Home GardeningGarden Diary Jenny Rose Carey’s playful garden rooms at Northview, part 2

Jenny Rose Carey’s playful garden rooms at Northview, part 2


November 06, 2023

In my last post I showed you half of Jenny Rose Carey’s garden, Northview, which I toured during the Philadelphia Area Fling in September. Today I’ll show you the rest. Let’s start with her Fruits and Flowers Garden, where this Tin Man sculpture greeted me with open arms.

Stock-tank flower garden

A garden after my own heart — filled with stock-tank planters! The galvanized raised beds are packed with flowers for cutting, like cosmos, gomphrena, amaranth, and dahlias.

Every space in Jenny’s 4.5-acre garden is welcoming with tables and chairs. This pink table was even dressed up with a little bouquet of pink flowers.

Tropical Storm Ophelia had bent the plants, but they still held their flowers.

Outside that fenced garden, a circular lawn with a wheelbarrow planter (and old corncrib in the background) makes for a calm palette cleanser.

This scene captured my imagination — twin golden shrubs smothering a garage door on the carriage house. It’s like a hidden keep with golden sentries.

Rain Garden

Nearby there’s a rain garden of native plants, which had its work cut out for it this day, to sop up all the runoff from the storm.

Lake garden

Next I ambled down Jenny’s long driveway toward her lake garden, passing this twisty-trunked Japanese maple along the way. It had already shed its leaves for fall, revealing its calligraphic shape.

A semicircular mound built up with stacked stone…

…creates the perfect conditions for a rocky dry garden on top, with plants like guara and dianthus.

A waterfall spills from the mound into a large pond — designated as a lake on Jenny’s garden map, perhaps to distinguish it from her pond; see Part 1 — with patio seating along one side.

Water-level stone slabs lead across the pond to the round patio with gothic chairs. It’s beautifully designed. And you can see from the water’s dimpled surface how much rain was coming down! Picture me huddled under an umbrella, poncho, and raincoat, trying to keep my camera dry. But there was still much to see, so onward!


From the sunny pond, the garden enters a shady woodland, where logs from fallen trees are stacked into a garden wall.

And where smaller logs have been anthropomorphized into Northview Logheads, as a sign dubs them.


Walking along the log wall, I noticed some of them are hollow, and one frames a view…

Magical! The biggest hollow log frames a peekaboo view of a teapot fountain and stump table and chairs. Let’s go find them.

Shade Garden with teapot fountain

This may have been my favorite moment in all of Northview. The fountain is charming, and the whole space encourages a sense of childlike wonder, set in a mossy glade enclosed with Japanese maples just starting to turn.

Glass beads around the teapot and teacup probably hide the mechanics of the disappearing fountain while looking like spilled liquid.

Nearby, set for a child’s tea party with a little bouquet and even a brass lamp (does it light at night?), a stump table and stools adds to the whimsy.

The stools appear to be manmade but blend perfectly with the old stump table.

So charming!

Jenny’s grandkids (or whoever the children are in her life) are very lucky to have such delightful garden rooms to play in. Farther along the tea party path, I came across a small playset (not pictured) and this ball-balancing elephant sculpture. A frilly gazebo in the background…

…shelters a small table and chairs, brightly painted…

…where fairy magic happens.

View from the gazebo

There’s also a little caboose playhouse here, and an oversized pencil reading “Jenny’s Garden Designs.”

Kids are clearly encouraged to play in this garden. I spotted this crow’s-nest treehouse built atop a massive tree stump in the Dry Garden (which unfortunately I didn’t get good pics of).

And adults are made welcome too, with lots of creative garden rooms to explore and places to sit and take it all in.

Another old tree stump that Jenny turned into a face bears a sign with the garden’s name.

Gathering Circle

Lastly I’ll show you Jenny’s house, which was built in 1887 and is surrounded by large trees planted in that era. Other old trees have been lost to age and to a tornado spawned by Hurricane Ida in 2021 — hence the collection of trunks in the stumpery and lining some of her garden beds.

In front of the house, a low curved wall encloses a “gathering circle,” where I imagine Jenny begins tours of her garden on sunnier days.

Jenny has been gardening at Northview for 25 years, and it’s a charming place indeed after so many years of her plantsmanship and creativity applied to it. Check out Jenny’s website and her books, Glorious Shade and The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide, if you’d like to learn more.

Up next: Barbara Tiffany’s hillside Mill Fleurs garden. For a look back at Part 1 of Jenny Rose Carey’s Northview Garden, click here.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!


Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Source link

Related Posts