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A Passion for Plants!

Each garden that we'll be visiting during the 2023 Philadelphia Area Fling specializes in something unique. The private garden of Barbara & "Tiff" Tiffany in Point Pleasant, PA is admittedly a 'collector's garden'. Barbara is the head gardener and husband "Tiff" takes care of the hardscape and irrigation. Their seamless partnership has allowed this garden to flourish over the past 30 years!

The grist mill dates from the 1742, and the original millworks and water raceways are still there. Right next to the grist mill is the saw mill, that was operating from the 1790s. Directly up the hill across from the mills is an ice house, where ice from the creek was stored through to July in sawdust from the sawmill. The Bronze Border complements the residence and is filled with Barbara's favourite theme of 'onesies'.

A barn at the top of the property was converted to a design studio for the Tiffany's careers in furniture and is braced with a massive oak on the gardens' side. It's a rustic piece of architecture that adds beauty and a sense of 'place' of this site.

Barbara and her husband Tiff have been designing and producing furniture together for decades, and the home they've created in the mill buildings is a showcase for their beautiful and comfortable pieces. Barbara designs the gardens, and Tiff takes care of the hardscaping and irrigation systems that keep the gardens thriving. “We make a good team,” she says.

The backside of the bronze border bleeds into the black border as your bum navigates to one of the benches designed by the Tiffany's.

Pollinators are important so they're invited and encouraged in this garden, but not in the ways that popular literature suggests. Barbara isn't "all about natives". Her mantra is to plant what you can wherever you can dig a hole....and if that doesn't work then try another spot! Diversity is key to the survival of our species and this garden embraces diversity in every aspect.

With hundreds of Hosta, it can be challenging to create a cohesive composition at times. Barbara has chosen to group her plants according to leaf, colour, texture or sometimes even name. As a die-hard plant collector, the challenge is to always have a harmonious composition without compromising the insatiable urge to add more to it.

The garden is often referred to with hostas in mind, and there are certainly plenty of wonderful and unique hostas to be found as you walk through, but by no means are the gardens only about hostas! Not even close. Barbara has a passion for what she calls the weird and wonderful and delicious, orphans that need to be taken care of and sometimes turn out to be rare specimens. The stranger the plant, the more her heart connects with it.

The flowering of Epiphyllum oxypetalum is always a reason to throw a party as their exotic blossoms open around 9pm and close by morning. The aftermath of this week's party is still evident and a reminder of the ever-changing beauty that a garden such as this often possesses. Barbara has been diligently working to soften and warm the once-barren landscape with small, inexpensive plants. “I gave myself permission to become a plant collector,” she says, and keeps costs down by only purchasing small or young plants that she lovingly nurtures to their full potential.

To commemorate your experience in this magical garden, you're 'dared' to adopt a dandelion. Keep in mind that this is no ordinary lawn weed though! Taraxacum pseudoroseum is a pink-flowering dandelion from central Asia that's one of the first plants to bloom in the garden in spring. People will think you're crazy for doing this and that's just what Barbara embraces!


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