In 1969, A.C. and Penney Hubbard had no inkling that the garden they would create at their home north of Baltimore would become recognized as one of the finest in Maryland. 

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Welcome to our News from On Walnut Hill

Welcome to the blog by Penney and Kathy. On it we will write about events around the book and in the Hubbard garden. We’ll pass on some advice and share stories of interesting gardens and garden people as well as the good, bad and ugly in the plant world.

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Seeds Sown Early

On a recent trip to Longwood Gardens, my sister and I went with her goddaughter and family. We thought of our early trips to the rose gardens there with our parents and grandmother. Never would we have imagined we’d end up as gardeners ourselves or repeat trips with the next generation. At Longwood I thought […]


Fall Cleanup?

While our goal used to be leaf-free by Christmas, we’ve come to do much less fall cleanup. We now do one leaf gathering before Thanksgiving and let the remaining leaves (there are plenty of latecomers) rest on the beds until spring. This way we have minimal disruption and, as new growth emerges, we remove […]


Hortus Club of New York

Few things invigorate on a 96-degree Baltimore day. Our garden being the first stop on the three-day summer expedition of the prestigious Hortus Club of New York did just that. With membership limited to 30 horticulturalists from the finest nurseries, botanical gardens, arboretums, and universities in New York, the level of experience and knowledge among […]


In Praise of Hoses

In the 1990s, when our hillside was terraced and the gardens were transformed, no automatic irrigation system was installed. We made that decision, because sprinkler systems need frequent monitoring and maintenance. We were concerned that when we travelled, an automatic system might malfunction and flood the new gardens. Plants can drown where puddles form. Too […]


Tour Givers’ Holiday

We hosted our last spring garden tour this week. After a full schedule of tours on Walnut Hill, we took one ourselves. Kathy leads bus trips to private gardens twice a year for the Kaleidoscope program of Roland Park Country School. A recent one included two Baltimore County gardens Penney had never seen, and one […]


Glenn Dale Azaleas

We’ve had another full spring season of garden tours. Every group brings enthusiastic gardeners and plant nuts like us. A bonus for us is learning something new each time. Recently, with the Roslyn Garden Club came the esteemed Alan Summers. Summers is the former owner of the still-missed Carroll Gardens in Westminster, MD and longtime […]

 On Walnut Hill

Our Intuitive Davidia

As if it knew that the annual meeting of the Garden Club of America were beginning in Baltimore this week, the Davidia involucrata (dove tree or handkerchief tree) has bloomed for the second time since it was planted. Welcome, GCA! We look forward to seeing about 30 delegates in our garden the day before meetings […]

 On Walnut Hill

Emerging Spring

After some false starts – high 70-degree days followed by snow and freezing temperatures – spring seems to have arrived for good. We’re still riding a weather roller coaster, but no frost is in the forecast. An 80-degree Saturday has brought more color to the brown landscape. All over town pink tulle skirts on Yoshino […]


Fruitful Florida

Photo credit: Mary K. Shaughnessy Our trip to the Sunshine State exceeded our expectations. Southern hospitality reigned from Wellington to Delray. We encountered no rain or humidity, just breezy, warm weather. Our second spring book tour built on the momentum of last year’s trip to Charleston, and a year of more talks and tours of […]


Yellow Signals Spring

It’s only the first of March, but spring has arrived on Walnut Hill. After 70-plus degree temperatures in February and a fast sequence of opening Galanthus and Helleborus, more blooms opened this week. We now have color front to back. The Edgworthia chrysantha by the kitchen window dangles satiny, white lanterns with blue Vinca minor […]

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