An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 30, 2010

Paxson Hill Farm

Let this blogger take you back to Pennsylvania now. We will be ping-ponging between here, New York, Virginia and may even pay a visit to New Jersey before I finish going through all my summer photos. It seems that the season finds me flush with things to post, but perhaps I should preserve a few for the leaner times this winter.

I first heard of Paxon Hill Farm from fellow blogger James of View from Federal Twist. His post intrigued me enough to want to put this on my to-do list while I was vacationing nearby. When we got there I soon had the distinct impression that this nursery is one of those that sells plants to help defray the cost of maintaining their beautiful gardens and considerable menagerie. Besides animals, the gardens at Paxon Hill were full of great design ideas, water features, interesting focal points and great plant choices. Like James, I was also intrigued at how they mixed the common railroad tie with other materials in a very uncommon way. Some of the garden was still a work in progress, but seeing what has already been accomplished makes me want to stop here again in the future.

Agave Urn

Pondside 2

What, No Coaster

Railroad Tie Pathway


Railroad Tie Path with Bloodgrass

Fish Tank 2

Railroad Tie Pathway 2

Fountain Grass

Path to Bridge

Blue Urn

If you are ever near New Hope, Pennsylvania, you should stop by Paxon Hill Farm. Do not worry if there are non-gardeners in your party, even my normally garden-center-weary, yet tolerant wife and son enjoyed their visit.


  1. wow...most excellent find! I wonder if the agave stays put in the pot outside all winter?

  2. Fantastic garden, and your pictures are outstanding! The using of railroad tires is very unusual, but they look great there!

  3. That first photo, all greens and yellows, is too stunning for words. And I know what you mean about family getting weary of garden visiting. That's quite the recommendation if a garden appeals to the garden weary!

  4. Loree,
    I knew you would like that Agave. I am sure they bring it in for the winter, in fact one of their services is baby sitting plants over the winter for people who don't have room. It can get fairly wet and cold there (zone 6).

    Thanks for stopping by. I got several ideas for railroad ties at work.

    I am sure you know the scene. Family sees all they want in 5 minutes, you run like a crazy person not to miss anything.

    Thank you for the compliment and for letting me know about this nursery in the first place.


  5. That place is so beautiful , I want a peacock roaming around my yard ( Maxine would not stand for that though ). Very nice, Gina

  6. Your shots convey such a tranquil feeling, as if I were alone there on a Sunday afternoon. And the first photo is beautiful.

  7. What an interesting garden. I love the vignettes you captured. :)

  8. Great your photography...that pic of the koi is stunning! The garden is verdant!

  9. Beautiful. That river of Japanese blood grass was especially gorgeous. I had to look twice before I decided he was a real peacock. Thank you for the trip.~~Dee

  10. Gina,
    After hearing them squalk, I am not sure I would want one, no matter how beautiful they are.

    Thanks. I particularly like that first photo too.

    It was interesting and worth a repeat visit.

    I think that koi shot will be my new desktop background.

    I just today heard the perennial manager at work say she will not be carrying that plant again, due to its invasive nature. Why is it the pretty ones are always so bad/


  11. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for posting them.

  12. Thanks for sharing this Les. Looks like a neat place. I really liked the variety of grasses and how they blend together in the second photo.

  13. They really have used the railroad ties in a unique way. I love the rustic look of it. The peacock looks comfy!

  14. Beautiful Images and wonderful capture. And Paxson Hill is a great place to visit and see the llama. I grew up only an hour and a half from Paxson, and I miss places like that living in Niagara Falls.

  15. It's a delightful garden and your photographs are stellar~I admire your artists eye Les.

  16. What a fabulous farm with a peacock and all. I will definitely visit if I'm near there. I LOVE the image of hte carp especially.

  17. That's a beautiful garden. How close is it to Chanticleer?

    To answer Loree's question, I'm certain that variegated American agave must come inside for the winter. It is hardy in our zone 8b but can suffer damage in a particularly cold winter, like we had last year.

  18. Wow! This place looks stunning (I'm going to email my PA friends about it). Your photographs are beautiful.

    Just stopped by for a sec to say that I hope Earl is kind to you, yours, and your garden. Take care.

    ps what camera do you have? I'm not quite camera shopping yet (although the much-loved Nikon is almost dead) - but I'm trying to get a feel for what's out there.

  19. Beautiful gardens, Les...and superb photos! Guess you are no longer on Assateague island. Hope the storm avoids you;-) My daughters school is 'considering' early evacuation--hopefully it won't come to that. She and I are supposed to fly from DC to Maine on Saturday morning. Hopefully the flights will be operating...otherwise we will miss a wedding.

  20. Linda,
    You are welcome.

    They had a lot of grasses in their beds and knew how to use them.

    There was also and albino peacock, but they did not pose as nicely as the one on the table.

    The llama was being shy that day.

    My ego thanks your for the comment about my eye.

    They had one of the best collections of koi and goldfish I have seen at any garden center. I had fun taking their picture.

    Paxon Hill is about 45 minutes northeast of Chanticleer. Thank you for the agave advice.

    Earl has been kind, and I use a Nikon D5000. It was for me an extravagance, but I guess I could have more damaging buying habits.

    I hope you have a safe trip, if you go. The winds are still up, and we got some needed rain, but there seems to be nothing to worry about.


  21. You are a great photographer, which I assume you know. I'm so glad one of the other Pams asked about your camera. It's tempting to talk myself into buying a Nikon D5000 but I have a feeling I'd still be taking run-of-the-mill shots. Your skills are not just about the Nikon. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  22. Les, This is a stunning post! Inspiring! Your photos of these fabulous gardens truly blows me away. Fantastic! Really ... that looks like a real Peacock so comfortably sitting there and Oh My Goodness! The swishy fishy photo is remarkable! I am inspired to put a large gorgeous pot like that in my garden. Now only to find one. ;>)

  23. Pretty amazing looking for a nursery! I'll have to add it to my ever-longer list.

  24. Les!! What a beautiful place. Thank you for bring us along.

  25. Pam J.,
    Thank you so much for the kind words.

    The peacock looks real, because it was. I tried to get closer, but I disturbed him and he squaked away.

    I have given up on written lists. I figure if it stays in my head it has priority.

    You are quite welcome.


  26. Les,

    I work at Paxson Hill farm, could you please email me at
    I would like to ask you a few questions. and I couldnt find your email address anywhere.

    thank you,