The Tyler Formal Gardens are the public gardens of Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA.
Like the Henry Schmieder Arboretum, these gardens are open and free to the public to explore year-round. Unlike the gardens at Del Val, these gardens began as the gardens of a residence , that was later turned into Bucks County Community College and public garden space.
This formal garden features multiple levels or formal displays and the art work of Stella Tyler, the owner of the home and an avid gardener herself.
Though I went to school not far from here and worked in the area for a couple of years, I had not been to this garden before.
The formality and the artwork surprised me. You must walk past the front of the mansion and wend your way to the back where you turn a corner in a stone wall and are greeted with the bubbling of fountains and immediately find a number of sculptures framed by formal hedges of boxwood.
I instantly fell in love with the art work ands it’s placement throughout the gardens. I always love a place where you can get up close to the art and touch it.
The sculptures in this garden inspired me and caused me to pause in the gardens, examining the sculptures and their use and contribution in the space. I think all gardens should include art – to me it is a way of reminder people that horticulture is not just something you do after your visit to a big box store on a Sunday morning. Horticulture is an art in and of itself, the most accessible combination of art and science.
These sculptures in these spaces remind me of the art in the science and the science in the art. Without the surrounding gardens the sculptures and gardens each would be the same but the effect much different.
My favorite part of the gardens was posted with the most ominous of signs:
This property used to be called Indian Council Rock because local Indian tribes would hold counsel on the cliffs above the Neshaminy Creek in this area. You can follow the direction of the Native American chief’s pointing finger and find a trail that snakes around a metal gate underneath the caution sign and down on to the cliff and rocks above the Neshaminy. It is quite a view and a lovely place for a rest. The rugged cliffs, the bubbling creek and the dark woods are a welcome relief to the rigid formality of the rest of the gardens.