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“Designed for Nature” tour showcases native plants in residential gardens


On Saturday, June 18, the Bucks County Branch of the Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association (WNF&GA) in partnership with Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve will feature five Doylestown-area residential gardens on a unique and educational “Designed for Nature” garden tour.

The 6th annual event receives support from its friends – the Bucks County Audubon Society, Bucks Beautiful, Bird Town Pennsylvania, the Doylestown and Lahaska Bookshops, and Penn State’s Master Gardener and Master Watershed Steward programs.

“All the gardens are in transition to the use of native plants and several show ways to creatively manage water to keep it on the property,” according to Jane Neal, tour co-chair. “The gardens vary in size from a small borough plot to larger properties, and from a casual habitat to a more manicured presentation.”

Master Gardeners, Watershed stewards, and naturalists from the Preserve will be present at each of the properties to talk about the gardens and answer questions.

One of the gardens features native plantings from a Landscaping in Transition grant from the Preserve, taking advantage of the combined expertise of the Preserve and the WNF&GA. Volunteers from the Preserve and the WNF&GA worked together to install the native shrubs and plants.

Not only do native plants thrive in their own habitats, but they also support native birds, mammals, and beneficial insects, resulting in a garden that sustains biodiversity. The connection between the health of local ecosystems and human well-being is well-documented in University of Delaware Professor Doug Tallamy’s book, “Bringing Nature Home.”

The tour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine, costs $10 in advance and $15 day of the event. Tickets are available at, at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, and at the Doylestown and Lahaska Bookshops. The day before the tour, garden addresses where day-of-event tickets can be purchased will be found on the Facebook page. A selection of native plants will be available for sale at one of the gardens.