This suburban, one-third-acre garden is situated around a modified Cape Cod-style house built in 1951. The front garden is a modern play on a cottage-style garden that takes advantage of the high shade offered by a mature scarlet oak. Plantings of snowdrops and other minor bulbs in early spring are followed by tulips, narcissus, coreopsis, tree and herbaceous peonies, epimediums, hellebores, and many other herbaceous perennials. Chartreuse foliage gives excitement to this shaded area. The narrow north side of the house has a Japanese-influenced stepping stone pathway through an overhead canopy of a zelkova and numerous Japanese maples. The understory consists of plants that would typically be featured in Japanese gardens surrounded by a cultivated moss groundcover. On the opposite side of the house, the south garden is filled with sun-loving vegetables and small fruit trees. The vegetable garden is able to provide some sort of food year-round. The kitchen and dining room of the house look out onto a raised flagstone patio that leads to the upper terrace of the rear garden. Full-sun borders surround the two central grass panels of the rear garden which are separated by a dry-stone wall. Hot colors are the feature of the border at the top of the stone wall. The yellow border is at the farthest property line at the bottom of the garden. Adjacent to it is the rain garden, a landscaped storm-water filtration system that captures and releases all the rain that falls on the house. The borders of the back garden feature trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials that Jeff and Joe have collected in their travels or that they want to try before using in their professional careers as horticulturists. Joe has constructed the wrought-iron sculptures and trellises in the garden and Jeff built the dry stone walls. Joe’s current passion is growing woody plants in containers on the patio, and Jeff’s passion is collecting clematis. The garden has been under construction, and still continues to change since they first moved to this property in 1993.
Directions: From I-476, take Exit 3/Media/Swarthmore. At the end of the exit ramp, go east on Baltimore Pike about 0.5 mile to Route 320. Turn right onto Route 320 south. Pass Swarthmore College on right and go under the railroad overpass. Proceed on Route 320/Chester Road to the second traffic light past the overpass at Gulf gas station. Turn left onto Fairview Road. Go 1 block and turn left onto Cornell Avenue. Our garden is the third on right. Please park along the street on Cornell Avenue or any other side streets.