Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) Blooming at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve

I have toured many botanic gardens in my travels, but my all-time favorite place to visit is Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve (BHWP), and I made one of my regular visits there yesterday.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve’s 134-acre site features nearly 800 species of Pennsylvania native trees, shrubs, ferns, vines and herbaceous perennial wildflowers. The collection includes more than 80 native species designated as Plants of Special Concern in Pennsylvania, including rare, endangered and threatened plants.

Iris cristata in bloom

Visiting Bowman’s Hill is like going to the library. Here I can see my local native plants in their natural habitat, growing alongside plants with which they are compatible.

I always carry a notebook with me when I visit so that I can make note of the different species that work well together. This makes it quite easy to determine the best combinations of plants for my own garden.

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) blooming along side Shooting Stars

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is an amazing haven for wildlife, and as such is an excellent example of what a wildlife garden can be.  Birdsong fills the woods and butterflies flit among the flowers, so for me my binoculars and camera are essential tools as well.

Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhododendrum periclymenoides)

I get so many ideas for plants I’d like to add to my own garden from each visit to this magical place.

The preserve has a docent-led wildflower walk every afternoon, and much of my knowledge about native plants has come from attending these walks. These volunteers have a vast amount of knowledge of these plants: when they bloom, what their uses are, how to grow them, and more.

So next time you’re visiting Bucks County Pennsylvania near New Hope, make sure you take the time to visit Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. You will be amazed!

Ladyslipper Orchid at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve

Don’t miss  part 2 of my visit to Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.

Special thanks to Beverly Auvril, a landscape designer of bird and butterfly habitat gardens, and a volunteer at BHWP who saved my bacon by lending me batteries for my camera. I would have been completely heartbroken if I had arrived at the stand of Ladyslipper Orchids only to have my camera batteries die at that moment, and I had left my house without a set of spare batteries. Thank you, Beverly!


  1. debra dalessandro says

    Such a great reminder to get out and find the local preserves, especially ones like Bowman that are so carefully managed and well interpreted.

    • says

      You’re right, Debra, local preserves are usually funded on a shoe-string and we can help a lot by visiting and supporting them. Plus, this one is a true gem and doing such amazing work :)

  2. Patrick Lantz says

    Back in the early 1950s the Pennsylvania Forestry Assoc. and you dedicated a 7 + acre area of the Garden to a demo forest, for educational purposes of varied means of growth, etc. May I ask, How is it coming? Please respond, irregardless of the situation.
    Thanks for your effort.
    Pat Lantz

  3. Terri Harmon Anderson says

    I thank you all tremendously for the information you have on the Endangered Lady Slipper Orchids. For 10 years I have had two
    growing (pink), in the wooded area of my property. I knew they were very rare; so I let them grow just where I found them and
    have enjoyed their blooms for a very long time. Until today, I knew very little to nothing about these beautiful creations from God. As I do not tamper with them, they always pop up each Spring (as they are right now) with gorgeous blooms in which I treasure.

    Thanks for your enlightening information,
    Terri H. Anderson


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