Garden Diary - June 2023

If you have any comments, observations, or questions about what you read here, remember you can always Contact Me

All content included on this site such as text, graphics and images is protected by U.S and international copyright law.
The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of the site copyright holder.


Designed For Nature
Saturday, 17 June 2022

There is a garden tour today, presenting five local residential gardens in transition to the use of native plants and creative water management. Organized and presented by The Woman's National Farm & Garden Association, Bucks County Branch, in partnership with Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve. Rain or shine, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Modestly priced tickets are $10.00 in advance, $15.00 on the day of the event. Be inspired, we are told, to see what can be done to bring nature back into your own private oasis.

Generously provided with a gratis media pass, a friend and I decide to see if we can visit all five gardens Paul plots out the most efficient circuit for the five gardens. Weather is cooperative, with comfortable temperatures and some overcast that makes for better pictures. And we're off!

Designed for Nature: Garden of Kristin and Mike Winters

Transformation from Waterlogged to Showcase

This small borough garden is a marvel of water management and diversity of native plantings. Being on a downward slope, there was a "waterfall" coming into the property during rain events.

It was like this. Flooding in early 2018. Water was just ponding in the back yard.

An informative sign board showed the garden's history through the years as it came into being.

The homeowners and a coworker built a beautiful stone wall

flanking a stone bench original to the backyard

and dug bioswales on both sides of the garden leading to the low side of the yard. There, an overflow catchment box and pipe can direct excess water to the street during extreme weather events, but with wet loving plants and ample space for water in the bioswale, it is rare for the water to leave the garden. River birches and an Arbor Day sapling sycamore are thriving in this wet environment.

Growing up in the woods, Kristin developed a love of nature that merged with her artistic talents and lead her to a degree in landscape design. Her skills are on display in a wonderful design for function, nature, and beauty. She is a recipient of the Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Landscaping in Transition Grant which provided shade and water loving plants to fill in the swales. Frogs, salamander, garter snakes, mice, squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, opossums, bats, insects and many birds have found a home in this rich environment.

text courtesy of The Woman's National Farm & Garden Association Bucks Co. Branch
in partnership with Bowman's Hill Wild Flower Preserve

We walk down the driveway past the lovely cottage / bungalow building.
Neighbors are nearby but the property is reasonably deep.

Tiles make a charming vignette, attached to a plain concrete foundation.

A mature sweet gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, provides a sturdy pillar under canopy.

Pruning is lopsided - perhaps neighbors did not want overhang on their side.

Plantings are rich in texture. Foliage as well as flowers provide interest -
linear glaucous sedge as a foil against bright green rounded (unknown.)

Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis. Flowers for pollinators (I've used them
to make a cordial), edible berries for making jelly - if you get there before the birds.

The back of the garage is a backdrop for that section of the garden and
is home to compost bins, where garden waste becomes beneficial stuff.

The garage is not home for cars. It is Mike's wood shop where he creates
lovely projects such as this pergola that adorns the back of their home.

A wonderful garden visit. Beautiful oasis of peaceful design in the midsts of a city.
We walk back out the driveway, this time admiring the wall dividing from neighbors,
its wooden backdrop to a combination of native ferns and exotic hostas. Lovely.

Back to Top

Back to June

Back to the main Diary Page