Southeastern PA

Doylestown man's garden a masterpiece in design

Man's garden a masterpiece in design

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - There are gardens and then there is Andrew Hartnagle's garden, a masterwork in Doylestown, Bucks County.

The view, however, may not last much longer for Hartnagle.

"Taking different colors and textures and combining them so they play off each other," he said.

His palate isn't canvas, but space and plenty of it.

The 57 year-old has spent the past 25 years transforming his private 103-acre Doylestown property into a fairy land of flora.

Eleven formal gardens, rows of flowers, walls of green, alleys of color, elaborate seating and hundreds of exotic trees specifically planted to create a natural looking wood-scape, are just a small sample of his setting.

Hartnagle says these make for interesting post-party stories.

"You'd be surprised at what people do in gardens like this," he laughs.

Hartnagle studied design, but got his horticultural skills from reading books and from a 20 year collaboration with his head gardener, Roman Szymanik.

For Andrew this sophisticated combination of rare species and common plants serves a  purpose that is running out of time.

"I'm doing them because I want to remember them. I want to keep them fresh in my mind," he said.

Andrew is suffering from end stage Glaucoma. His vision is blurry now, and could be gone within the next two to three years.

He says he'll tackle it the same way he tackled his landscape, always moving forward.

"I'll make it work. I made this work and that was contoured ground and now look it," he said.

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