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Summer 2016

Landscape Architecture • Sustainable Music

Growing Scented Herbs • Handcrafted Furniture

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MONTCO Issue 2, Volume 2














The project unveils itself as one walks through it while statues, urns and other artifacts of interest continue to draw the eye and stimulate the senses


Five area building firms have hand selected their top projects to inspire homeowners


In Chestnut Hill the sounds of jazz mingle with the refined taste of French cooking at the Paris Bistro and Jazz Café


On the Cover

“Pennypacker in July,” by Jennifer Hansen Rolli depicts Pennypacker Mills in Perkiomen Township near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania on the shore of the Perkiomen Creek.



Publisher William N. Waite

Associate Publisher Frank Boyd Executive Editor Bob Waite

Art Direction BCM MEDIA CO., INC.

Advertising Director Vicky M. Waite Administration Melissa Kutalek

Calendar Editor Mary Beth Schwartz

Cover Artist Jennifer Hansen Rolli



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Contributing Writers Beth Buxbaum, John Cella, Patti Guthrie, Lew Larason, Frank Quattrone, Lori Pelkowski, Mary Beth Schwartz, Bob Waite, Vicky Waite Circulation BCM MEDIA Co., INC.

Contributing Photographers Jess Graves, Melissa Kutalek, Glenn Race, Paul Wesley Account Executives Frank Boyd, Lisa Bridge, Kathy Driver, Lisa Kruse

MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, 309 W. Armstrong Drive, Fountainville, PA 18923, phone 215-766-2694 • Fax 215-766-8197. www.montcomag.com. Published quarterly by BCM Media Company Inc., Fountainville, PA. All contents copyright by BCM Media Company DBA/Montco Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published quarterly. Four-issue subscription for U.S. is $15.95, in Canada $35.00, U.S. dollars only. Standard postage paid at Lancaster, PA. Single-copy price is $4.95 plus $3.00 postage and handling. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, PO BOX 36, Morrisville, PA 19067. This magazine welcomes, but cannot be responsible for, manuscripts and photos unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope.


From the Editor

ilm noir is my favorite movie genre, not so much that I like the cynical detectives and the femme fatales, but because I like the sonorous horns that play softly while the detective is driving and thinking out loud and the juxtaposed loud sounds, dissonant and demanding, that forebode danger. I remember being transfixed by this music as a young boy watching old movies in black and white with my parents. The music, I later found out, was called jazz. Jazz, touted as America’s greatest contribution to music and to the arts in general, is now playing in Chestnut Hill, just over the Montgomery County line. Paris Bistro & Jazz Café is the subject of an article by Diana Cercone, where she writes about the connections between this club and jazz in Philadelphia. Also we get to peek into the bistro kitchen of Chef Al Paris, who is one of the area’s star chefs. So if jazz is on the entertainment menu of the Summer 2016 issue of MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle, than more material arts are on the home and garden menu. Builders are the focus of “Building the Future,” an article by Mary Beth Schwartz about current trends in home building which also takes a look at five projects by five builders. Landscaping is another art that is on display in the Summer 2016 issue. Beth Buxbaum writes about how landscape architect Charles Hess oversaw the sevenyear landscaping project at a large estate known as Buttonwood. This project’s goal was to present a visual feast to surround the beautiful Tudor mansion that sat on the property. The story is illustrated by 12 pages of vivid color photographs that bring to life this mammoth landscaping project. In the Summer 2016 issue we also profile musicians Debra Lee and Rick Denzien who live a sustainable life and through song inspire others to do the same. We also profile a jewelry and wearable art craftsperson, Kay Brant whose designs and style are unusual and interesting. Our featured artist is Sun Young Kang, whose installation art reflects an important movement within postmodern art. The art, its development and attendant philosophical underpinnings are elucidated by our art critic John Cella. In our current issue, we also feature two area restaurants, an article about growing scented herbs, a look into furniture styles, sustainable landscapes and events throughout the county.

Surviving Cancer

In Style

Jude Plum, with cancer

survivor Kristin D., shown wearing her wig.

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… this druzy and leather tassel necklace by a local artisan represents one of the two hottest trends in jewelry, the layered look and funky tassels. A great selection of both trends are available at Artisans 3 Gallery, 901 North Bethlehem Pike, Spring House PA;215-643-4504; www.arti sansthreegallery.com.


… this High Post Bed is a beautiful combination of traditional and contemporary styles. The posts are turned solid cherry wood with a light white wash then lightly sanded so the distinctive cut on our century old lathe shows through. Available at Bradford Woodworking, 3120 Fisher Rd., Lansdale, PA; 610-584-1150; www.bradfordwoodworking.com.



… custom frames made from an assortment of interesting materials and colors. Competitive pricing, personalized service and great selection at Romeo's Fine Arts, located at the Allen-Forge Shopping, 850 S. Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA; 215-362-7244; www.romeos.com. 8


… this ceramic cup is an example of summer pottery by Nicole Dubrow at Black Sheep Pottery. Art & Design for home, garden, table and special occasions. Visit the studio, school and shop, located at 4038 Skippack Pike near Hotel Fiesole, Skippack Village, PA; 610-584-5877; www.blacksheeppottery.org.



… this Italian ceramic vase would bless any room in your home. Via Bellissima imports quality hand-made, hand-painted ceramics directly from factories of esteemed master craftsmen of Italy. Custom bridal registries, luxe home décor & unforgettable gifts. Bellissima is located at 853 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA; 610-581-7414; www.viabellissima.com.

… is an upscale black strapless top for you? Are you looking for the perfect jean, perfect shoe, perfect belt or accessory? You'll love the upscale, edgy women's clothing in this unique boutique—Chickie’s Daughter 2, located 901 N. Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, PA; 215-628-2277; www.chickiesdaughter.com. .



… relax after a long day at work soaking in this luxurious Nordic hot tub. Visit Royal Billiard, which has over thirty years of hot tub knowledge, at 2622 Bethlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA; 215-997; www. royal billiard.com.

… consider an “energy stone” that reflects a personality trait that defines her unique spirit. The meanings behind these types of rocks make for a thoughtful gift that’s sure to be a star. Lalitpur, Nepal has been called “the city of fine arts” because the exceptional skills in this region have been passed down through generations of craftspeople. These beautiful wearable pieces of art are available at Ten Thousand Villages, Souderton Center, 781 Route 113 (Souderton Road), Souderton; PA; 215-723-1221; www.tenthousandvillages.com. SUMMER 2016



What’s happening in Montgomery County

Closet City Wins National Award


hat began as a large, newly constructed empty space, morphed into a her-and-his dressing room/walk-in closet—and earned Closet City national recognition for the second year in a row. Closet City’s project was entered as a “Dream Dressing Room” by their lead design consultant, Janet Stevenson, and earned them an award in the Closet: Wood over 18 linear feet category. Stevenson says, “I was given the challenge of working on a project where the homeowners had gutted and opened up a number of small rooms while modifying two master bathrooms. They wanted to incorporate all of the new open space into their “Dream Dressing Room.” I say it was a “challenge” because of the unusual configuration of the open space, along with multiple openings, multiple windows and doors, and a floor plan that was unusually shaped. The client’s request was for us to create a transition between a hers-andhis-space seamlessly, and they wanted the most elegant feel when completed. As world travelers, my clients are used to the

best, and had an abundance of personal items to be stored. They wanted minimal exposed or open storage, and the feeling of “enclosed” even while open. They wanted interesting and tastefully elegant.” In addition to the Top Shelf Design Award, this project was also entered in and won a local design contest – BucksMont NARI’s “2016 Contractor of the Year” award in the Interior Design/Space Planning category. Closet City Ltd is located at 619 Bethlehem Pike (Route 309), Montgomeryville, PA 18936; 215-855-4400; www.closetcity.com.

