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.