Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The English garden

The English garden: Who hasn't had the fantasy? Whether visiting Hampton Court outside London or tootling along a country road, what traveling gardener hasn't had the fantasy of living in a place with a classic English garden? Of course, I run the risk here that I did around the time of the Flower Show, when I ran around asking professional garden designers and horticultural scholars to tell me about the "classic Italian garden." Dumb me. There is no such thing in Italy, just as there's no such thing in Britain. But there are certain ideas and designs that we associate with those places. That's good enough for me. This garden isn't in England; it's in West Mount Airy, designed and carried out by Linda Fahy Newman, who was born and raised in central England and didn't discover her inner gardener till she and her husband bought this house 25 years ago. Here you can see her beautiful mixed border, done mostly in reds and purples with white accents. It's flowery and full and very pleasant - and you can read all about it and see lots more pictures in Friday's Home & Garden section. No wonder the Newmans often sit outside on a patio near this garden, one of many "outdoor rooms" Linda created on their one-acre parcel, and watch silently as clouds of bees and hummingbirds enjoy these plants. Can't think of a better way to pass a summer evening, no matter where your garden is.

The English garden

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

The English garden: Who hasn't had the fantasy? Whether visiting Hampton Court outside London or tootling along a country road, what traveling gardener hasn't had the fantasy of living in a place with a classic English garden? Of course, I run the risk here that I did around the time of the Flower Show, when I ran around asking professional garden designers and horticultural scholars to tell me about the "classic Italian garden." Dumb me. There is no such thing in Italy, just as there's no such thing in Britain. But there are certain ideas and designs that we associate with those places. That's good enough for me. This garden isn't in England; it's in West Mount Airy, designed and carried out by Linda Fahy Newman, who was born and raised in central England and didn't discover her inner gardener till she and her husband bought this house 25 years ago. Here you can see her beautiful mixed border, done mostly in reds and purples with white accents. It's flowery and full and very pleasant - and you can read all about it and see lots more pictures in Friday's Home & Garden section. No wonder the Newmans often sit outside on a patio near this garden, one of many "outdoor rooms" Linda created on their one-acre parcel, and watch silently as clouds of bees and hummingbirds enjoy these plants. Can't think of a better way to pass a summer evening, no matter where your garden is. 

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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