Full Service Landscaping




ezzotti Brothers Landscaping & Tree Service offers landscape services for Chester County,Montgomery County and the Main Line. They are a third generation family business located on the Main Line. Expert horticulturists will properly install your landscaping according to the type of plant and local geo-specific needs to ensure beautiful results. Pezzotti Brothers has a complete tree service. Skilled arborists will provide the information and expert care that your project requires. Pezzotti Brothers also create distinctive water gardens with cascading waterfalls and koi ponds, which blend harmoniously with a natural or formal setting. And they are also experts in outdoor lighting, which adds great effects to the house, walkway, and any retaining walls and plantings. And low voltage lights use less electricity compared to traditional floodlights. In addition, Pezzotti Brothers are top of the line hardscapers. They can hardscape your walkways and driveway or add a beautiful pavered patio that can add value to your home and years of outdoor enjoyment of your yard. They also have the ability to maintain a landscape from mulching to edging, shrub pruning, spring and fall clean ups, and all manner of garden care. Pezzotti Brothers Landscaping & Tree Service is located at 920 Swedesford Road, Berwyn, PA; 610-647-1028. For more information visit www.pezzottibros.com.

Philadelphia Folk Festival


hat are you doing the third weekend in August? If you are like thousands of music lovers on the East Coast you head for Upper Salford Township near the bucolic burg of Schwenksville, little more than 35 miles outside of Philadelphia where the legendary Philadelphia Folk Festival transforms a working farm into a magical, musical park. This cherished event is the longest continuously running outdoor music festival of its kind in North America and will celebrate its 55th Anniversary on August 18-21 at the Old

Pool Farm. Known to present superstars and rising stars alike, plans for this year’s summertime extravaganza are well underway. The Philadelphia Folk Festival is a perfect family event, too, with puppeteers, jugglers, storytellers, hands-on crafts and kid-oriented musicians. Children up to 11 are admitted free to the concert area. Older kids, 12 to 17, are eligible for the special half-priced youth ticket when accompanied by an adult. For more information and tickets, call 800-556-FOLK or visit www.folkfest.org.

Stone Veneer


andis Block and Concrete provides stone veneer that is created by master craftsmen who select the best textures, sizes and shapes from the finest natural stones. Stone veneer products replicate natural stone so accurately that they withstand the closest examination. However, a wall of stone veneer costs much less than full-thickness natural stone because it’s much easier to install. You have the choice varieties of stone. Cultured Stone® veneer is sized and shaped for quick, easy installation and is so light in weight that it needs no additional foundation or support. Textures and colors come in several distinct series. Quarry cut stone is cut from some of the area’s most popular fieldstone and ledgestone. Quarry Cut Stone is sized and shaped to be installed as veneers for fireplaces, house fronts, patio walls and applications. Pinnacle proudly produces the finest 100% natural thin stone veneer products available. ProStone® manufactured stone veneer products have the beauty, authenticity and quality you expect from Owens Corning Masonry Products— at an affordable price. Landis Block and Concrete offer 6 textures and 18 colors. Landis Block and Concrete is located at 711 N County Line Road, Souderton, PA. For more information on stone veneer, call 215-723-5506 or visit www.landisbc.com.

The One-Stop-Shop


d Dilello has been in business for over 13 years. Beginning with locations in Schwenksville and Oaks, Pennsylvania, The Trading Post Depot has developed into a wonderful, centrally located one-stop-shop for antiques, primitives, industrial artifacts, architectural items and more. You can even find beautiful, hand-painted signs and art beautifully arranged throughout the shop. Besides being a one-stop-shop for antiques, Ed also creates unique farm tables. Ed is available to help design your custom farm table or unique bar, coffee table or conversation piece. Whether you want well-worn, aged antique barn wood, or your own piece cut from the specimen of your choice, The Trading Post Depot is your source. Our custom farm tables are handcrafted from reclaimed barn wood, chosen by you— right from our own stock pile! There is a virtually unlimited supply of aged barn wood and thick, bark-on slabs of milled wood. The Trading Post Depot is located at 16 E Bridge St, Spring City, PA 19475. It is open Monday through Wednesday 12 to 6 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 6 p.m. For more information, call 484-340-7553 or visit www.tradingpostdepot.co/.

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 11

What to do

Top left, summer kayaking, above right, Woodmere Art Museum Violet Oakley and the Woodward Family through August 28th: below left, Ambler Theater and below right, Philadelphia zoo.

ANTIQUES Renninger’s June 23-25: Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza September 16-17: Antiques Radio Meet September 22-24: Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza 740 Noble Street, Kutztown, PA. 610-6836848; www.renningers.net.

463 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA. 610-269-4040; www.pookandpook.com.


Alderfer Auction June 30: Fine & Decorative Arts Auction July 12: Firearms/Sportsman Auction October 5: Doll Auction 501 Fairgrounds Road, Hatfield, PA. 215393-3000; www.alderferauction.com.

Brandywine River Museum of Art Through September 5: Flowery Thoughts: Ceramic Vases & Floral Ornament at Winter-thur Through November 6: New Terrains: American Paintings from the Richard M. Scaife Bequest July 1-October 9: Get the Picture! Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, PA. 610-388-2700; www.brandywine.org.

Pook & Pook, Inc. October 7-8: Americana

Woodmere Art Museum Through Summer 2016: The Sculpture of



Dina Wind Through July 31: Complete Set Through August 28: The Woodmere Annual: 75th Juried Exhibition, The Condition of Place Through August 28: Violet Oakley and the Woodward Family 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-0476; www.woodmereartmuseum.org. Philadelphia Museum of Art Through July 24: Breaking Ground: Printmaking in the US, 1940-1960 Through September 25: Creative Africa Through November 1: Inside Out June 28-September 5: Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-763-8100;

the Summer of 16 www.philamuseum.org. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Through July 17: Jennifer Coates: Carb Load Through August 7: Alyson Shotz: Plane Weave June 30-September 18: Happiness, Liberty, Life? American Art and Politics June 30-October 16: New Works by Beauharnois, Hobbs, and Martolock August 20-November 17: Fernando Orellana September 21-November 20: Ben Volta: Pattern Process 118-128 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. 215-972-7600; www.pafa.org. Main Line Art Center June-August: Summer Art Camps & Preteen

Studios June 17-July 19: Lilliana Didovic with Nina Radovic June 17-August 22: Phyllis Steinberg July 22-August 22: Jonathan Greene 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA. 610525-0272; www.mainlineart.org. Wayne Art Center June-August: Summer Art Camps 413 Maplewood Avenue, Wayne, PA. 610-688-3553; www.wayneart.org. The Barnes Foundation June 24-August 22: Nari Ward: Sun Splashed October 8-January 9: A Joyful Revelation: The Fauve Paintings of Georges Braque 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 215-278-7000; 300 North




















S E D D E S IGN 610.584.1550 or 215.247.2992


Landcape Architecture 610.584.5941




Latch’s Lane, Merion, PA, 215-278-7350. www.barnesfoundation.org.

October 7-9: Philadelphia, PA Admission. 717-431-8706; www.pacrafts.org.

CR AFT S The 67th Annual Kutztown Folk Festival July 2-10: This festival is the oldest folk life festival in America. Celebrating the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, the event features traditional craft demonstrations by juried American craftsmen, the largest quilt sale in the nation, children’s activities, homemade food, historical reenactments, antiques, and live music. Kutztown Fairgrounds, Route 222 between Allentown and Reading, Kutztown, PA. 888-6746136; www.kutztownfestival.com. The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center July 24-27: Philadelphia Gift Show August 17-23: Interweave Bead Fest September 15-18: Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA. 484-754EXPO; www.phillyexpocenter.com. Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craftsmen Fairs July 30-31: Wilmington, DE

Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen October 29-30: Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Festival Kutztown University O’Pake Fieldhouse, Kutztown, PA. www.rbcrafts.org.

July 14-30: A Midsummer Night’s Dream August 11-27: Pursued by a Bear 2011 Store Road, Skippack, PA. 610-5844005; www.playcrafters.org. The Village Players of Hatboro June 10-25: Incorruptible August 5-13: Faulty Towers 401 Jefferson Avenue, Hatboro, PA. 215675-6774; www.thevillageplayers.com.

