blown away with the trains.

  12. not easy to plant a garden railway, so that we, can enjoy the planting.

    1. I seem to remember your husband had a railway in your former garden, so you would know.

  13. Longwood double fun, for you and for your grandson.

  14. Hang onto those lovely memories; spring will come! I usually have to spend some time in my photo archives at the end of winter as well, just to get me through. :) Thanks for sharing your trip!

  15. Great post Pam! I love the miniature plantings around the model railway, what fun! Glad you liked my roses, they will bloom for another couple of months, and by then I'll be able to come visit your blog to get my fill while they sleep :) So glad it's always spring or summer somewhere in the world!

  16. Hang in there, Pam! Spring will be here before you know it. Distract yourself by using these last few days to get something done inside that you won't want to do once the starting pistol sounds and you're off to the races in your gardens. Thanks for sharing your lovely day out at those beautiful gardens! -Beth

  17. Thanks for linking to my blog Pam, I am sure spring will arrive soon for you too and when it does it probably comes with a bang rather than a slow trickle like over here :-)
    I love miniature railways so I think I would have enjoyed both the blooms and the trains just as much in the wonderful garden you visited, thanks for sharing these lovely photos.

  18. I loved all those beautiful foliage as a backdrop to the trains ... as for Longwood gardens you'd never get me out of that meadow!

  19. Winter is hanging on here with snow dustings and a few inches here and there and cold no spring or blooms outside. I have never been to Longwood but it is tops on my list Pam...I would also love the trains as my dad had them and I loved playing with them.

  20. Hi Pam,

    If you don’t mind I nominated you for the Liebster award, which aims to connect bloggers with each other. Please don’t feel obligated to participate! The post will be published tomorrow Friday 20/3. Here’s the link to my blog post where you find the nomination:

    I hope you will stop by and like what you see. Have a nice weekend!

    Best regards,

  21. What an interesting garden! The idea to put a train in the garden is great!
    The color combination in the 5th picture from the top caught my attention... lovely!
    I agree that peppers are nice ornamental plants. During my garden tour in 2013, I had a big yellow pot planted with miniature purple peppers. It was unbelievable how many visitors asked me about them!