“Annville Inn’s Botanical Garden is unique. Almost all B&B’s have beautiful gardens and lawns. What sets Annville Inn apart is this is an extensive botanical garden, tended for over 16 years with great care by four gardeners and all done solely for the pleasure of our guests. Frankly, as serious gardeners with professional hort backgrounds, the gardens at Annville Inn are a joy for us to be in every day as well.” —Tammy H., our long reigning Head Gardener
Annville Gardens was created by your Innkeeper’s husband, Craig, who has been a lifelong gardener; was Executive Director of the world famous Hershey Gardens where he ushered in a period of renewal and expansion during his tenure; and was deeply involved as a Senior Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. While there, he worked on the garden design still prominent at the museum’s entrance including the waterway, native plantings and “Grandfather Rocks.” He also has been a consulting rosarian for other public rose gardens in Pennsylvania, was a featured speaker for the American Rose Society, and was a presenter at a national meeting of America in Bloom.
Rosalie also has had a hand in the overall garden design at Annville Inn. She helped Craig lay out the large Butterfly Garden, the design and orientation of the Pergola, and sat with him over graph paper many long evenings plotting out the layout of the Maze, as well as other garden layouts on the property.
Today, she harvests blooms from all the gardens to create fresh flower arrangements, placed throughout the Inn on a continual basis. It is very common to see Rosalie out in the Gardens, a big smile on her face as she finds just the right blooms for her arrangements.
Garden highlights change from season to season and from garden to garden. We will keep you advised of what is happening in our Gardens on a regular basis through our Annville Inn Blog. Each year is different in our Gardens as we are always introducing new plants, planting arrangements, and changing or redeveloping some of our themed Gardens.
Maintaining over 500 roses and 3,000 flowering bulbs “and everything else in between” is a constant chore, and it is not uncommon to find Craig out in the Gardens working fast at dusk as he “chases the sun,” then later on in moonlight, still plugging away!
Garden Tours are a common occurrence at Annville Inn Gardens. This group is the Connecticut Horticultural Society, who motored down from Connect to enjoy a tour through our Inn’s spectacular gardens. Numerous area garden clubs have held events here, and many serious horticulturists have contributed. For example, we have a rare hosta given to us by the President of the American Hosta Society and several rare roses provided by officer members of the American Rose Society.
Annville Inn Gardens by the Numbers:
- 9 Fountains
- 3 Waterfall Features
- 500 + Roses
- 3,000+ flowering bulbs
- 12 special benches for resting
- 16 Trails connect most gardens
- Three ponds and a bridge
- 2 Pergolas
- Thousands of specialty plants in outdoor gardens + indoor gardens (which include over 60 orchids and 70 amaryllis).
- Herb Kitchen Garden
- 33 themed flower gardens
5 Tons: The amount of compost we generate yearly to fill our planters. All eggshells, fruit rinds & pits, coffee grounds, chip cardboard, office paper and more are composted and returned to the soil to nourish our flowers. If it is organic and comes from our kitchens and coffee bars and plants we grow, it gets composted in our Inn’s green recycle program.
Birding: Our gardens are filled with Bluebird boxes, and our Purple Mountain apartment complex is open for tenants. Our gardens attract a variety of songbirds, hummingbirds, insects and more. We are a Monarch Way Station and plant milk weed wherever possible. For this reason, we intersperse native plants in order to offer maximum nourishment to our wildlife friends.
Gardens are a place of peace and calm. Of tranquility, meditation, prayer, joy, celebration. Restfulness. Life. A place to become “Centered.”
According to the American Horticultural Society, following the 9/11 attack, public gardens throughout America experienced a large surge in attendance. People needed to get away to calm themselves, meditate and pray. A decade later, and through today, that surge in attendance has not abated. We are big fans of all of America’s public gardens, and one very special one in Canada.
“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.)