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A Virtual Walk through Annville Inn's 28 Display Gardens

What's of interest in Annville Inn Gardens? The interests change from season to season and from garden to garden. On this page we will try to keep you up to date with a report on major bloom happenings, but also other points of interest such as how the beauty of snow is affecting a particular garden in the winter, etc. When talking about blooms, to list every plant in every garden that is blooming would be expansive, so for each garden, we will list some of the highlights. When you stay at the Inn, you can explore the Gardens and discover many other facets of our Gardens, which expand and change year after year. The number shown after the Garden name will indicate its location on our Annville Inn Gardens Walking Tour (about a thirty minute walk).




"Making a garden is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole, and once it has done so he will have to accept that his life is going to be radically changed."

--May Sarton* * May Eleanor Sarton, a poet and novelist, was born in Wendelgem, Belgium on May 3, 1912, and immigrated to the United States at age four.

Swimming Pool Garden & Blueberry Patch (1)

This year's Swimming Pool Garden is focused on blueberries. Also, the familiar "faces," Pansies (Viola tricolor hortensis), are still alive under the snow and looking for an opportunity to jump out and bloom. Our five tree roses in this area, red Knock Out Trees, are spending the winter in our "Tractor Barn", where they are being kept at a comfortable 55 degrees. We can tell they can't wait to get back to the pool once warm weather comes. They have been blooming all season long in their "winter quarters." Last summer, we had a large stand of Rose Moss (Portulaca (Portulacaceae)), in the color "Tequila Yellow." Watch for a new color this season!


Koi Pond Garden (2)

Everything in the Koi Pond Garden is slumbering through winter...including the fish! This garden is filled with perennials. Come spring and summer, you will find Pink Primrose interplanted with pink Foxglove (digitalis) and pink Astilbe for a pleasing color coordination. Beyond is red Yarrow, which picks up the red highlights in the digitalis. Echinacea is peppered throughout, and the real winner in this garden is Blackberry Lily! (Belamcanda chinensis)




Experimental Garden (3)

This is where we test plants for other locations. New introductions can be found here. Predominately a shade garden, overlooked by our ten year-old Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, and plum trees. We are now beginning to start to train the Blue Atlas to take a new form.


Pergola Garden (4)

Two exotic edibles are grown in the Pergola Garden: Figs and Kiwi. The pergola is covered with large kiwi vines, growing larger and more substantial with each passing year. On one side of the pergola are fig plants, which produced for the first time in 2010. We expect to be serving fresh figs at least once or twice for the first time in fall 2011. To the west, just past the hammock, we are starting a small shrub garden, and have introduced Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) to the area. "Ninebark" gets its common name from the belief that it has nine layers of bark. It has long been associated with the ability to solve dermatological problems as well as numerous other diseases, although according to plant books we have read, it has never been thoroughly researched for medical properties.




Train Garden (TG) Area (5)

We call this the Train Garden "Area" because there are three other special beds in the area of the Train Garden, but these three beds do not have their own names. The whole area is "folded" into one room we call the "T.G. Area." Our Train Garden (T.G.), home to our G-scale outdoor railroad, is the last garden for us to "wake up" from the long winter, and of course, we haven't yet begun working in this garden. Our cactus plants will be taken out of winter quarters and placed in the Train Garden in May. Giant Elephant Ears will be planted in March or April. One of our "winter projects" is the construction of a curved railroad bridge, which should be in place by April. Come spring, the train will chug past Foam Flower, ferns and numerous other perennials. The most glamorous part: it runs through a tunnel of gorgeous Zepeirine Drouhin (OGR, "Old Garden Rose".) This winter, we are in the process of upgrading one of our engines. Craig is contemplating a "branch line" to run out over the Koi pond, but Rosalie is concerned that it will startle the Koi!




Secret Room Garden (6)

On a bright winter's day, this is a great place to sit quietly and watch the Cardinals that make their home in the shrubbery to the right of the Secret Room Garden bench. Look straight ahead to the bird feeding station, sit very still...and you'll be able to watch a hairy legged wood pecker peck away on a suet block there. This garden is a natural "blind" to facilitate bird watching, but also is a great place to read a book, or just listen to the winter quiet. Come Spring, watch for bright yellow yarrow (Achillea millefoliumis) in full bloom. You will spy Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis) perking up every where! And, in the summer, be amazed by the dinner plate-sized blooms of the Hybiscus.


South Garden (7)

This southern exposure garden features a variety of plants including "winter onions" that we prize for their interesting, curly tops. Twice a year, we dig them up, re-plant the tops, and watch them grow all over again. Also blooming in this garden is Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina), a garden favorite for generations-it does very well as greenery in flower arrangements. Lambs ear survives the winter, amazingly, and can be seen growing up through the snow.


