Spring finally arrived in Pennsylvania. I celebrated with a visit to Northview Gardens in Ambler; my husband and my friend Janet accompanied me. It was raining, but Janet said we could make our own sunshine. Northview is the home of Jenny Rose Carey, senior director of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's (PHS) Meadowbrook Farm. Jenny Rose and I met at a master gardeners' conference a couple of years ago and have been good friends ever since. When PHS offered a private tour and lunch at Northview, I was very excited to participate. This was my second time there; I recorded my first visit HERE. We joined the other visitors for coffee and snacks in Northview's carriage house. Jenny Rose introduced us to the wonderful world of historic (pre-1940) daffodils, demonstrating with cut blooms from her garden. She described how the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) places daffodil cultivars in 13 divisions, starting with the trumpet daffodil in Division 1 and ending with daffodils 'distinguished solely by botanical name' in Division 13. I was amazed at the diversity. My old brain found it difficult to assimilate all this information at first (it's good there wasn't a test) but upon my return home it was fun to look at the daffodils in my garden and assign them to the appropriate divisions. I must confess that I couldn't do this without the cheat-sheet that Jenny Rose gave us. My interest in unusual daffodils was peaked, so I investigated the American Daffodil Society's website. I urge you to take a look. Some amazing, unusual blooms -- who knew?
When we started the tour, our first stop in the 4 1/2 acre garden was at the Moon Beds with their daffodil mass-plantings. It poured rain since the moment we arrived, so raincoats, wellies, and umbrellas were in order. I was thankful that H.H. held an umbrella over me and my camera so I could take pictures.
|Jenny Rose Carey shows us the daffodils in the Moon Beds.|
As we walked around the flower beds, I was gratified to see some daffodil cultivars that I grow, and love, in my own garden:
|I grow Narcissus cyclamineus with its swept back petals.|
|Large cupped daffodil. I have one similar. Mine is Narcissus 'Joyce Spirit'|
|Trumpet daffodil with ruffled white blooms. I have them on my Daffodil Walk.|
There were not only daffodils but many more spring blooms in Jenny Rose's gardens. I've grouped some of them by color:
|Difficult to pick a favorite!|
I fell in love with this snake's head fritillary and on my return home I ordered some for fall delivery.
|Fritillaria meneagris called Checkered lily or Snake's head fritillary|
|Top: Anemonella thalictroids. Right: Leucojum aestrivum. Left: Trillium pusillum 'Roadrunner'|
|Top: Brunnera macrophylla Bottom: Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells|
|Still raining -- Jenny Rose points to Virginia bluebells|
|Virginia bluebells with raindrops -- so beautiful!|
Since my last visit, Jenny Rose gave the Redbud Allée and the Winter Walk new pathways. I love how she left grass down the middle and planted it with spring flowers. The redbuds were in bloom this time and a copper beech at the end of the allée had retained its glowing leaves. Stunning. One of my favorite walks at Northview.
|Redbud Allée (Left) and Winter Walk (Right) with new pathways|
Following our tour, we returned to the Carriage House for an excellent lunch. When the other guests had left, Janet, H.H. and I enjoyed an extended visit with Jenny Rose and Hanna, her lovely head gardener. We drank tea and talked gardens. How blessed I am to have such wonderful, like-minded friends.
Referring to a list of herbaceous blooms that grow at Northview, I see Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot listed, but I didn't notice it on my visit. I was thrilled when, on my return home, I found mine was blooming.
|Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot in my Serenity Garden|
|My very late Forsythia blooms today|
I am especially happy to see my miniature cherry tree with blossoms, pictured bottom left in the following collage. It is Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam.'
|More of my spring blooms.|
Based on my tour, I developed a wish list of plants to purchase for my own gardens. It includes Anemone blando Windflower, Epimedium Witches hat, Fritillaria meneagris Checkered lily (already ordered), and I may try Trillium again (no luck previously.) And, of course, I want to add some unusual daffodils to my collection. I think I will join the American Daffodil Society.
Spring arrived at last in Pennsylvania; my favorite season filled with promise. I left Northview truly inspired. Where are you getting your inspiration this year, dear gardening friends?
Wishing you a happy spring, or whatever season it is in your corner of the world.
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