This azalea is gorgeous! I purchased it last year from Applied Climatology in the West Chester Growers Market.
I am having a love affair with my garden again. We were having a love hate relationship the past two weeks because of the weeds that seem to grow by the hour and then by the minute because of all the rain.
The spring bulbs are done, the azaleas are blooming, the viburnum are starting to pop, and the roses are all budded out for their first bloom cycle.
The hostas have popped up everywhere and the ferns are luscious this year. I did lose some things with the weird weather we had over the winter including some echinacea that I thought were bulletproof.
The hydrangea are struggling this year a bit. They were fine until that last little cold snap that fried their new green buds just emerging from their winter’s sleep.
Haven’t seen a lot of the annuals I like other than herbs, so there will be less of those in the garden unless some have self seeded. The lilies of the valley my neighbors gave me are gorgeous and very happy. They are growing with Creeping Jenny under a tree.
New for this year I have decided to go after a slope that slopes down to the woods on one side of our property. It has nice light and I separated it into sections. One section closer to the house has been planted with lilacs. I envision a beautiful hill of blooms and lilacs perfuming the air in a few years.
Next to that I will be planting some more azaleas and hydrangeas and I’m not sure what else. On the other side of that is my even bigger experiment. I have planted raspberry and gooseberry and thornless blackberry bushes. I have Elderberry that is going crazy along with one surviving currant plant on the other side of the garden, so in a few years I will either be making a lot of jam or the birds will be really, really happy.
My garden has now grown enough that the people who are professionals in the gardening industry like to come see my garden. Some are growers from whom I have bought beautiful plants, others are looking for inspiration for gardens they are helping their customers design. It’s the being a whole inspiration thing that I am torn about.
I have always designed my gardens to suit me and be unlike any other that I see out there. So I really am torn as to how much of an inspiration I want my actual garden to be as far as the design goes. I don’t know that I want to see my garden multiplied and versions of it growing on different properties. After all it’s all my sweat equity and labor that has gone into my garden.
I’ve bought all my plants , I’ve planted them all myself, I’ve learned from trial and error what works and what doesn’t work. So while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, do I really want to see my garden style multiply?
Don’t misunderstand me, I love helping other gardeners. But I want to inspire people to seek their own creativity, not copy mine. Gardeners by nature are generous people. I am just torn on this issue because it’s my sweet equity, and it’s not like a landscape architect is saying to me that they love my garden and they will give me even credit recognition, they just want to see what I have done.
I have been through this before with other gardens and while I want to share sometimes it just bothers me that someone else will copy what I did and take the credit and not give credit where it’s due. It’s not even about money or a shared commission, it’s about saying hey I didn’t dream this up but someone I know did.
Anyway just some random thoughts on another rainy day.
I realize I am opening up Pandora’s box because I am supposed to be she who is not supposed to ask questions about anything in West Vincent (according to some) but someone sent me the above photo. Bryn Coed Lane IS Bryn Coed, right?
It came with a message about people recently seeing surveyors out there and speculation as to whether the surveyors were there because of a developer, the Deitrich family, a conservation group or any combination of the above? And rumors in the past of family meetings with boatloads of attorneys over this which would be completely normal if true since it is a giant property right?
This property has over 20 tenant properties correct? So if they are going in now to deal with lead pipes and lead paint and whatever deferred maintenance should’ve been done years ago at these houses are getting closed what does that mean exactly? Because you’re also clearing the rent rolls off a large property with each house that gets a notice like this, so is that clearing the way for conservation or development?
Look conserving this at least in part IS possible just look at King Ranch:
POSTED: September 21, 2005
Coming south out of Coatesville on Route 82, just beyond the Ercildoun crossroads, time seems to slow down…..This is the land where for almost 40 years steers from the fabled King Ranch of Texas spent blissful summers feeding on lush pastures before they were sent to the packing house.
It is the land of the Cheshire Hunt, where hunters ride to the hounds in pursuit of the wily fox.
And when this land came under threat of development in the 1980s, the Brandywine Conservancy and a group of farsighted residents jumped into the fray to save it, lighting the spark that fired the conservation movement in Chester County and beyond.
“We had to do something,” conservancy founder and chairman George ‘Frolic’ Weymouth said. “We heard they were going to sell to Disney. It was unbelievable.”….
An offer was tendered, but the first negotiations in Kingsville with Jim Clements, Kleberg’s successor, got off to a rocky start.
