Monday, November 27, 2023

Hedgleigh Spring, an early morning stop on the Fling

Charles Cresson's Hedgleigh Spring was the first private garden I visited during the recent Philly Fling. Bright and early on Friday morning our bus pulled up by this historic house...

There was a sign with a QR code out front, it led to a page on the Swarthmore Historical Walking Tour website, a project of Nate Linderman, a Boy Scout in Swarthmore. Clicking through I learned that Hedgleigh Spring is named for the old springhouse on the property. It's located on the grounds of the original Hedgleigh Farmstead, owned by the Cresson Family, and the garden design dates from the 1920’s. In her blog post Pam Penick wrote that Charles is the 4th generation to care for the garden, can you imagine?

As you can see by the blue sky and t-shirt-clad "Flinger" Friday was a warm dry day, the tropical storm and rain that would mar the next two days hadn't yet arrived. 

The side garden was a tropicalisimo-inspired foliage dream.

Complete with a potted agave.

I think this is the spring house, built over the original spring for which the property is named.

There's an entire garden right there on the roof.

I'm always a sucker for the passionflowers.

Looking across the back garden.

And if my memory is correct this planting was off to the left of the above photo. Opuntia!

And more agaves...

Sabal minor I believe.

Attention to groundcovers was evident.

Lest you think this was a small garden...

Patina of time.

I love the vintage swing-set and the old laundry drying rack.

Up near the back of the house there were a lot of containers, large and small.

And a tillandsia hanging from a fancy birdhouse (bird shelter?)...

More of those containers.

As our time in the garden was about to end a fellow Flinger asked if I'd been to the pond at the back of the property, I had not! It turns out is was behind the fence shown in the eighth photo above.

There was a definite sense of history in this garden, something that I felt throughout our time in Pennsylvania.

Time to get back on the bus and on to the next garden! 

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  1. *SIGH* Such large sprawling spaces. I liked the open space with inlaid bricks in a star-like layout in the 16th photo. It made a nice space for the eye to rest as the path transitioned to another area. I can't imagine giving up space that could be planted for a purpose like that but I liked it.

    1. Both this garden and the one in Wednesday's post were relatively small when first approached, it was fantastic to discover such space in the back garden.

  2. A perfectly sweet old manor house. It probably adds to the sense of history that you felt, which makes a garden extra special.
    A lot of good masonry work everywhere, and that hanging tillandsia is fantastic.
    If only you could take one of those roof tiles as a souvenir... a whole little world is growing on it.

    1. I would have definitely taken one as a souvenir if offered!

  3. Replies
    1. So different from my garden, VERY different from yours.

  4. A lovely garden to stroll through. I'm so drawn to the picture "attention was paid to groundcovers" I think a sedum -growing in between the bricks. Love it!

    1. So many fabulous plants tucked in there!

  5. Wow, those are some of the nicest Colocasia I have seen in a private garden. Must be all the humidity and heat there. A gorgeous garden with some really nice plantings. I love the details in the pathways. Little things like this are the difference between merely pretty gardens to really great gardens.


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