Broken Arrow Nursery

We had the pleasure of taking a tour of Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden yesterday. What better way to spend a sleepy August morning than among plants, yes? Founded in 1947, Broken Arrow is one of the few garden centers in Connecticut that grow their own nursery stock. This allows them to offer a tremendous diversity of trees and shrubs, including those you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. You also know you’re getting a plant that will be hardy in Connecticut. If you love perennial woody plants, this is definitely the place to go.

A variety of conifers
Love the different textures in this photo.
Pinus strobus 'Mini Twists'
Pinus strobus ‘Mini Twists’
Viburnum lantana 'Wavecrest' fruiting.
Viburnum lantana ‘Wavecrest’
A cascade of golden-green grass
Hakonechloa macra
silver-green globe thistle with a bee friend
Echinops and friend

While I took many photos and lots of notes, I did not make any purchases as our garden won’t be ready for plantings before next spring. When it is ready, however, I shall certainly include a variety of conifers!

PHS Meadowbrook Farm

On our way home from the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, we stopped to visit the gardens at PHS Meadowbrook Farm. I’d made reservations a month in advance, fearing many other PFS visitors would have the same idea, but it was raining and we had the gardens to ourselves.

And such gardens! Each a perfect jewel box, opening onto another.Every plant, shrub, tree, and decorative object placed to harmonize with the whole or draw the eye to a particular point. Gardening as a fine art.

Meadowbrook was built in 1936 by J. Liddon Pennock, Jr. and his wife, Alice. Pennock, Jr. was known for decades as “Mr. Flower Show” and was heavily involved in the Philadelphia Flower Show right up until his death in 2003. The house and the gardens are both clearly influenced by English architecture and design, but still manage to seem fresh and interesting.


PHS Philadelphia Flower Show 2021

Last month I had the opportunity to visit the Philadelphia Flower Show, the oldest, biggest, and arguably best flower show in the United States. This event has been on my gardening bucket list for years, but I’d half convinced myself I’d never go, because there was no way my anxiety wouldn’t be triggered spending time in a convention center full of people and their sounds, smells, and noises. Gah.

However, due to COVID-19, this year the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show was held outside in South Philadelphia’s FDR Park …

It was magnificent. Overwhelming, yes, but it a really good way. Like when you’re a little kid super-excited to go the dinosaur museum and you get there and it’s even more awesome than you’d imagined. The displays arranged throughout the park, some by obviously by highly skilled professionals and others by youth or community groups, were simply fantastic and gave me lots of ideas for my own gardens. I think about the amount of work and artistry that went into those exhibits and I have nothing but the utmost respect for everyone involved.

I took too many photos, of course. Everything was so beautiful and interesting that I wanted to record everything for later. I’ve tried to narrow it down to just “the best” here, but the more are available on my Instagram.