Growing Green in Pennsylvania
A Pennsylvania state representative and his wife wanted to test their theory that sustainability and style can go hand in hand. Seven years later, they have their proof.
When Cecilia Ross, the wife of Pennsylvania state representative Chris Ross, laid out her requirements for a new house and garden in the horse country of southeastern Pennsylvania, the guidelines were simple: to get off the electrical grid, put the garden close at hand, and keep maintenance idiot-proof.
The dining terrace at the Ross home affords an ideal view of the meadow garden.
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At the entrance, grasses and sedges create a soft, green backdrop for the orange-tinged, rough-textured trunks of river birch trees.
The meadow garden is resplendent in its late-summer glory, with black-eyed Susan, Joe-Pye weed and Eupatorium hyssopifolium in full bloom.
Planted in early May 2006, the garden is now a flourishing meadow alive with birds and insects.
At the entrance to the terrace, a planting of Sedum 'Autumn Fire' softens the edges and coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Cedar Lane') climbs the stucco columns. Much of the stone used for the project is local Avondale stone. Beneath the gravel drive lies a base partly made up of concrete from the old swimming pool.