EN TE RTA IN M E N T 2016 Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival June 3-August 6: The Little Mermaid June 15-July 3: West Side Story June 22-July 17: Julius Caesar June 27: The Great Divorce July 13-August 7: The Taming of the Shrew July 21-August 7: Blithe Spirit July 27-August 6: Shakespeare for Kids July 27-August 7: Love’s Labour’s Lost August 1: Mike Eldred, Songs of Life and Love De Sales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA. 610-282-WILL; www.pashakespeare.org. Playcrafters of Skippack June 8-June 25: Perfect Wedding

People’s Light & Theatre June 15-July 10: The Harassment of Iris Malloy July 20-August 14: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA. 610-644-3500; www.peopleslight.org. Montgomery Theater June 16-July 10: Chapter Two July 13-17: The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? September 8-October 2: Greater Tuna 124 Main Street, Souderton, PA. 215-7239984; www.montgomerytheater.org. Bucks County Playhouse June 24-July 16: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story


The Trading Post Depot Shop our thousands of anitque and architectural items ...or create your own custom farm table "Master Craftsman, Ed Dilello creates custom farm tables from reclaimed barn wood, industrial carts and other items. Chose from a variety of antiques large and small to decorate your home"

16 E Bridge St, Spring City, PA • Tradingpostdepot.co/ 14


Call for a quote 484-340-7553

July 22-August 13: The Divine Sister August 3-13: The Sound of Music August 19-September 10: Cake Off September 23-October 2: Vocalosity 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. 215-862-2121; www.bcptheater.org.


The Colonial Theatre July 8-10: Blobfest 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. 610917-1228; www.thecolonialtheatre.com. Act II Playhouse July 13-24: Broadway on Butler July 27-August 7: On the Road Again September 6-October 2: Electile Dysfunction 56 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. 215-654-0200; www.act2.org. Methacton Community Theater July 15-23: Peter Pan Shannondell Performing Arts Theater, 10000 Shannondell Boulevard, Audubon, PA. 610-489-6449; www.methactoncommunitytheater.org. Keswick Theatre July 16: Graham Nash August 2: George Thorogood & The Destroyers August 30: Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers September 11: Sinbad 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside, PA. 215-572-7650; www.keswicktheatre.com. Dutch Country Players July 22-August 6: Camelot September 2-17: Nana’s Naughty Knickers 795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA. 215-234-0966; www.dcptheatre.com. Sellersville Theater July 23: The Willis Clan September 25: Herman’s Hermits 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, PA. 215-257-5808; www.st94.com. Musikfest 2016 August 5-14: This popular festival returns to Bethlehem and includes music on several stages, arts and crafts vendors, and concessions. Performers for this year include X Ambassadors, RUN-DMC, Aretha Franklin, Boston, Don Henley, Bush & Chevelle, and Lady Antebellum. Admission. Bethlehem, PA. 610-332-1300; www.musikfest.org.

Bill Dear, Horticulturist • 215.766.8110 PA • 609.919.0050 NJ www.deargarden.com PA LIC #PA063572 - NJ LIC #13VH05607800 SUMMER 2016


E VE NT S Ambler Main Street Ongoing: First Fridays June 17-18: Arts & Music Festival August 6: Dog Days Downtown Ambler August 13: Ambler Bike Race October 1: Oktoberfest 2016 Ambler, PA. 215-646-1000; www.amblermainstreet.org. Events in Lansdale Through November: First Fridays June 25: Beer Tasting Festival September 10: Bike Night October 15: Oktoberfest Lansdale, PA. www.lansdale.org.

Competition & Display September 17-18: Scarecrow Festival Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, PA. 215794-4000; www.peddlersvillage.com. Mount Hope Estate & Winery June 25-26: Celtic Fling & Highland Games July 16: Blues & Brews August-October: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, PA. 717-665-7021; www.parenfaire.com. Pottstown Happenings July 2; August 6; September 3: Classic Car Shows Pottstown, PA. www.pottstown.org.

Peddler’s Village June 23-26: Paris in the Village: French Wine & Food Festival July 2: Red, White, and Blue BBQ Bash Event July 16-17: Bluegrass & Blueberries Festival August 13-14: Peach Festival & Sidewalk Sale August 25-28: Italy in the Village: Italian Wine & Food Festival September 11: Autumn Wedding Show September 12-November 1: Scarecrow

Skippack Village July 4: Parade and Fireworks July 17: Cars & Cigars Skippack, PA. www.bestofskippack.com.

rides. 12 to 6 p.m. Rain date July 17. Lenape Park, Route 152, Perkasie, PA. www.pennridgecommunityday.org. Visiting Chestnut Hill July 10: Petapalooza October 16: Harry Potter Festival 2016 Chestnut Hill Visitor’s Center, 16 East Highland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-6696; www.chestnuthillpa.com. Cheltenham Events August 25: Outdoor Movie Series October 15: Community Harvest Festival 215-887-1000; www.cheltenhamtownship.org. Annual Ukrainian Folk Festival August 28: Enjoy a day of food, music, dancing, arts, and crafts. There also will be a vendors’ grove. 12 to 8 p.m. Admission. Horsham, PA. 215-343-5412.

FA M I LY Annual Pennridge Community Day July 10: This annual fun-packed day begins with awards ceremonies and flag raising. The day also features food vendors, pony rides, children’s activities, live entertainment, games, parades, and amusement

Merrymead Farm Ongoing: Cow milking 3:30-6:30 p.m. July: National Ice Cream Month August: Mum Arrival September: Merrymead Harvest Days

What What’s at’s

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2222 Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA. 610-584-4410; www.merrymead.com. Philadelphia Zoo Ongoing: Visit the nation’s first zoo, complete with over 1,000 animals, many of them endan-gered or rare. 3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-2435254;www.philadelphiazoo.org. Please Touch Museum Ongoing: Visit the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia, where the key word is play. Families can enjoy over a dozen themed exhibits, theater, art, music, special programs, the carousel, and sto-rytime and character appearances. Admission. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA. 215-581-3181; www.pleasetouchmuseum.org. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Through 2016: Drawn to Dinosaurs June 25-January 16: Dinosaurs Unearthed July 5-September 2: Summer Camps 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-299-1000; www.ansp.org. The Franklin Institute Through August 28: Lost Egypt

Through September 5: The Science Behind Pixar 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA. 215-448-1200; www2.fi.edu. Linvilla Orchards June 25: Raspberry Celebration July 9: Blueberry Festival July 23: Sweet Corn and Blackberry Celebration August 6: Peach Festival August 27: Tomato Celebration September 10: Pumpkinland Opens September 17-18: Arts and Music Festival 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA. 610-876-7116; www.linvilla.com.

G A RD E N S Bartram’s Garden Ongoing: Visit this National Historic Landmark and House, circa 1728. The grounds are free and open to the public. Guided tours are available of both the historic garden, as well as the Bartram family home. Don’t miss The Bartram Nursery, complete with native plants and those discovered by the Bartram family. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA. 215-729-5281; www.bartramsgarden.org.

Chanticleer Ongoing: A 35-acre pleasure garden open to the public. The garden is a study of textures and forms, where foliage trumps flowers, the gardeners lead the design, and even the drinking fountains are sculptural. Educational programs are offered year round. 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA. 610-687-4163; www.chanticleergarden.org. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Ongoing: Open Guided Tours Through October: Garden Railway Display June 19: Grist Mill Demonstration Day June 19: Insider Art Show and Sale June 25: Small Trees Tour Admission. 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-5777; www.morrisarboretum.org. The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College June 19: Wellness Walk June 22: Evening Highlights Tour June 29: Woody Plant Conference July 13: Carnivorous Plants Mini Garden Workshop September 25: Scott Associates Garden Day


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Admission. 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA. 610-328-8025; www.scottarboretum.org. Jenkins Arboretum July 16: Delaware Valley Iris Society Show 631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, PA. 610647-8870; www.jenkinsarboretum.org.

