Edgewood' is situated in the town of Exton, 35 miles west of Philadelphia, in SE Pennsylvania in the NE USA. The garden, which is approximately 1.6 acres in area, is situated just below the ridge-line on the northern side of the Great Valley, 300 feet above the valley floor and 700 feet above sea level. With perfect drainage, a southerly aspect and shelter from the worst of the prevailing winds, the garden is ideally situated to push the hardiness limits of many plants that would traditionally be considered impossible to grow here. The entire garden is enclosed by an 8 feet tall deer fence, including a driveway gate, without which nature's cute treasures would totally destroy everything. The soil is slightly acid and very rocky in places. The garden is traversed by a 40 degree slope around 400 feet in length and 100ft deep.
The acre at top of the garden is 75 feet above the house, and like most of 'the hill', is native deciduous woodland. Although the soil is generally sandy, moisture retention is good and, in a wet winter, seepage can be seen in a number of places at the base of the slope. With the exception of the raised beds along the driveway and around the house, none of the soil has been modified.
Exton is n USDA zone 6b, winter minimum temperatures have reached -5ºF (-20ºC); summer maximum is over 100ºF (38ºC). Humidity is generally low from late fall to late spring/early summer but is very high in July and August, often accompanying temperatures in the 90-100ºF (32-38ºC) range. Much of the winter passes without snow cover, a total depth of around 24" falling in a normal winter. Weather systems come and go very quickly and the number of days with abundant sunshine is high, generally 4 or 5 a week. Four well defined seasons is the norm, fall colors are spectacular and the growing season is very long, generally from late February through November. Trees and shrubs appreciate the long hot growing season and flower abundantly. Leaf fall is something to behold and provides a couple of weekends hard work each November, but the resulting shredded leaves make a wonderful mulch.
The garden provides a wide variety of microhabitats ranging from shady deciduous woodland to deep sand beds in full sun. Some supplemental water is given when conditions demand, via overnight soaking from sprinklers.
An overview of Edgewood Gardens with larger annotated images showing the different areas of the garden can be found by clicking on the Edgewood Gardens Overview album.