News & Events

Henry Gardens are ablaze with color, surprises

Every day this Spring, it seems, The Henry Botanic Garden comes alive anew with magnificent plants.

As Matthew Ross, the Director of Continuing Education at Longwood Gardens, puts it: “This is one of the most incredible collections of botanical curiosities. So many specimens at the Henry are from the plant collection of Mary Henry!!!”

Here is Henry Botanic Garden President Susan Treadway’s take on the bloom timing this year.

“The Camassias in the Rock Garden are spectacular. Never have I seen so many. As are the Halesia Diptera v. Magniflora. Plus the “Texas” halesia. Aesculus is blooming all over! And Magnolia fraseri have prospered in the Southern Garden.”

Message from the President

We’ve had a tremendous response to our on-line plant sale. So many of our members have written special notes of thanks, and we’ve had eager renewals and a few new members. All the plant sale deliveries have taken place even in the midst of what seemed like gale-force winds, and the plants look fabulous. Even the tomato plants are responding well to their reclaimed greenhouse space.

Of particular note is a letter + donation from a past visitor who wrote with effusive praise for the decision to hire Henry Ortmeyer as curator for this “magical place.”

It’s been an astoundingly beautiful spring with some extraordinary blooms – gorgeous purple phlox, I think a self-sown Trillium catesbei, & a phlox I’ve never seen. Even some day-lilies MGH named “Port”.

This week’s video features a walk around the area where Mary Henry’s writing cabin is situated. We also visit with curator Henry Ortmeyer as he conducts a plant survey and census.

Enjoy the film and bests regards,

Susan Treadway

How to get your Henry Spring sale plants


Because of the current pandemic, the Henry Spring Plant sale will have a different format this year.

While our sale will offer the same great, garden-worthy plants we had planned to sell to you in person, you will not be able to browse the collection at the Henry Foundation. The sale catalog will be accessible only from our website, along with an order form.

Review the catalog, make your selections by filling out the order form and then print and mail the order form to Henry Foundation, P.O. Box 7, Gladwyne, PA 19035. Keep a copy for your records.

Please do not send payment with the form. We will contact you by phone or email when the order has been filled with the total due and to schedule your individual “curbside” pickup to comply with current health safety restrictions. Please have a check payable to Henry Foundation ready to drop off at the time of pickup.

We will do our very best to fill your request. We’ve ordered lots of plants! Priority will be given to current Henry Foundation members at the $100 level and above. Current members will be given preference over non-members. Current  members will receive a 10% discount on plant material. Renew your membership or join on our website.

We would like to take this opportunity to make sure we have the most up-to-date contact information on our membership. Please fill out the PLANT SALE ORDER FORM completely.

A message from the President

“What is a garden without people?” someone asked recently.

What happens in a garden with sunshine, fresh air, the sounds of birds & wind & rains when no one is looking or listening?

We miss all of you who would under normal circumstances be coming to experience the garden in spring-time.  Each day new flowers open.  Each chance to meander brings opportunities to see & hear & experience something new – a fallen tree, an overflowing creek rippling over rocks,  small hailstones on the greenhouse, self-sown seedlings popping up  sometimes where least expected, all amid the chatter of birds vying for nesting sites & the sight of bees awakening from their winter hives.

As we try to adapt to new protocols, we’ve started a virtual “show & tell” series of walks in & around the garden.  Just as you would if you were visiting, you’ll have a chance to learn about some of the plants here and see some in flower. You might even hear some birds & see some bees.

See you soon,

Susan Treadway

Website Sale Announcement

Repairs on Greenhouse and Portico columns proceed apace

The first phase of the Greenhouse repairs are nearly complete with only cosmetic issues outstanding. Renovators Doug Wolffe and Matt Golas are now looking at restoring the greenhouse entrance facing the terrace, which is in desperate need of attention. The Henry board has agreed that the work should continue on that section. We expect the work to be completed by mid April.  The four Portico columns, which had lost structural integrity due to rot on the bases are being pulled and rebuilt. Two rebuilt columns have been set back in place with pins and the remaining two will be rebuilt and set back in place by the third week of March. The Mary Henry writing cabin exterior work is nearly complete, including structural repairs on the left front corner, new window glass and new steps and a railing system. The interior of the cabin will be restored as a living museum.

First stage of Henry Greenhouse renovation nearly complete

A complete tear-down, rehabilitation and rebuild of the Henry Botanic Garden’s historically significant Lord & Burnham greenhouse is well underway, with a third of the structure re-glassed. With 180 hours of labor logged, Doug Wolffe and Matt Golas to date have replaced 42 panes of plate glass with new tempered glass, restored all the cypress framing and aluminum caps to factory fresh condition, rebuilt the vent windows and primed and painted and glazed the interior and exterior portions of the structure. The arduous work requires the skills of a carpenter, glazier, mason, welder, sheet-metal worker, plumber and electrician. Accompanying photos show the greenhouse section prior to the rebuilding as well as portions that remain to be addressed.



2019-2020 Winter work: Mary Henry cabin rebuild under way, barn doors and wall redone, dead trees removed, back porch entrance rehab started

In late 2019, Doug Wolffe and Matt Golas shored up the Mary Henry cabin. We are happy to report that after the structure was stabilized under the entrance, all other engineering aspects passed muster. Broken windows were also replaced and parts of the siding that have insect damage will be replaced in 2020.

In the Fall of 2019, Highline Construction replaced the failing siding and main door material on the barn. The firm also shored up the structural support on west facing side of the barn and rehabbed that concrete aspects of the barn floor.

Also in the Fall of 2019, John B. Ward and Co. removed two dangerous trees over the driveway, a 100-year-old Hickory and a 60-year-old Cherry. The foundation thanks the Wards for their generous work.

In the Winter of 2019, Mack Oil Co. put a new, energy efficient heating system in the cottage that is attached to the barn.

In conjunction with the greenhouse renovation, Doug and Matt are also rehabbing the patio porch supports and gable on the east facing side of the house.

Lastly, the iconic Mary Henry Jeep is now back in service thanks to the repair skills of Billy Wolffe.