HIS TO RY Pennypacker Mills Through January 31, 2017: Samuel W. Pennypacker 1843-1916 His Living Legacy June 25: Vintage Baseball at its Best July 17: Victorian Tea: Meet Theodore Roosevelt August 6: In the Good Old Summertime August 16-19: History Adventures in the Summer September 7-9: Senior Socials September 17: Craft Marketplace by Friends of Pennypacker Mills September 25: Victorian Tea: Edwardian Etiquette 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA. 610-287-9349; www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills. Mennonite Heritage Center Through November 2: Guests on the Land: Photography by Nicolas Bowen June 18: Paper Marbling Workshop July 9: Weave an Alpaca Scarf July 21-23: Used Book Sale August 27: Intermediate Spinning Workshop 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA. 215-256-3020; www.mhep.org. Bryn Athyn Historic District Through October 16: A Hill of Unity: The Founding of Bryn Athyn Borough (Glencairn) June 21: Landmarks in Lights (Glencairn, Cairnwood, Bryn Athyn) Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA. www.bahistoricdistrict.org.

Choose from an incredible selection of beautiful Cutting Boards for gift giving or order a custom one for yourself. Call for store hours

3004 Skippack Pike Worcester, PA * 610.584.5559 18


Graeme Park June 18: Evening at Graeme Park October 5: Lunch and Learn Admission. 859 County Line Road, Horsham, PA. 215-343-0965; www.graemepark.org. The Highlands Mansion & Gardens June 18: New Orleans Garden Fete October 15: Highlands History Day 7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, PA. 215-641-2687; www.highlandshistorical.org.

Hope Lodge June 19; July 17; August 21; September 18: Mansion Tours August 10: Whitemarsh Township Movie Night (Rain Date Aug. 11) 553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA. 215-646-1595; www.ushistory.org/hope.

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Award Winning Remodeling Specialists

Peter Wentz Farmstead Society June 27-July 1: Colonial Camp July 8: Reading of the Declaration July 11: Mitte Camp July 25-29; August 1-5: Wentz Wonder Kids Camp 2030 Shearer Road, Worcester, PA. 610584-5104; www.peterwentzfarmsteadsociety.org. Valley Forge National Historical Park July 4: Community Picnic in the Park September 24: National Public Lands Day 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA. 610-783-1099; www.valleyforge.org. Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center July 12-August 19: Summer Enrichment Camps 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA. 215-679-3103; www.schwenkfelder.com.

2016 Awards

Pottsgrove Manor July 16: Sewing Workshop: Caps of the Newest Fashions August 7-28: Living History Sundays September 17: Tavern Night at Pottsgrove Manor 100 West King Street, Pottstown, PA. 610-326-4014; www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festival August 12-13: The festival showcases the trades and home skills of the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 18th and 19th centuries. Over 500 costumed volunteers recreate kitchens, parlors, trade shops, and itinerants to bring to life the hands-on skills from the past. Green Lane, PA. 215-234-8953; www.goschenhoppen.org.

NATURE Briar Bush Nature Center June-August: Summer Camps July 6, 13, 20, 27; August 3, 10: Smores Nights at Ardsley Community Center 1212 Edgehill Road, Abington, PA. 215-


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Green Lane Park June 25: Family Fishing Program July 11-15: Camp Salamander 2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane, PA. 215234-4528; www.montcopa.org.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary June 25: Spectacular Spiders June 27-30; July 12-14, 18-22: Raptor Adventure Camps July 23: Life Drawing on the Mountain August 15-December 15: Autumn Hawk Watch September 17: Fall Native Plant Sale September 24: Monarchs Up Close 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA. 610-756-6961; www.hawkmountain.org.

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Norristown Farm Park June 25: Fireflies: Nature’s Fireworks June 29: Incredible Insects July 11-15: Junior Naturalist Camp 2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown, PA. 610-270-0215; www.montcopa.org. Upper Schuylkill Valley Park June 25: Reptile and Amphibian Jubilee 1615 Black Rock Road, Royersford, PA. 610-948-5170; www.montcopa.org. Riverbend Environmental Education Center June 26: A Walk in the Watershed July 9-10; August 13-14: Family Camp Out July 30: BeeKeeping and Honey Festival with Harriton House July 31; September 25: Our Table, Our Planet September 17: Nature’s Pantry 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA. 610-527-5234; www.riverbendeec.org. Lorimer Park July 18-22: Junior Naturalist Camp 183 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA. 215-947-3477; www.montcopa.org. Great Valley Nature Center July 31: Great Valley Raptor Run at Warwick County Park in Pottstown 4251 State Road, Devault, PA. 610-9359777; www.gvnc.org. To have your event featured in this magazine or online email Calendar Editor Mary Beth Schwartz: marybeth_schwartz@yahoo.com. Visit www.montcomag.com for a complete listing of events and our latest information.


Distinctively Found and Made Kay Bryant sees beauty in materials that she finds and this beauty shines through in all her jewelry, accessories and wearable art –by Lew Larason

Photo: Paul Wesley


I GREW UP IN AMBLER, ONE OF SIX CHILDREN,” said Kay Bryant. “Our parents were very frugal. So, we learned to save and make a lot of the things we wanted. For instance, I was using a sewing machine when I was very young. If I wanted something in the latest fashion, I designed and made it myself.” In the 1980s, her interest and talent led to her starting a small business creating wedding dresses. After a few years, she was designing and making wearable art. Using fabrics mostly found at local markets and money-making events such as 4-H sales, she was creating vests, jackets, scarves and so on from a variety of material, most very colorful and using vintage fabric when she could find it. This led to her producing a line of handbags and jewelry. Her work area is about 300 square feet, with much of the space taken up by a large worktable and sewing equipment, along with racks holding her wearable art. Surrounded by this colorful maze, there’s a smaller work table that is well lit. It has lots of containers stacked on it and SUMMER 2016


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near by. These are color coordinated and full of items that will be incorporated into the jewelry for which she’s known. As Kay said, “Every woman can use an extra handbag or necklace to go with a special outfit.” Her handbags are made from a variety of fabrics. Since many of her wearables have an Asian flair, some of the handbags have chopsticks for handles. All of her jewelry is very creative, each piece distinctive. Along with found items, she crafts many of the components she uses to decorate her necklaces and earrings. For instance, she takes polymer clay in thin layers of different colors and then presses three or four thin sheets together. She next cuts out interesting shapes from these “piles” of clay. Once she has crafted some forms and designs she likes, she bakes them in a 265-degree oven, doing several items at one time. She likes to point out, “I have no rules when it comes to designs. I decide on the color of my mood and set out those colors. I don’t know what else I’m going to add when I start. I might use a found key, a sea shell, a pretty stone or beads.” She sees beauty in most things, saying, “I’m a very visual person.” Kay makes her own molding clay from a two-part epoxy material. Once the clay is ready, she uses it to cast interesting designs she likes, saying, “I find lots of things to cast,” as she showed a small elephant she had cast from a toy. It now is a pendant for one of her necklaces. “I used the bottom of a vase to make this,” she said, pointing to another pendant. Each of her necklaces is a one-of-akind. They may have only one element like shells or just beads. Or, they could consist of beads of many sizes, cloth, origami and a pendant of clay. All of this is dependant upon how she feels and what she thinks go together at the moment. Each is a unique, artistic creation. In each of the clear containers on and around her worktable, Kay has a great assortment of necklace and earring parts, all of it very brightly colored. Although she makes most of the components for

her jewelry, she also buys some, including coral and several different sizes, shapes, and colors of pre-made beads of glass and other materials. “I use no precious stones or metals. I like to keep things simple,� she said. Another material she uses is origami paper. She rolls a sheet into a tight log and then cuts it into small sections. She may use these pieces in a necklace, sometimes with other items or only by themselves as a strand of the origami. These go well with her wearable garments or a summer dress. She strings her necklaces on beading wire with crimped ends. When she crafts earrings, they have some of the same components as in her necklaces. When she’s set up at shows, she displays her necklaces and earrings on the same board. Each board is made to hold a single necklace and one pair of earrings that she feels go well together. However, her items may be mixed and matched since they work together easily. Kay Bryant Design items are on permanent display at the Pearl Buck House in Bucks County. This summer she’s set up at the Antietam Valley Farmers and Artists market at historic Carsonia Park in Reading. She also shows her wares at some local farmers markets, crafts fairs, art shows and festivals. Being in the retail business seems to be in her blood. When she was young, her mother and sister had a shop in Ambler called Creative Things. She said, “I used to hang out there all of the time.� She explained that her entire family is creative with sewing, woodworking and so on. She’s had her present business since 2005. She likes what she’s doing, saying, “I don’t do this because I have to. I do it because I love to.� To see some of her “wearable art� and jewelry, go to her website, www.kaybryant design.webs.com. Also, you can email her at cbryant3615@comcast.net or call her at 610-275-4745 to find out where she will be showing her creations next. Lew Larason is a freelance writer who specializes in antiques and furniture.


