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Gardens of Bucks County History

by Mary Jasch

The Friends of Orange County Arboretum and DIG IT! Magazine are teaming up on July 31 to bring you an exciting garden experience. Visit two private estates, one an icon of American and global horticulture, the other a contemporary garden paradise on historic property. Shop at a connoisseur’s nursery and savor lunch on your own in historic downtown Doylestown. So, sit back and leave the driving to us as you enjoy a day of gardens, history and shopping.

Fordhook Farm, Doylestown
Fordhook Farm is the home of W. Atlee Burpee and the birthplace of the Burpee Company. Since 1888, this historic farm has been a world-renowned plant development facility and remains in the forefront of plant trialing and research. Plus, its gardens are gorgeous. Tour-takers will enjoy an hour of horticultural magic starting with a greeting and talk with the Trials Manager, or her assistant, for an overview of all gardens, then, with map in hand, go for a stroll in the gardens.

The gardens include: sun and shade annual/perennial gardens intermixed with sculpture, mixed shrub/grass/perennial borders, streamside garden, raised-bed trials potager, gardens with Heronswood plants and not-so-up-close trials farm fields. Maps (and plant list if available) will be provided at no charge. For a quick view of Fordhook Farm, go to Click on Features, then Legends and Fordhook Farm.

Lunch in Doylestown
From the corner of State Street and Main Street, there are many restaurants, cafes and delis within two blocks in any direction. They represent a variety of cuisines and prices. You are on your own.

Hortulus Farm & Nursery
Spend two hours of guided tour and shopping at this historic and opulent estate with nursery. Originally a William Penn land grant, it now displays 30 acres of 20 formal gardens, perennial shrub borders, ponds with follies, fountain gardens, a “splendidly reconceived kitchen garden” and dramatic vistas among 18th- and 19th-century barns, mansion and outbuildings. Shop for rare and unusual plants at the estate’s nationally-known “connoisseurs’” nursery. (There’s lots of room under the bus!) The guided tours are led by nationally renowned owners: Jack Staub, prolific garden writer, author and lecturer, and Renny Reynolds, founder of Park Avenue floral and event design firm, Renny & Reed and entertaining, gardening, and lifestyle expert.

DATE: July 31, 2013
TIME: Bus leaves at 8:30 SHARP!
COST: $68.00
REGISTER: Send Check or Money Order to: Friends of Orange County Arboretum, 211 St. Rt. 416, Montgomery, NY 12549
CONTACT: Dora Wright, president, Friends of Orange County Arboretum:
Mary Jasch, DIG IT! Magazine:

More tempting info:
Fordhook Farm
Hortulus Farm:

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published July 01, 2013

Photos to enlarge

Catalog of the Burpee Co.; photo courtesy Burpee Co.

Fordhook Farm veranda garden; photo courtesy Burpee Co.

garden; photo courtesy Burpee Co.

Vegetable trial garden; photo courtesy Burpee Co.

Green Walk at Hortulus Farm; Marie Labbancz photo, courtesy Melissa Paul

Pool Garden at Hortulus Farm; Marie Labbancz photo, courtesy Melissa Paul

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