Brandywine Cottage: a place to celebrate this day

This is one small piece of the 2-acre garden in Downingtown created by David Culp and Michael Alderfer. Now there are two old Pennsylvania names! And I can't think of a better place to spend such a beautiful day than in this inspired and interesting place.  David has just written his first book; he is so wellknown, I thought he'd written several already. It's called The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage, from Timber Press, and once you see his garden, you understand the layered bit.

The concept is more nuanced than succession gardening, though that's hard enough for most gardeners. Here are his words: "More than just making sure one blooming plant follows another, layering is the art of creating a series of peak garden moments, the anticipation of which gets me out of bed in the morning."


David is an exuberant gardener and guide. You'll not find a more knowledgeable plantsman. It was a treat to spend three hours with him today. And guess what? As I got in the car to head back to the city (do I have to?), I said, "Are you going to work in the garden now?" He said no ... he would do other things first and save the garden work till the end of the day. "It's my reward," he said.

I need an attitude adjustment!