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Sun Young Kang Visualizing invisibility and playing with opposite ideas are part of a conceptual backdrop to the installation art of Sun Young Kang - by John Cella

24 M O N T C O M A G . C O M


I PART THE CURTAINS AND ENTER A VERY DARK space. I am not prepared for the almost celestial environment that I am now inhabiting. At first I am unsure what I am seeing. Various size mushrooms, or are they white pebbles, floating in the air? As I walk or move my hands, various portions light up or move again, and shadows appear dancing on the ceiling and walls. One illuminated area in the distance seems to be a cityscape I want to approach and explore. Sun Young Kang utilizes paper to conjure both her large installation and intimate book art. A diminutive, shy, attractive woman, she found her voice in art. This amazing fifteen by eight foot three-dimensional installation which fills one room is In-Between. It was recently displayed at the Main Line Art Center, where as recipient of a 2016 Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art,

Photo: Caitlin Beattie


Ms. Kang received both funding and crucial space which an installation art requires. A book restorer employed fulltime at the Historic Society of Pennsylvania, it took her over a year to create this ethereal structure. It is composed of hundreds of tiny tubes of rolled paper of various lengths and circumferences. Some tubes are capped, adding another visual dimension. “It was painstaking, repetitive work, but I found the repetitiveness to be comforting,” she says. Installation art is a relatively new genre of post-modern contemporary art, involving the configuration or installation of objects in a space, such as a room or warehouse. The arrangement of the material used and the space comprise the artwork, which is usually on display for a temporary time period. It emerged during the 1970s and is associated with conceptual art and is therefore traced back to artists like Marcel Duchamp. It envelops the spectator with light, dark, sound, and air allowing one to walk around in it and

thereby react with it. Paper and the effect of light and shadow are Kang’s mediums in her installations. She uses heavyweight drawing paper which she rolls and glues together. She explains that white paper shows the shadows best. This entire installation is hung about two feet off the floor by invisible strings, actually clear fishing line. Motion sensor lights are hidden underneath on the floor. “I want people to see the whole view and to make the shadows a certain way. If the installation is hung too low or too high, they become fuzzy.” While you can’t touch the shadows, the viewer feels they almost can touch them and feel their weight. The piece was designed so the viewer is between the shadow and the physical structure, between opposites, the physical and the non-physical, the real and the non-real. My primitive mind wonders just how this large, intricate structure was transported from her home studio in suburban Montgomery County to this space.

So I ask her and am amazed to hear that it is composed of twenty-seven separate pieces which were moved separately and then fit together onsite like a large puzzle. A native of Korea, Kang decided to be an artist when she was 12. She studied traditional Korean painting, using ink, pen and brush. Entranced by the beauty of ink on paper, she became a book artist. A strong personal reason underlies her art— the death of her father 17 years ago when she was 22. “It was my first experience of losing someone so close to me. I went to his funeral and his body was lying there in front of me, so close. But I felt a huge distance from him. My mother gravitated towards Buddhism and I found it comforting, although I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist. I began to make art related to death and the Buddhist concept of emptiness. That’s why I create boundaries in my art, to understand what is on the other side, what is invisible. We see the physical thing continued on page 78

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Sustainable Music Energetic and committed to sustainable living, Debra Lee and Rick Denzien have an interesting brand of music that is hard to classify but easy to enjoy –by Patti Guthrie




WE’RE PUTTING MORE OF OUR PASSION FOR sustainability, economy and environmental stewardship into our songs,” Debra Lee said. Rick Denzien, the other half of their duo Lyra Project, added, “We were on our way to a protest in a diesel-powered bus when we suddenly realized we were part of the problem.” Their new song Promised Land has lyrics expressing their frustration with the way things are: “In the land of good and plenty, you can buy your dream if you have the money. You can buy your dreams in the promised land.” These two energetic artists are involved in every aspect of the music industry. They perform, both individually and as a duo, write songs, teach piano, guitar, voice and songwriting, and they mentor others. They also have their own independent record label called Slot-1, with distribution through The Orchard-Sony, and they also have a com-

Photo: Paul Wesley


plete recording studio in their home. In addition Rick produces others’ recordings, along with their own music. Debra and Rick achieved radio airplay and won awards. And they’ve worked with nationally known music figures such as Justin Guarini, R & B gospel singer Jamie Knight, bandleader Paul Shaffer and his drummer Anton Figg. Lyra Project songs like Promised Land are hard to classify. Some call them alternative pop. Rick prefers extreme folk music, “We try to find common ground, unite people. There’s no divide. We’re

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them. And they’re us. It’s about starting conversations.” Debra grew up in Quakertown, “I started playing the piano at age four, picking out nursery rhymes.” She earned her B.A. at West Chester University studying music and piano pedagogy and is accredited to teach vocal as a Voiceworks ™ Associate. Rick is from western New York and received his B.A. in Religion, Philosophy and Psychology from Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester. “I always was playing with tape recorders as a kid,” he said. Early in his teen years, he began trying to learn guitar. “Suddenly I got it! I think being able to play guitar has to do with coordination that many kids don’t

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have until they’re between thirteen and sixteen.” Also, he was part of a music engineering program at Fredonia State College and started a singer/songwriter group, “We were there on weekends and learned together.” He added, “A recording studio ruined one of my master tapes. That’s when I decided to start my own studio.” They met at a gig in 1998. Rick said, “We were at a release party for a compilation CD of various artists I’d produced. Debra was a featured performer that evening and was on stage. Our eyes met. And it was love at first sight.” They’ve been together ever since and in 2001 purchased their home in Ambler. As their passion for sustainability grows, as reflected in their songs, they’ve taken concrete steps to put into practice what their lyrics preach. After that “ah ha” moment on their way to the protest, they bought an electric vehicle and now have a fully functioning charge station on their property. Rick explained, “Anyone with an electric car can visit the website www.plugshare.com to find out where charge stations are located. We’ve had people from all over the country come here to charge their vehicles. While here, they go into town and spend their money on food, shopping or whatever. By setting up charge stations, towns reap the benefits of the electric car industry. It’s a win-win for everyone.” He added, “When we travel, we specifically go to places with charge stations and spend our money locally.” Debra said, “It isn’t difficult to make the change from gas to electric. Most people don’t know how easy it is.” They also converted their furnace from natural gas to electric, initially using an electric oven they purchased from Craig’s List for $25. And, they’re in the process of going solar with panels installed on their roof. They’re active members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International, Debra being the Chapter Coordinator.

