swiss pines november, 2018

I always read about Swiss Pines and the magical gardens before I moved to Chester County but I never realized where it was located until I lived out here a while.

Where it is— where it lies in ruins is along Charlestown Road.

I am really bummed out that I will probably never ever get to see the gardens and that they will probably just continue to rot into oblivion.

I actually wrote about Swiss Pines before. Why it has always interested me was because of the wonderful Japanese woodland gardens.

My personal gardens have so much of a shade garden and woodland garden component to it here in Chester County, that Swiss Pines is exactly the kind of place I would love to explore to learn what they did. Gardens like this are always inspiring.

But I am losing hope that the gardens will ever be restored and re-opened. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. My fear is someday it will all just be bulldozed under for more development.

Today when we drove by, the bamboo seemed larger and more oppressive than usual. (It can get really tricky on Charlestown Road in front of those gardens especially as we go in the winter because something is always falling into the road.)

Even in their state of ruin, the gardens of Swiss Pines still beckon. When you drive by you catch little glimpses of what lies on the other side of the bamboo. Remnants of paths and little footbridges, Japanese garden ornaments. Way overgrown plantings.

I think Swiss Pines is a treasure. Right now, it remains a tantalizing mystery disappearing into the overgrowth.

5 thoughts on “swiss pines november, 2018

  1. The entire property is under conservation easement. Henriette died earlier this year and there are some younger folks in charge now. I have heard that there is a lot of work under way. Don’t give up yet.

  2. Hello, I’m the grandson of Carl Shindle who built this property, last we heard the place had been seized by people I’m not too familiar with. From my understanding of Henriette’s will, this place is in some sort of preservation deal with the local township. Hopefully the place is treated as she “originally” wanted, but from these pictures there’s obviously alot of work to be done and the current owners do not seem to have any interest in letting remaining family members help them in this process. I do have photos and stories of this place in its glory day!

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