Garden Day Preview

Garden Day Preview

Many of the magazines we receive for the Scott Arboretum library are promoting great plants for fall gardens like Dahlias in Green Scene and Colchicums in GardenGate. While these magazines are a good resource, nothing beats seeing these fall plants in a garden. For this reason, I am excited about the Scott Associates’ Garden Day this fall. (It is held alternately in the spring and fall each year.)

This event is a favorite of many Scott Associates because it is a chance to see great local gardens and an opportunity to speak with the gardeners to get great ideas on plant combinations and tips on how to manage local conditions. All the gardens on Garden Day are amazing and each one offers something different to see and learn about gardening, especially for the fall garden. So today, I offer a sneak peak of the gardens on this year’s tour to prepare you for the cornucopia of fall colors and textures.

Alphabetically, Sabine Cranmer starts our preview with a native meadow designed by Larry Weaner, a leader in the natural landscape field. This 3-to 4-acre meadow features many native wildflowers and grasses. The seedheads of the native grasses provide interest in the landscape and an opportunity to see birds and creatures enjoying the bounty of fall.

Another attractive native meadow on the tour is the garden of Martina Martin. This native meadow was designed by Catherine Smith of Redbud Native Plant Nursery and is a certified wildlife habitat. This garden has a lovely backdrop of the Springton Reservoir and is a frequent stop for many bird species.

Barbara Mercer’s garden is also a certified wildlife habitat and showcases how diverse the creation of a wildlife habit can be. My favorite aspect of this garden is the meandering stream which emerges from a striking grove of dawn redwood. I was quite tempted to relax on their hammock in the grove. See if you find the hidden path within this garden which is a favorite of the Mercer children.

Marilyn Holmstrom’s garden also features an attractive pond around the patio in their backyard. This pond has successfully provided a home to wildlife with bullfrogs keeping the Holmstroms up at night croaking. This garden promises a wonderful color display with a variety of coleus, asters, and banana trees.

Featuring over 500 hosta cultivars, Conny Parsons’ garden features many great plants and plant combinations for the shade garden. The Parsons have developed fascinating garden rooms for you to experience, but be sure to find your way into the depth of the property to enjoy the ultimate relaxing garden room. Also feel free to ask Conny what she is planting around her black walnuts.

Pat Horwitz’s garden is on the outskirts of the tour but is well worth the drive. This of an acre garden features an attractive rock garden, perennial border, heirloom-seeded vegetable garden, and an enchanting garden shed as well as the many original mosaics created by Pat. This garden holds a special place in the owners’ hearts because they originally created this garden for their wedding.

Inta Krombolz’s garden also features original artwork by the garden owner and was featured in the 2008 issue of Great Gardens magazine. Dispersed throughout the wonderful collection and beautifully arranged plant combinations are hand-crafted garden sculptures. These sculptures frame views and accent the garden features.

The Garden Day reception this year will be held from 4 to 6 pm at Tyler Arboretum, one of the oldest arboreta in the northeastern United States. Be sure to take the time to visit the Totally Terrific Treehouses scattered throughout the grounds.

Scott Associates’ Garden Day is this Sunday, September 7 from 1 to 6 pm. Gardens are open from 1 to 4 pm and the reception at Tyler Arboretum is from 4 to 6 pm. The cost is free for members and $25 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets contact the Scott Arboretum Offices at 610-328-8025 or e-mail

Becky Robert
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