Welcome Garden (8)

This Garden of foundation plantings, perennials and a scattering of annuals (such as Snapdragon) is one of the first gardens our guests encounter. In winter, we have winter cabbage, numerous evergreens, a 27 year-old dormant dogwood, and Sky Pencils (Japanese Holly), which are currently in winter quarters in our Tractor Barn. Come spring and summer, look for Petunia baskets, Pansy, Marigold, Ageratum, and a nice stand of Bee balm, (Monarda fistulosa {pink}).


Japanese Garden (9)

Providing year-round color, the Pieris (pieris japonica) has given this garden a red splash. We have a plethora of pink Gladioli in this garden, and expect to see them returning in late spring. We refer to this garden as "Japanese East" and Japanese West" because the garden is bisected by our lane. Japanese East, for example, is on the east side of our lane, and features a sand labyrinth, a Japanese statue, dried bamboo, and sometimes a bonsai plant on display. Japanese West features a unique bamboo fountain, a small berm and waterway. Also, you will find a tall Japanese Lantern, a small pool, and Asiatic Lily.


Calendar Garden (10)

Something is always in bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall calendar-hence this Garden's name. We have just planted Winterberry in this garden, but they were young plants, and we joked we had "...a winterberry...literally!" The two shrubs produced between them...just ONE winterberry this winter! Next winter, we're bracing ourselves for fully loaded bushes! (Or, until the birds remove them, but that is okay with us.) Headlining in early June is Red Hot Poker, (Kniphofia uvaria) which will be followed by white and purple liatrus later on. In May, this long garden will be a riot of color from numerous varieties of plants in the Inn's Iris collection.


Five C's Garden (11)

This is where we grow Clematis, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Cactus, and Cana (Tropicana.) The Cana is tropical, the Clematis like cool "feet", the Cactus wrinkles up in winter and puffs back out in spring. In the cold months, the Five C's Garden retreats to deep slumber.


Mail Box Garden (12)

We have left the ornamental grass in place to create winter interest. Several Knock Out roses, contrasted by yellow arborvitae and large clematis and Zebra ornamental grass make an attractive place for the mailman to deposit mail!


Sign Garden (13)

This is a summer garden. Red is the theme. Once summer hits, we will have a beautiful red hybrid tea rose, Love, surrounded by red Knock Out roses, and bright red Salvia on display.


Horseshoe Garden (14)

This small horse shoe-shaped garden is a riot of pink and white shrub roses, which give way to a collection of gladiolas in mid-summer. This garden is anchored by a small bird bath. In the fall, we have the fall-blooming iris, City Lights, claiming the attention of those that drive by on our lane. City Lights is fall blooming in many parts of the country-and, fortunately, we are in one of those places!


English Manor Garden (15)

In this Garden, which begins at the southeast corner of the Inn and continues along the west side beneath the outdoor staircase for the English Manor Suite, we grow herbs including sage, dill, sometimes fragrant herbs, and always nasturtium. We're trying to get Sweet pea to grow here along with lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) and snap dragon (Antirrhinum). Most recognizable in the summer in the English Manor Garden are three enormous petunia baskets, each weighing in at over 50 pounds, hanging from the English Manor staircase.


Butterfly Garden (16)

One of Rosalie's favorite roses, Opening Night, appears in two locations, the False Indigo (Baptisia australis) will be pushing up in early spring and the deep rooted Primrose (Oenothera) will start blooming around the Fairy fountain around May. Two lilac bushes in this garden will bloom early and give way to numerous butterfly bushes (budlia davidia), butterfly plant, flax, pentas, and numerous other plants that attract butterflies. Our guests are always amazed at the swarms of butterflies frequenting the butterfly garden. We provide butterfly identification cards, and some garden benches to use in your enjoyment.


Hidden Garden of the Lost Orange Rose (17)

"Maybe this garden is too hidden," Craig thought a few years ago. It was accessed by stepping stones, and led to a covered porch with two rockers accompanied by a strange, orange rose of unknown origin. This particular rose grows year in and year out, always producing bright orange blooms, never gets too large, and is very disease resistant. Yet we cannot identify it in our books, nor can our rosarian and professional gardener friends. So, we just enjoy it. To make the garden more accessible, two years ago, Craig replaced the stepping stones with a solid brick walkway.


Romance Garden (18)

Helleborus orientalis - commonly known as the Lenten rose, remains green year-round, so it is the star of the garden in winter. But wait! Come very early spring, it is in bloom. One of the first plants to bloom out! So, it also reigns in the garden when spring arrives. It will later be joined by Caladium, two types of fern and hosta along with some new experimental shade plants we are testing. This garden has a unique feature that lasts about six weeks in mid-spring. We have a large collection of Bleeding Heart (dicentra). We are keeping a nice stand of dicanthus (carnation family) in bloom here, and have had good luck with Forget Me Not's (Myosotis). Another very early bloomer in this garden, the first blooms of the year, as a matter of fact, is Winter Aconite (Eranthis).






Tractor Barn North and West (19) (20)

Miniature roses and Red Hot Pokers, Lilac and Chrysanthemums ensure we have blooms here most of the year. More important, one of our edible flowers, nasturtium, is grown here and we baby it along as late in the season as we can! The nasturtiums provide grace and color to our breakfast plates much of the year.


