Hello world!

Hello World! I’m Sandi Crabtree the owner of Crabtree Gardens, LLC and Cottage at Crabtree Gardens Guest House in Drums, PA.

I’m a gardener!  I garden as much as I can whenever I can.  It’s what I do.  It makes me happy and that’s what life is all about. I have been doing what I love (gardening) for over 30 years.  I have a Certificate in Garden and Interior Design from Inchbald School of Design, UK.  I love to design and decorate, faux paint, sew, cook and do anything else that requires creativity.

March 2007 Farm House

I am also the wife of a wonderful man named David and we are married for 10 years.  David and I live on a 5 acre property in an old farm-house that we purchased in really poor condition (to say the least), and we have been “working on it” for 5 years.  It seems like we’ll never get done.  We are both avid DIY’ers,  but hire out many things that we know we can’t do.

October 2007 after 7 months working on gardens in front

Most days we enjoy the process, but sometimes it can get overwhelming.  We joke with each other about living in a “reality show” here because people don’t believe what we do and how we work around things that happen to us.

March 2007 Farm House Rear Side

We didn’t plan on living in the house when we bought it, we purchased the property for the land.  We originally were going to use the home for sales building when we opened our plant nursery, as was our original intention.

October 2007 Farm House with new roof, patio doors, shroud of giant yews removed

But we were very naive on this home sale, even though we sold others in the past.  The bank told us that we had to “occupy” the property because of it having been a Fannie Mae foreclosure or we would have lost a $10K down payment, something we could definitely not afford to throw away.

March 2007 Farm House Side Front
Could not see out the front porch windows

Had we known that at the time we put the money down on the sales agreement, we probably would have chosen not to! We also would have looked at the house through different eyes. We looked at it as a business not a place to live.

October 2007 Farm House cleared of old yews and front gardens planted

But, we believe that things happen for a reason, and we began this tumultuous journey.

March 2007 Farm House Rear

We didn’t have the money to start up our nursery and fix the home at the same time, so of course living here topped the list.

We took out a line of credit on the home that we were living in and began a wild year of gutting the inside of our farm house.  We video recorded much of it and took many photos along the way.

October 2007 Farm House Rear closed porch removed, new walkway laid and rear gardens in process

Sometimes it is just too painful to even see it at it’s worst. I was nearly on the verge of a mental breakdown, and some days I actually gave up.  I’ll post more of the pictures in future blogs.

But thanks to wonderful friends and finding better contractors than we originally hired, we were able to stick it out for five years and continue to make our house and property into something beautiful.

Our business plans were to build a wonderful garden getaway for visitors to see, spend time in and learn from us about the many methods of gardening without the use of any chemicals.

We sold the home we were living in right before the housing market took a nose-dive.  We were really blessed. Then, within two months of us moving into our farm house, our elderly next-door neighbor passed away.

We loved their brick home and thought it would be the perfect place for David’s elderly parents to move into and be closer to us.  We ended up purchasing the home from the family and began another remodel for the parents. We weren’t even done with our own farm-house, but this was more pressing.

Cottage at Crabtree Gardens Guest House

Things didn’t work out as we planned and even though Dave’s parents told us they would move here, they just wouldn’t leave their home.  They decided to stay on the western side of the state.  We just couldn’t understand it at the time,  but as we know, things really do happen for a reason.

So, we decided to use the home we remodeled as a guest house for visitors traveling through our area. We hoped that we would stir up an interest in our unconventional style of gardening.  We are not a typical garden, we use nature as our designer, fertilizer and field hand.  We don’t control the garden, we let it naturalize.

My favorite adage is “Work with her or against her, either way Nature will have her way.” So it is befitting that I named my blog Her Way at Crabtree Gardens.  I’ll get into more detail about what we do and our methods in future posts.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and I hope you bear with me as I learn the blogging process.  I hope I can inspire you to take on new projects and learn to garden the natural way.

August 2012 Farm House Front

August 2012 Farm House Front during new siding installation


About crabtreegardens

I am a passionate decorator and the head gardener at Crabtree Gardens, LLC, which is a five acre naturalized garden located in Drums, PA. I advocate chemical-free, low maintenance gardening methods and working along with nature. I'm a freelance garden writer and member of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.
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