“Jim Clements told me: ‘I don’t like you and I didn’t like your father, either,’ ” Weymouth recalled. “That kind of took us back a bit.”
Clements turned down the conservancy offer, but on the spur of the moment, Sellers said he and Weymouth offered to buy it all. They asked for a six-month option, which Clements granted.
“It was an interesting time,” Sellers said. The conservation easement movement was in its infancy and the new rules governing such easements coming out of the IRS were untested, he said.
Sellers said skepticism over the deal was rampant. “I never took so many arrows, and I just got out of heart surgery.” Weymouth said he even put his own property up for collateral.
By the time the deadline arrived, 21 investors were persuaded to join a limited partnership, called Buck & Doe Associates, to buy 5,367 acres for approximately $12 million and protect it with conservation easements. A 771-acre parcel was carved out to protect The Laurels, which is now a preserve owned by the Brandywine Conservancy…..
“At the time, it was the biggest privately funded land-conservation deal in the United States,” Sellers said. “It was probably the best real-estate investment these people ever made.”
Boston lawyer Stephen J. Small, who wrote the IRS rules governing conservation easements, said the King Ranch transaction was “a home run of a deal.”
“They were way ahead of their time,” said Small of the Brandywine Conservancy. “They were really pioneers.”
There was so much written on King Ranch (including a great article from 2011 from Lancaster Farming about the cattle from Texas returning to Chester County.). The articles are all fascinating and there is a lot to be learned from them – check out the articles going back a few decades now on the Philadelphia Inquirer website.
Here’s a little Bryn Coed history courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer circa 2005 (really long article, this is just an excerpt):Deal aims to keep bulldozers at bay A 1,522-acre site, but only 27 lots. By Nancy Petersen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: June 23, 2005
With Congress and the IRS taking a close look at the tax breaks landowners are claiming for conservation, U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.) and Tim Holden (D., Pa.) have started the Congressional Land Trust Caucus to ensure those benefits are preserved.
Their efforts come at a time when a major conservation deal is pending in West Vincent Township that depends on those tax breaks and would preserve at least 1,522 acres in an area under siege as one of the hottest addresses in Chester County.
“We want to make sure they are not taken away,” Gerlach said of the tax breaks during an interview earlier this week. Another goal is to preserve the programs that help land trusts survive and prosper, he said.
The land, most of which is owned by the Bryn Coed Farms Co., includes the homestead of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts and other historically important sites.
Bryn Coed Farms is owned by William, Daniel, and H. Richard Dietrich, all of whom are philanthropists. H. Richard Dietrich Jr. is a trustee of the Philadelphia Art Museum. They are heirs to the Ludens cough-drop fortune…..It is one of the largest conservation transactions in the county since a $12 million arrangement in 1984 that preserved 5,367 acres of the King Ranch.
If the sale goes through for one of the signature landscapes in northern Chester County, there would be 27 lots instead of a potential 700 new homes allowed under the current zoning. Lots would range from two acres to more than 100 acres….
The deal, which has been pulled together by the North American Land Trust, has been in the works for three years, said the trust’s president, Andrew L. Johnson.
North American Land Trust has formed a limited partnership with 12 investors, or founding members, and itself as managing partner, Johnson said. The partnership would buy the land and place conservation easements on it, and members would then be deeded lands with restricted building areas.
The members of the partnership would receive tax deductions based either on the purchase price or, if they wait a year, on the market price, Johnson said….The West Vincent deal stands in contrast to the plans announced for the 450-acre Jerrehian estate, another prized tract outside West Chester, that calls for the construction of 530 new homes.
Since I can’t find this on the North American Land Trust website, I am guessing this fell through, never to be heard of again? Pity.
Rolling the years back a bit (14 almost to the day), there was a fascinating and extremely LONG article in The Daily Local in 2002:Buying the farm By MARGARET FITZCHARLES
WEST VINCENT — The farmlands and rolling hills that decorate the stretch of Route 100 between Route 401 in West Vincent and Pughtown in South Coventry represent the quintessential Chester County landscape for many. But those untouched lands are on the brink of massive change.
This section of the only major north-south artery through Chester County is in stark contrast to West Whiteland and Uwchlan to the south, where residential and commercial development has changed forever the face of the landscape. Housing pressure on the Route 100 corridor just south of Ludwig’s Corner is proof that development is pushing its way into West Vincent at an alarming rate.