She explained, “NSAI is an advocacy organization promoting networking and songwriting through workshops on songwriting and the music business, as well as hosting performing events.” This past May, she and three other women performed at the Wissahickon Library in Blue Bell at the “Singer-Songwriter— Women in Song” concert. They promote their music through “grass roots marketing,” including hosting concerts in their home and performing at others’ house concerts. They recently did a benefit for the Ambler Food Co-op, of which they’re members. And, this June, they opened for headliner IDLEWHEEL, the duo of Craig Bickhardt, #1 Billboard songwriter, and Jack Sundrud of Poco. They call their touring schedule the Drive No Evil Tour. To find out about their upcoming events, you can visit www.ThriveStation.com. The summer and fall schedule is up and includes performances by them with other talented regional and nationally known artists. As Debra and Rick continue using their music to send a message of environmental stewardship, economy and sustainability through the power of our dollars, they have a full plate between making music, teaching, recording and promoting. And, they’re planning to start a singer-songwriter music festival and conference next summer. “We want to take the music into local clubs with six to eight singer-songwriters in each,” said Rick. “We also will offer professional workshops and have veterans available to help ‘newbies’.” Regardless of the festival’s success, one thing is certain: Rick and Debra as Lyra Project will continue making meaningful music together for years. To find our more about these talented artists, visit www.RickDenzien.com, www.DebraLee.com and www.LyraPro ject.com.

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Patti Guthrie is a freelance writer and antiques dealer from Chalfont, PA.



Creating a Visual Feast – by Beth S. Buxbaum –

The project unveils itself as one walks through it while statues, urns and other artifacts of interest continue to draw the eye and stimulate the senses





Above, once the main entrance road to the property, this path was converted to a utility access. To blend this pathway into the landscape, the blacktop was covered in cobblestone and grasses and groupings of ferns, ivy and other ground covers were added. Bottom, a view of the former entrance roadway from a stone wall and walkway. Bottom right, a close-up of the intricately detailed iron entrance gate.



Chuck Hess and his landscape firm worked with a team of artisans to create an entire outdoor space. Peter Zimmerman Architects,


Griffith Construction, Meadowbank Designs and Paragon Landscape Corporation executed this ever-changing and expansive project.

he landscape at Buttonwood blends old with new, traditional with contemporary and rustic with refined. Buttonwood was originally named for a type of tree that was on the property in the early 1900s. The present owner grew up in this Tudor house, then it changed hands and later he repurchased Buttonwood and began to renovate. Along with the interior renovation came the transformation of the landscape. Spanning a seven-year period, the primary goal of the project was to orchestrate a landscape befitting the timeless elegance of the estate it surrounded., Chuck Hess of Hess Landscapes explains that their goal was to create a visual feast from every angle, at any turn, or viewpoint. The project involved a multi-year build-out and intense scrutiny of all design details. Chucks says, “Traditional detailing was utilized to complement the English Tudor architecture, while the infrastructure was modern.” The exterior space would reflect the passions and interest of the owner. To accomplish this, Chuck Hess and his landscape firm worked with a team of artisans to create an entire outdoor space. Peter Zimmerman Architects, Griffith Construction, Meadowbank Designs and Paragon Landscape Corporation executed this ever-changing and expansive project. A decision was made to use materials similar to those used to construct the estate home for a seamless extension to the interior living space. Walls, walkways, patios, and terraces were built with the stone, brick, flagstone and wood native to the property. Using the right materials established harmony between old and new. Understanding how the property functions became an essential step in managing the project's transitions. “As changes were made or unexpected things came up, we spent time making these transitions, continually shaping and re-shaping the property,” Chuck explains. What started with a singular focus became an evolving plan with one project leading to the next. With the owner's purchase of the neighboring property the first major transition in the plan was encountered. Now there was an enhanced area to develop and integrate into the footprint. Chuck and his team relocated the entrance to the property from one end to the other. In doing this, their challenge was to maintain and protect as many




of the existing trees and foliage as possible. “We tried to have a limited amount of impact on the land to preserve the original landscape,” Chuck explains. The former entrance, which was a long uphill drive through the edge of the property, was re-designed. This meandering pathway, covered in blacktop, was converted to a utility access. To blend this pathway into the landscape, the path was covered in cobblestone and grasses and groupings of ferns, ivy and other ground covers were added. new entrance was created that was suitable to the grandeur and grace of the property accented with an intricate gateway and arch. Also located at the entrance is a small art gallery, holding some of the owners collections. “When you enter you know you are entering something that is special and unique,” Chuck adds. Your attention is drawn to the visual enhancements in any direction. “Everything unveils as you walk through it,” Chuck describes. Interspersed throughout the landscape are fountains, statues, urns and other artifacts of interest to continue to draw the eye and stimulate the senses. The formal entrance opens to a crushed stone garden walk that draws you to the front of the estate. A porte-cochere, once a covered carriage entrance leading into a courtyard, was repurposed. “The structure was not wide enough to accommodate most modern-day vehicles,” says Chuck, “and the entire concept did not function in today's world.” Using his creative ingenuity, Chuck transformed the porte-cochere into a walled garden


Top, off the front courtyard stands a stone urn overflowing with a variety of flowering plants. A backdrop is the stone wall with brick inlays. Bottom, extending out from a covered terrace is a formal garden. In the center of the lush green lawn, surrounded by a variety bushes and plantings, is a bronze fountain surrounded by fuchsia impatiens. In the background an inviting spot for lounging under a pavilion with massive stone arches. Opposite, the side of the house with an inviting covered stone terrace with a view of the bronze fountain. MONTCO MAG . COM





entrance. Huge stone urns overflowing with vines and pops of whites and lavender florals embellish the entry. Stretched on each side of the walled entrance, just off the flagstone circular driveway, cast metal dog statues guard the estate. A stone wall with brick inlays was built to envelope the entrance and showcase a fountain with a unique bronze statue of a woman. Again drawing attention to another smaller vignette. The entrance way introduces the elaborate landscape and all its many venues. Whether meandering through the grounds, or standing at a particular spot, the visual feast unveils. Chucks points out that since the property was on a slope, there were more opportunities for private venues and expansive views, offering vantage points from greater heights and expanse. An overall view of the property reveals a series of visual vignettes. “We developed thematic gardens to present a diverse range of sensory experiences, including

Opposite, at the end of a stone pathway, the secret garden appears.Two Adirondack chairs are shaded between two towering trees and surrounded by a flurry of wooded greenery.Top, from the pool area to the right, one can follow a flagstone pathway and ascend a set of stone steps to the secret garden. Bottom, a lovely spot for an afternoon lounge in the stone pavilion.







a woodland garden, pool garden, formal garden and secret garden,� Chuck describes. A most enticing vignette is the pool garden, one of the first projects to be executed and completed. A newer addition, created by Peter Zimmerman Architects, was executed seamlessly, blending materials and architectural elements for an even flow from old to new sections. Flowing out from the house is a beautifully crafted stone terrace, accented with gardens flanking steps that lead to a brick surround and an expansive pool. The pool garden embellishes this slice of the landscape. A dramatic feature of the pool is the vanishing edge creating a cascading waterfall. From the pool area to the right, one can follow a flagstone pathway and ascend a set of stone steps. Chuck planted sedum into the steps to soften the stairs. At the top of the steps, flanked with rows of vines and flowers, is a private and serene spa tucked into a grove of trees and embraced with a stonewall surround. This area can only be seen from the terrace steps above the pool. Moving in an opposite direction from the pool, descending a set of stone steps, one comes upon the secret garden. At the end of a stone pathway, two Adirondack chairs sit quietly, shaded between two towering trees and surrounded by a flurry of wooded greenery. In yet another direction, the landscape continues to unfold. xtending out from a covered terrace on the side of the house, which is decorated with groupings of boxwoods, is a formal garden. Embellishing the lush green lawn is a bronze fountain surrounded by fuchsia impatiens. This fountain was custom designed and built. Chuck describes how the lawn was created with a golf course green that drains quickly so you can walk on it after a rain. On the other side of this expanse of lush green is a custom-built pavilion. Peter Zimmerman designed and constructed this pavilion with massive stone arches designed to




Opposite bottom, a view from the other side of the pool gardens shows the pool's vanishing edge creating a cascading waterfall. Above, a private and serene spa is tucked into a grove of trees and embraced with a stone wall surround. Bottom right, along the flagstone walkway and stairs, a variety of plantings were added to soften the pathway.



