Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group
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Members' Garden Tour 2024
Saturday, June 29, 2024, 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT
Category: Annual Events & Programs

2024 HPS/MAG Member Garden Tour –

Gardens of the Coatesville & Kennett Square Area

 Saturday, June 29, 2024, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

 Garden Tours – 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
followed by a
Reception – 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at Kennett Friends Meeting, Kennett Square, PA

The is a rain or shine event. Members only. The tour is free, but registration is required. Guests are welcome but are required to join HPS/MAG at the first house that they visit. We will be prepared at each house to sign up your guests. Dues are $35.00 for one year and $60.00 for two years. Important: Exact cash payment or payment by check is required on the day of the tour.

To register for this event, click here.

Registration closes June 23rd.   Click here if you would like to become a member of HPS/MAG before registering for this event.

Volunteers are needed for this event, click here to volunteer.  Volunteers must also register for this event.

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

Volunteers are needed for this event. Volunteers must also register for this event. Contact: Elizabeth Stinson at [email protected] to volunteer.

Here are some of the highlights of the wonderful gardens you will be touring.  Enjoy!

Garden of David and RoseLynn Malarek

A garden born. Twenty-six years ago, we searched for and finally found a 3-acre property in Chester County, PA on which to build a retirement home and create a garden. The quite steep property was part of an old tree farm and completely overgrown with bittersweet, poison ivy, wild grape, Rosa multiflora, old fir trees, and many unfilled tree holes. Over the years, we have visited nurseries, native plant sales, and found inspiration at nearby Longwood Gardens and Mount Cuba. Bit by bit, we have created a garden that many call “Mini Longwood.”

The front property has a rain garden and specimen trees such as Southern Magnolia, Star Magnolia, Dove Tree, Arizona Cypress, and a Weeping Katsura. Directly behind the house and attached greenhouse is a lap pool and perennial gardens. The hill behind an arborvitae hedge holds a woodland garden on the left and vegetable garden and orchard on the right. Top of the hill, there are deciduous and evergreen azaleas, laurel, rhododendron, wildflower beds, interesting trees such as a pink Horse Chestnut, China fir, Heptacodium, Dawn Redwood, Larch, and surprise! a couple of pre-historic denizens wandering around the pawpaw patch. It has been a complete transformation and a labor of love.


Garden of Lynn Wolfrom

My garden is a labor of love that has evolved over the past 23 years that we have lived in an over-55 community. We have been fortunate, with permission from the landscape committee, to utilize open space areas that are contiguous to our property lines and to add and manage planting beds. I was even able to extend the boundaries and plant a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).

My garden has four garden sculptures created by my friend and former HPS member, Inta Kromboltz. I also have a passion for glass pieces in the garden along with small stone sculptures. These add interest and a touch of whimsy. There is even a fairy garden complete with fairies who oversee things at night.

I love making troughs and filling them with rock garden plants. I also enjoy experimenting and trying new perennials and natives that become available each year. One previously sunny area is now shady and will be planted with native plants. Mt. Cuba is my muse. My garden is constantly changing, evolving, and bringing me joy.


 Garden of Barbara and Gerry Bricks

Barbara and Gerry Bricks have been gardening since 1988 on this former Longwood property (built in 1928 for staff) in historic Hamorton Village (est. c 1720). Designed to maximize the 0.4-acre space, extensive use of native stone paves the curving paths that reveal hidden perspectives and highlight special collector plants, seasonal color, and textures. Family heirloom plants – 150-year-old peonies and a prize yellow bearded iris – are especially treasured.

The mature conifer canopy at the edge and rear of the property provides screening and high shade, layered beneath with rhododendrons, azaleas, and small deciduous trees, including an unusual variegated Japanese maple. A Zelkova serrata ‘Goshiki’ provides dappled shade for a south-facing garden, underplanted with a large colony of hardy orchids, Bletilla striataHakonechloa macra ‘Aureola,’ hostas, hellebores, and numerous spring ephemerals. Seasonal containers, a collection of planted troughs, and the occasional summering houseplant, line the walk to the nearby courtyard pergola that is summer host to Gerry’s orchid collection.

The typical plant-addict dilemma of too many must-haves on limited real estate has meant emphasis in recent years on vertical plants and structures for support – iron fencing and locally fabricated wrought-iron tuteurs for clematis and climbing roses. The owners’ interest in pottery is evident throughout the garden – look for a ceramic totem created by Barbara, clay obelisks, and several pottery guardians.

Shelter, food, and water sources for wildlife are important components. The several milkweed varieties are all welcome interlopers. Masses of salvias, agastache, and colorful annuals attract nectar-loving insects, multiple pairs of hummingbirds, and the occasional rare visitor – last summer a Chukar partridge.

Garden of Eve and Per Thyrum

Downsizing a garden is not easy, especially after moving from a 35-year-old, 2-acre garden to a cottage with just 3 sides to garden – upon an even more frustratingly sited very steep slope.  After hauling boulders from our former garden and procuring stone from a local quarry, we created steps, walls, and terraces to provide the space with some architecture and structure. Among this stone work, plantings and sculpture were placed, and – a garden was created! Large stone troughs from England and a piece of favorite statuary (Sunflowers by Gregg Leavitt) were incorporated into the front as well as blue metal birds (by Simple) and “blue alliums” (by Inta Krombolz).

Containers abound in our driveway since no more in-ground planting space could be had! Steps lead down past Heritage birches, a Chinese paper tree, a sweetheart tree, hydrangeas, and favored perennials. A small terrace was built into the side of the hill to break up the run of steps as they lead down to the back of the house. At the foot of the steps is a prized urn and birdhouse ‘rescued’ from our former garden.

Behind the house lies a long, flagstone terrace supported by a low, stone wall.  A small garden is located at the far end which is highlighted by a collection of River Goblins (by UK’s Julian Jeffrey) that sit among sunny and shady plantings. The terrace displays a collection of containerized plantings, furniture, metal statuary, and a unique, 15-foot-long trough garden filled with mini hostas, ferns, dwarf maples, and conifers. Welcome all to our garden and small sculpture park!

Garden of Ellen Wilkinson

Moving from a garden where I had space for almost anything that caught my fancy to a garden limited to 3 to 4 feet around my small house has ben a challenge.

It has been difficult to select favorites and, of course, learn the growing conditions in my new garden. A work in progress...enjoy!



Garden of Trudie Steel

Trudie’s 11-year-old garden surrounds three sides of her Kendal cottage. There is always something in bloom from spring to fall in this perennial and annual garden. Whimsy is added by many of her husband’s artistic creations. Trudie’s favorite gardens are shade gardens and her present garden has almost none!….but “you bloom where you are planted.”



Old Kennett Meetinghouse Cemetery

The Old Kennett Meetinghouse dates to 1710 and in 1974 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it nationally recognized as a historically and architecturally significant structure. It was in the cemetery adjoining the Old Kennett Meeting House that the first shots of the Battle of the Brandywine were fired on September 11, 1777. Although the British and Hessian forces were surprised as they came 5000 strong from Kennett that morning, the small American force led by General Maxwell was driven back to the north hills of Chadds Ford. The soldiers killed in the battle that afternoon are buried in the adjoining Old Kennett Cemetery. Here we will tour the native plant green burial meadow.