Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group
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Pop-Up Event: Tour of Cindy’s Garden in Kirkwood, PA
Friday, June 14, 2024, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
Category: Pop-Up Events

A Visit to Cindy’s Natives-Focused Garden
in Kirkwood, PA

Many of us are making a conscious effort to add more native plants to our landscapes. And HPS/MAG has quite a few lectures and events on the 2024 calendar to help our members learn why and how to do so. This pop-up event takes us to Cindy’s garden in Lancaster County, PA, to learn about the journey she has taken to transition her gardens to primarily native plants. Cindy has provided this preview of her gardens. It sounds wonderful – please join us!

Our gardens are located on our two-acre lot and evolved over 30 years like many – haphazardly and somewhat unplanned. We took advantage of existing trees and shrubs, moving some, mainly a wealth of azaleas and rhododendrons, to more desirable locations. Taking advantage of “free” volunteers we let oak seedlings and a holly grow into majestic giants and allowed Virginia creeper to fill many spaces. I made the mistake of letting Japanese honeysuckle bushes and vines take over some areas. These have since been removed and replaced with natives. 

My native plant focus began when I was nearing retirement; I “drank the Kool-Aid” as one of my favorite plant retailers remarked. I dove into publications on native plants and organic, wildlife-friendly gardening. I studied websites, including The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, NWF Native Plant Finder, The Xerces Society - Gardening for Butterflies, and Mt. Cuba Center Trial Gardens. Haphazardly selecting plants quickly turned to a focus on adding plants most beneficial to butterflies, birds, and bees. Now performance comes first and beauty second. The gardens are alive with color, fragrance, blooms for all seasons, and pollinators galore. The mix has gone from 70% ornamental to 70% native. 

Our gardening practices support wildlife. Leaves from trees are turned into mulch used in the gardens. Falling rotted wood is placed throughout. Stems and seed heads are left through winter. Paths around and through gardens are made with Pine Straw Mulch, a recommendation from a good friend and fellow Mid-Atlantic Hardy Plant Society member.

My joy will be sharing my journey and garden with you and hopefully learning from you. I look forward to a fun adventure.

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. Consider making it an all-day outing – lunch at one of Cindy’s favorite local restaurants, then do some plant shopping at Groff’s Plant Farm, a large, popular, area retailer just 10 minutes from Cindy’s.

This is a Members Only event. Registration is required. $5 per attendee. Maximum number of guests is 20. 

To register for this event, click here.  Registration closes June 12th. Rain date is Tuesday, June 25thClick here if you would like to become a member of HPS/MAG before registering for this event.

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

Contact: Lynn Betson at [email protected]