Above, stone steps leading up to the private spa area are accented with Sedum planted into the steps to soften the stairs.

match the styling and architecture of the house. At the top of the steps to the pavilion is the woodland garden filled with woodland plantings including ferns and ivy. All pathways are embellished with a menagerie of flowers and greenery. A step in any direction draws you in to the yet another feast for the eyes. Transitioning from one vignette to the next was accomplished with the attention to detail and artistic orchestration of the collaborating team. Chuck describes the design motif as little garden rooms in small spaces to maximize the experience. Maintaining the existing landscape while creating a new experience was challenging. Most important to the entire project was having it all blend together in the end. Beth S. Buxbaum is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. 42


Hess Landscape Architects


ounded in 1998 and based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Hess Landscape Architects is a landscape architectural design firm with project commissions located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, West Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, and the Bahamas. Hess Landscape is a team of professionals who create exterior spaces that complement and marry architecture with the natural environment. They strive to craft unique spaces tailored to each client’s tastes and each site’s singular needs. “We believe balanced designs are distinguished by regionally appropriate materials, incorporation of relevant historical elements, and a broad knowledge and appreciation for our natural surroundings,” explains Chuck Hess. This philosophy was clearly executed in the landscape design of Buttonwood. Hess Landscape received several awards for the work they did at Buttonwood. From the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) they were presented with the Gold Award, a top honor. From the Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) they were given the Honor Award, one of the top prizes. Hess Landscape Architects is located on 1570A Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA 19446; 215-855-5530; www.hessla.com.


Building the Future


Five area building firms have hand selected their top projects to inspire homeowners By Mary Beth Schwartz

hat will housing be like in the next decade? Will we live in tiny little designer shacks? Will we live in custom tree houses? Will we be closer to living like Jane and George Jetson? The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently published their Home Design Trends Survey, which is their vision for the next decade, including home layout, kitchens & baths, and house features and systems. According to their survey, there will be an expansion in outdoor living rooms as formal indoor spaces disappear. With more and more people working from home, or still looking for employment, look for growth in home offices. Technology will continue to be an integral part of the home as owners aim to be more energy conscious. With an aging population, more homeowners will look to have universal design features implemented in existing homes. Along with accessibility, they also want healthier homes with good indoor air quality, as well as water quality. The kitchen will remain to be the heart of the home for family activities. As for size of the homes, increasing numbers of owners will look for smaller, better designed homes in lieu of the mega mansions of years past. With these themes in mind, five area building firms have hand selected some of their favorite projects to inspire homeowners.



California Ranch


Dennis Gehman 44


ehman Design Remodeling (GDR) worked on a design/build project for a ranch style home in a wooded section of Gladwyne. The firm took the inside of the house down to the studs, rafters, and sub floor. The multiaward-winning whole house project involved taking down the center bearing wall and installing a stained wood beam to create an open floor plan. The homeowners wanted to connect the home with the outdoors and implement sustainable materials such as LED lighting, cellulose insulation, and bamboo flooring throughout. In addition, the electric service and plumbing were upgraded. The owners also wanted to have contemporary styling for the home, which was reflected in a new custom kitchen, along with his and her master baths and an exercise room. The kitchen was moved to a new location with Mouser custom wenge wood cabinets, a large island, and a raised glass eating bar. GDR also designed custom stucco partition walls to coordinate with the large floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Gehman Design Remodeling is located at 355 Main Street, Harleysville, PA 19438; 215-660-5635; www.gehmanremodeling.com.



Barn Transformation


Greg Harth 46


arth Builders worked with architect Matt Millan to transform a dark and gloomy historic barn in Bucks County into a comfortable home. “Transforming a barn into a home is easier said than done. While the masonry, mile high ceilings, and exposed wooden beams lend rustic charm, there are many challenges to overcome to make the space livable,” says Greg Harth, President of Harth Builders. Several phases were implemented to get the project done. There was the larger, clerestory style cupola addition to the roof of the barn. Boasting 16 windows, the rooftop addition allowed ample natural light into the space below. Building up from the barn’s second level, Harth added a series of sturdy metal catwalks with see-through grates for the floors. For the stairs leading up to the loft, they used steel ship ladders with alternating treads and curved handrails. The interior walls of the cupola were finished with shiplap. Exposed beams intersect the ceiling, echoing the style of the barn. A custom mixed-metal light fixture was mounted to the beams. Family members can elevate themselves on a suspended swing to take in the panoramic views of the property and surrounding countryside, which are available through the high clerestory windows. Harth Builders is located at 1 Mill Race, Spring House, PA 19477; 215-6540364 www.harthbuilders.com.



Vistas at Highland Ridge


Bill & Janet Bonenberger



.B. Homes’ newest luxury single-family home community in Franconia Township, the Vistas at Highland Ridge, combines the best of quaint rural living, while still being conveniently situated within the acclaimed Souderton Area School District, nearby shopping, recreation, and parks, as well as major roadways. Priced from the low $400s, Highland Ridge is comprised of 23 homes. A variety of floor plan designs with an abundance of included features offers something for everyone, including those with a vision for a custom home building experience. “Our passion is the neighborhoods we build, the relationships we make, and the quality we deliver to each and every homeowner who entrust in W.B. to build that special place we call home,” says Bill Bonenberger, President of W.B. Homes. The Covington model home at Highland Ridge is now open for viewing. W.B. Homes is located at 404 Sumneytown Pike, Suite 200, North Wales, PA 19454; 215-699-0800; www.wbhomesinc.com.



Washington Manor


al Paone Builder will be building homes on a section of the Piszek Estate, a property steeped in history and graced by natural beauty. The Upper Dublin Township community will include 43 single-family detached homes on a 38-acre portion of the Piszek tract. More than 72 percent of the proposed development will be open space, including the Piszek Preserve, a natural area that was given to the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association by Edward J. Piszek. The historic Emlen House, located within Washington Manor, will be renovated, serving first as the community sales center and later made available for sale. The Emlen estate served as George Washington’s headquarters during the winter of 1777. Sal Paone Builder is located at 1120 North Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, PA 19477; 215542-1331; www.salpaonebuilder.com.



Salford Valley


elGrippo Builders presents their development Salford Valley. This 12-lot subdivision in Lower Salford Township offers a picturesque setting with gorgeous views. Perspective homeowners can choose from one of three unique model homes with upscale features—floor plans Shannon, Morgan, or Aspen. The family owned and operated company was established over 40 years ago by Leonard Del Grippo, Sr. He worked with and transferred the business to his son, Leonard DelGrippo, Jr., to create the company that DelGrippo Builders is today. DelGrippo Builders prides itself on paying close attention to their customers’ custom home desires and creating positive working relationships with not only the municipalities, but the multiple companies with which DelGrippo Builders works to create their customers’ ideal homes. DelGrippo Builders is located at 2965 West Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA 19403; 610539-8088; www.delgrippoinc.com.




Paris Bistro

Jazz Café In Chestnut Hill the sounds of jazz mingle with the refined taste of French cooking at the Paris Bistro and Jazz Café • By Diana Cercone


t’s a little past 5:30 on a Saturday at Paris Bistro & Jazz Café in Chestnut Hill and already the Café is jumping. Couples, groups of three, four and six sit at tables enjoying their first cocktail of the evening while others discuss dinner specials with their server. Sitting at the



bar are several regulars, with more filing in almost as quickly as our friendly bartender, Tiffany, fills wine glasses and mixes cocktails. Many, like myself, have come to have dinner and to hear the Hot Club of Philadelphia, a feel-good gypsy jazz band. The band continues the style of music pioneered by legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in Paris during the

Photos: Paul Wesley

Playing the tenor sax, Victor North.