Nearly every open tract of land in neighboring Upper Uwchlan near Route 100 is being gobbled up by developers with 2,600 new homes proposed or under construction. With the Vanguard Group’s new 10,000-employee campus planned in Uwchlan and other major office projects in the works along the Route 202 corridor, West Vincent is the next frontier of territory ripe for housing.
“This is definitely a major wave,” said West Vincent Township Manager Allen Heist….
But farther north, officials are learning the hard way how that might be accomplished. Nowhere is that more clear than in West Vincent, where the quiet country life lived by families for dozens of years appears in danger of radically changing — but not without a fight.
Three major developments proposed for the area include The Hankin Group’s 273-home Weatherstone development at routes 100 and 401. There is also the West Vincent portion of the Toll Bros. Ewing tract, expected to bring about 320 more homes, and on top of that, a proposed 216-unit apartment complex on the Griffith farm at Route 100 and Nantmeal Road.
The fate of 1,500 acres owned by Bryn Coed Farms — the developer responsible for Upper Uwchlan’s planned 620-unit Byers Station — is anyone’s guess, Heist said.
Being farmed now, the land in the area of Kimberton, St. Matthews Road and Pughtown could become the site of hundreds of more residential units….
On another front, residents have appealed to township supervisors to reconsider a sketch plan by developer David Della Porta for 216 apartments at Ludwig’s Corner.
The apartment complex, for which formal plans have yet to be submitted, will be the township’s first….
Read that entire article. Now Bryn Coed is a frequent enough topic in West Vincent. If you recall the meeting minutes from March 2015 you will recall a rather snarky letter to a resident who expressed concerns. Bryn Coed showed up there.
Bryn Coed also shows up in East Pikeland meeting minutes – including September 2014
Bryn Coed has been discussed with Northern Federation too.
Bryn Coed also turned up in a fascinating article about tenant farmers from May 1992:Farmers Who Have No Roots In The Suburbs, Short Leases On Coveted Land Are The Rule. By Steve Goldstein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: May 24, 1992
Steering the massive, green John Deere 4440 tractor over loamy Chester County earth, leaving corn seed in his track, Rick Schlosberg is the picture of the modern metropolitan-area farmer: Tending borrowed land on borrowed time.
“I don’t own a stitch of ground,” admitted the rangy 37-year-old. “The day is gone when someone can buy land around here and think they can farm it.”
Schlosberg farms more than 2,000 acres of suburban Philadelphia. Not a stone can he call his own….
The two Holy Grails of rental farming – a large parcel and a long lease – recently were united in one Chester County tract, creating a sensation in the farming community.
Offered for lease was the 1,000-acre Bryn Coed farm in West Vincent, which the Dietrich family, former owners of Ludens candy and the Nan Duskin boutiques, had privately farmed for years.
If they had gone public with their intention to rent, the Dietrichs likely would have been overwhelmed by responses. Instead, their retiring farm manager and his agent quietly asked five area farmers to bid.
The winner was Schlosberg, who was already farming 1,100 acres close to his home in Newtown Square, Delaware County, and had a good track record with large properties.
“The last thing the owners wanted was someone that couldn’t handle it,” said Schlosberg, who was busy planting 700 acres of corn and 200 of soybeans at Bryn Coed.
Schlosberg was coy about the lease, but reliable sources said he was paying $62 per acre for three years.
So there hasn’t been talk of North American Land Trust in conjunction with Bryn Coed for the past few years, but rather Natural Lands Trust which just saved the Haas Estate in Villanova, PA. I am a big believer of the Natural Lands Trust, so if anyone can save at least a chunk of Bryn Coed it would be them.
But ….BUT this is such a large land parcel. And developers are willing to pay. Hoping for the best, yet fearing for the worst here. If a conservation deal is actually in the works, it would be nice to hear about. But who knows? This is one of the last large prime plums like this in Chester County, right?
Thinking about Bryn Coed of course begs the question of what is happening in Chester County overall with regards to development and when do residents regardless or municipality REALLY have a say?
From one end of the county to the other, open land is under siege. Constantly.
Thanks for stopping by.
All photos courtesy of John Hashem. He happened to be in West Caln driving on Cedar Knoll Road when it was occurring.
I have always been fascinated by these kinds of house moves. It’s very cool when an old house and building gets a new lease on life.
Apparently the home owner is moving the old house and then building an addition to make the house more livable by today’s standards.
Adaptive reuse and restoration. That is pretty cool in my book!
The company doing the moving is Wolfe. I think what they do is really cool!