Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Gardening Against the Grain
Most gardeners plant for the flowers: Barbara Tiffany’s focus is on the architecture of the plant and the texture and color of the leaf, because that is what endures most of the year. Tiffany, owner of Mill Fleurs, a Pennsylvania garden that is open to the public, will share her unusual ideas about grouping plants by color and her solutions for planting a collector’s garden.
It was a challenging site on Tochickon Creek in Bucks County, with a steep hill embracing two 18th-century mills—even for furniture designers with training in space-planning and engineering. After clearing the land 40’ bamboo and rampant invasive plants, Barbara and Robert Tiffany set about planting just to hold the soil. Twenty-four years later, The Gardens at Mill Fleurs host a collection of unusual varieties of shade–loving perennials, grasses and spring ephemerals filling the spaces between. Barbara loves to share her ideas about color-grouping plants, designing a collection garden (“Just how, exactly, do you plant 1,200 cultivars of Hostawithout boring people to death?”) and species preservation. The Gardens at Mill Fleurs are open to the public for guided tours from April through September. Tiffany Perennials, a rare plant nursery, offers ‘really rare’ plants imported from India, Japan, and Thailand, ‘interesting natives, and fancy weeds,’ many of which thrive in the gardens.