Formal Rose Garden & Peonies Collection (21)

Roses: Although most of our display gardens contain some rose plants, the majority of roses growing in any one place-and with the greatest variety of classifications-is in the Formal Rose Garden. Roses require great care, and we pamper ours to the limits of our available time and effort. Even though we are in the dormant season during the winter, our roses start receiving dormant spray in February. In March we begin cutting them back for the new season. April begins early feeding and specialized pruning, May harkens additional steps of care and then our work is rewarded in June with masses of blooms. One guest estimated last June that we had over a million blooms. We have no idea how she determined that, as we can't keep up with each stem, sending out a new burst of blooms every five to seven days! Because of Rosalie's love of roses, Craig started growing roses for her shortly after they were married.

Peonies: An arching band of peonies stretching for over 75 feet creates a bed of "non-rose" plant material in the Rose Garden. This Peony band separates the upper Formal Rose Garden from the Lower Rose Garden, creating a colorful "drift" of pink and white running from east to west.


Humming Bird Lane Garden (22)

This garden is bordered on one side by an enormous blue spruce (Picea pungens) that is home to countless birds. You'll always find them perched on its topmost branches. On the other side of the pathway is a variety of climbing roses clinging on an old 20 foot ladder that we suspended horizontally along the lane.


Ashie's Garden (23)

Currently not easily accessible due to the fact that it has been socked in with snow and ice since Christmas, we eagerly await the spring thaw for this Garden. At present, our majestic Thunder Cloud Pine reigns supreme in this Garden. Come spring, enjoy more than 1,000 stalks of iris in full bloom. After blooming, they will be cleared away to make room for a variety of Poppies, Fever Few, Cosmos and Larkspur, which "own" Ashie's Garden the rest of the season, although they do make way for masses of day lilies. Day Lilies, like roses, need to be deadheaded daily, and Craig says there is no way he'll be able to keep up with the day lilies once they start! This special garden is named after a dear friend in Hershey.








Potting Bench Garden (24)

Gladiolus. Pure and simple, Glads. That is 90% of what we grow in the Potting Bench Garden. Out of the way, and rarely visited by guests, the Potting Bench garden supplies much of the fabulous sprays of flowers Rosalie arranges for our lobby area every day in warm weather. The other 10%? Usually a form of native orchid!


Maze Garden (25)

We joke, "Come back in 15 years and experience the maze." Right now, it is really a labyrinth, and we have toyed with the idea of changing its name to the "Labyrinth Garden." Eventually, in this garden, we will have a teeter totter located in one lone alee, and various other surprises for a couple to find as they wander through the maze.


Great Southwest Sunken Garden (26)

Our newest garden. An enigma. It is smack dab on the north side of the main house, yet it is called the Great Southwest Sunken Garden. Reason: We have created a new pueblo style outdoor sunken living room to compliment our Great Southwest Room. Along both sides of a slope-style walkway that leads from the sunken outdoor living room to the formal rose garden we have built adobe planters. The idea for this garden comes from where Craig was reared. "In the Southwest, he says, we lived outdoors as much as indoors." Our guests in the Great Southwest Room get to leisurely sit back and enjoy a private outdoor living room with table and chairs, fountain, ceiling fan, and beautiful plantings. Even on rainy days! We were able to get the roof on and the ceiling fan installed just days before the ice and snow of winter 2010 came! Late this winter we will fill the planters with soil and begin the process of planting bulbs, evergreens, cacti and even a cherry tree espaliered against the adobe wall.


Hosta Garden (27)

Although other gardens around the property have Hosta, this is "Hosta City" where we have over a dozen Hosta growing on each side of the walkway connecting the Garden Room with the Hot Tub deck. In this garden you will also find Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris).


Shrub Garden (28)

Our Shrub Garden was originally designed to create a "wind break" to protect the butterflies in the Butterfly Garden from strong air currents. The tall arbovitae lift the wind up and over the Butterfly Garden. We then added Star Magnolia, Nine Bark, Wygelia, Holly, and other shrubs. Interplanted with the shrubs are select preannuals including Red Hot Poker, Sedum, and the occassional Dalhia we throw in each spring.






Comments

"Thank you so much for your genuine Hospitality. Ken and I were in some desperate need of pure relaxation and we were able to accomplish that here in the English Room at Annville Inn.

We found the GARDENS TO HAVE A VERY CALMING EFFECT. The pool and hot tub are definitely an asset. We were happy to have had use of the computer and also played a couple of games of cards while in the game room. The breakfasts were all just GREAT! I am glad my niece Amanda recommended we stay here. We hope to visit numerous times over the years."

- Ken & Ann, White Lake, MI



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Annville Inn features five unique guest rooms, each with a private bath.

English Manor Suite Great Southwest Room Secret Room Country Comfort Room Mardi Gras Room