Charles Cresson Gardens – Part 3

Charles-and-ClematisHere we are in the Swarthmore, Pennsylvania gardens of Charles Cresson in May 2014. I showed you his Hedgleigh Spring gardens from the rear of the property in the last two posts. Charles lives in his family home that his grandfather built many years before.


Charles Cresson’s home built by his grandfather in 1911.

When we arrived, Charles met Carolyn and myself at his front door. We were greeted with a big smile… very welcoming. Then we walked to the rear of the home where many perennials (his specialty) were blooming in May.

The garden perennials are mostly an addition made by Charles when he came back to his childhood home. He made changes, yet preserved the structure and foundation of the gardens laid down by generations of Cressons before him. Charles rebuilt the stone walls that suffered through time, renovated beds and conditioned soils before adding to perennial beds and creating new ones. His grandfather planted many trees and shrubs forming the garden structure and Charles added layers of herbaceous specialty species not commonly seen in most gardens. The color combinations are quite pleasing in his perennial choices.

A large 100 year-old Japanese Maple, colorful Azalea and Rhododendron have been here many years. What is really evident is the history and maturity of the gardens. After almost 100 years of growth and development, the gardens are a reflection of all that contributed.

Click through the galleries and imagine yourself traveling through time from 1911 until today.

Beds and potted plants.

A white picket fence encloses a lawn surrounded by lush perennial beds. The chickens live behind the home. I did not ask if they get to roam through the gardens snacking on unwanted insects like slugs.

I hope you enjoyed this three-part series. I visit many gardens and you can view others in the Pennsylvania areas in the tab, Garden Walks and drop down in the menu above.

On Nature and Wildlife Pics, some real monkey business. Photographing Rainforest Monkeys.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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18 Responses to Charles Cresson Gardens – Part 3

  1. Gorgeous! Not many people have such lovely gardens in May.

  2. I love the photo of Charles in front of his house. I still haven’t done my post on this garden visit but you have pretty much taken care of it!

  3. Loved all the photos! The walk ways were beautiful (especially the brick path), and I loved the long, low stone building.
    I’m trying to figure out what that tall plant is with the white flowers in the last photo. Is it beautyberry?

  4. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks for sharing your visit with us. I particularly like the stonework in the garden. It must be one of the blessings of a Pennsylvania garden…all that stone right under your nose. All one needs is a strong back.

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    Wow, Donna, I SO enjoyed this series! I loved seeing all the different parts of the two acres of this exquisite garden. Your photos were superb. It’s easy to see that this garden has been well tended and artfully designed for a century, and I just love that it’s in the middle of a busy suburb because it looks like it is on a spacious English estate. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Lovely walk through the garden…So amazing to have a bit of something beautiful to get through this cold dreary day…Have a great weekend Donna.

  7. What a fantastic garden. I loved his house and how the garden suits it so well. 😀

  8. Breathtaking images! What a treat to visit this lovely place vicariously through your photos.

  9. Wow, so many gorgeous irises, and I love the azaleas, something there were lots of where I grew up but are quite rare around here.

  10. debsgarden says:

    Layer upon layer of gorgeous plants create a garden of abundance and joy. Truly special!

  11. Charles Cresson says:

    Thank you for enabling me to see my garden in new ways and enjoy views and combinations I had overlooked! I tend to look at my garden in the same way all the time. You have a great “eye”!

  12. alesiablogs says:

    Beautiful garden and yes very pleasing to the human eye and the camera! I especially was drawn to the brick pathway as it reminded me of my own.

  13. Beautiful gardens. Is there any link to the Quaker Swarthmore in Lancashire UK . Have visited there and also beautiful gardens near Lake District.

  14. I am in love….I adore historical gardens that have old walls, structure and old trees mixed with new plantings…absolutely stunning.

  15. Lula says:

    Wow!!! Absolutely a paradise, a nature’s gift to enjoy, it must be very hard work to maintain it, but how regarding to be able to enjoy a place like this. You really had a great time visiting!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I had to come back to see Part 3. I like that you included a casual portrait of the gardener. I have been trying to remind myself to do that, but don’t always remember. Having gardeners pictured in their gardens humanizes them.
    Rare is it that a property is passed through family these days. It is wonderful to think of carrying on with a garden your grandfather began.

  17. Les says:

    An absolutely beautiful garden, thank you for sharing your visit. It makes me pine for more space.

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