1930s and ’40s with their band Quintette du Hot Club de France. Sharing the stage this evening with the Hot Club of Philadelphia is celebrated multilingual chanteuse Phyllis Chapell. (Chapell was named one of the top 521 jazz vocalists of all time by Scott Yarrow in his book The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide.) oth are frequent artists at the Paris Bistro & Jazz Café. And judging by the remarks from my fellow bar mates they’re also popular favorites. As Chapell makes her way to the stage to warm up, she’s stopped by some of her fans, knowing many by name. Barry Wahrhaftig, founder of the Hot Club of Philadelphia and its lead guitarist and vocalist, also has his share of fans. As he passes the bar, he stops and chats with a few as well as several seated at tables. Even as he’s tuning up with the band on stage, two women venture up to say a quick “hello.” (Both Wahrhaftig and Chapell live in Montgomery County; Wahrhaftig in




Jenkintown and Chapell in Bala Cynwyd.) For the band’s opening number, Wahrhaftig chooses a swinging number as bubbly and welcoming as a glass of champagne. The audience eats it up, applauding loudly as the last note sounds. He then leads the band in several other numbers, including Bei Mir Bist Du Shein, Georgia and Besame Mucho. Here, as in other numbers, Wahrhaftig takes the vocals while nimbly playing guitar. On the Hoagy Carmichael tune, his voice is strong at first then dips softly before rising again into a free-floating scat. In Besame, the most famous Mexican bolereos, his voice is both tender and rich, laced with an intimacy that makes you feel he’s singing only to you—reminiscent of a young Sinatra or Chet Baker. Sitting in tonight with Wahrhaftig are Bob Butryn on clarinet, Dylan Taylor on bass and Colton Weatherston on guitar— all well respected area jazz musicians. And if there are any in the audience who doubt it, they are quickly blown away by the vir-

Opposite bottom, vocalist Meg North with drummer Web Thomas and Victor North on the tenor sax. Top, bartender Justin Beuerjeau mixing a flaming drink. Below, an evening outside view of the Paris Bistro & Jazz Cafe.



Top, waitress Ginevra Reiff looks on as bartender Tiffany Bailey pours a drink. Bottom, Chef Al Paris, known as one of the Philadelphia’s star chefs, shows off several of his creations. Opposite top, people enjoying a performance inside the Jazz Café. Opposite bottom, Meg North singing on stage.



tuosity of each as they seamlessly move together through the numbers with Wahrhaftig—as well as when they take turns on solo. You’ll find that Wahrhaftig likes to mix things up, interspersing standards with gypsy jazz, swinging dance numbers with tender love songs and world rhythms with French torch songs—often with the addition of a female vocalist as in a “he sings/she sings.” Tonight is no different. As she has in the past, including on the Hot Club of Philadelphia’s latest cd, Gypsy Routes (which placed #11 on WRTI’s Top Countdown of 2015), Chapell joins Wahrhaftig and the band. She starts with the Cole Porter song “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” Her voice is clean and elegant with the range and power of a soprano diva. When Wahrhaftig joins her, their voices prove a perfect counterpoint as in another Porter song, “S’Wonderful.” Here again they wow the audience with their voices, adding some electrifying scatting and merriment as they insert a little French into the English verses. The Hot Club of Philadelphia and Chapell easily slide from one song to the next, including George Gershwin’s “Some-

one to Watch Over Me” and two made famous by Edith Piaf. Chapell takes lead vocal on both La Foule, a Venezuelan waltz and La Vie en Rose. In the later, Chapell not only does honor to Piaf but I doubt it has been sung more compellingly beautiful—sending chills rippling through the audience. The Jazz Café is located one flight down from the Bistro where celebrated Chef Al Paris commands the kitchen for both (more on that later). he lighting in the Jazz Café filters low and warm from wall sconces above one set of banquet tables. Across the ample aisle, mirrors behind another set refract the soft lighting. The front of the room holds the stage, one step up from the dining area—and well within sight of all. But, then, there is no bad seat. The Jazz Café has been well designed with view and acoustics in mind. The ambiance is intimate and inviting— the way a good jazz club is supposed to be. The way they were when jazz first swept through cities—grabbing the souls of all who heard its scintillating beat or heartbreaking lyrics, albeit in a jazz venue in Paris, New York, Pittsburgh or Philly.




Historically Philadelphia was a hotbed for jazz and blues dating to the 1920s. Legendary artists like Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday were frequent performers. Others like Jimmy Armadie, Robert “Red Rodney” Chudnick, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and Stan Getz came from Philly’s neighborhoods. Along with Chef Al Paris, restaurateurs Robert and Benjamin Bynum own Paris Bistro & Jazz Café. By anyone’s account the Bynums are credited for again turning Philly into a top city for jazz, beginning first with Zanzibar Blue on Broad Street (now closed), then adding Warm Daddy’s on Columbus Boulevard and South Kitchen & Jazz Club on North Broad. Al first teamed up with them at Zanzibar Blue as executive chef. Coming in time for dinner and the second set are Debbie Co and her husband Walter Weir from Lafayette Hill. Though regulars, they say, they’ve never heard the Hot Club of Philadelphia. I tell them they are in for a treat. They weren’t worried, they say. “We’ve never seen a bad band here,” Debbie explains. “We’ve enjoyed every show. Great variety of artists and styles. It’s a great night out.” I couldn’t agree with them more. The first time I heard jazz at the Café vocalist Laura Munich was accompanied by area tenor saxophone legend Larry McKenna. Though McKenna appeased his followers with a few crowd-clapping solos, he was more than content to let Munich reel in the audience with her sultry—sometimes coy and mischievous, sometimes sweet and lush—voice. When the Hot Club of Philadelphia’s first set ended I couldn’t help but think back with amusement to the first time I visited Paris Bistro & Jazz Café. It was in the

summer shortly after it had opened at the beginning of 2014. Though it was blistering hot outside, it was comfortably cool in the restaurant with a tony crowd sipping cocktails at the bar while others enjoyed dining at tables. Playing softly in the background was music—a mix of French torch songs and jazz. I was reminded of a little bistro tucked off a Left Bank alley, my first taste of a Parisian bistro a good many years ago. Still my memory of it was sharp and, therefore, my expectations high. But from the first friendly greeting of

Turning to Paris

“America’s Top Table” and Wine Spectator bestowed on it its “Award of Excellence.” Three times host at the James Beard House in NYC, Al was also chef/partner at famed City Grill and Circa in Philly; corporate executive chef at Maker’s Mark in Louisville, KY, and Zanzibar Bar Blue and Warmdaddy’s in Center City. The list and awards go on, including personal host to Paul Bocuse, Georges Perrier and Jean Banchet. Most recently he was chef/owner of the now closed Heirloom Restaurant, just a few blocks away at the top of the Hill on Germantown Avenue. It was time to close Heirloom, he says with not a hint of regret. “We did everything we wanted to.” Opening Paris Bistro was a natural segue. Though he learned to cook from his Neapolitan grandmother at a very young age, his first job was as a dishwasher at the Coach Inn in Fort Washington when he was 11. “I told them I was 14,” he says with an impish grin. Quickly adding in his defense, “I looked 14.” While there, he says, he learned much under Chef Uwe Hestnar, who was classically trained in the art of French cooking as well as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. After the Coach Inn, Al continued working with Frenchtrained chefs. “Opening Paris Bistro,” he says, “was like coming home.” Turning to Paris Bistro & Jazz Café’s menu which also serves as a place mat (lunch menu on one side, flip-side is dinner), Al says simply that they are all classic French dishes—and typical of French bistro fare. “I strive not to change the classic bistro dishes but to improve on them.” He sees no need to create new dishes, he says—not when you have classics like cassoulet, a slow-cooked white bean stew with a mix of meats which he elevates by using

Bistro & Jazz Café’s menu which

also serves as a place mat (lunch menu on one side, flip-side is

dinner), Al says simply that they

are all classic French dishes—and

typical of French bistro fare. “I strive not to change the classic bistro

dishes but to improve on them.”



“Bon Jour” of the waitstaff to the bartender’s recommendation of one of the day’s featured wines, a lovely rosé, as I waited for my friends to join me, I knew I needed no longer be skeptical. A quick review of the menu dismissed any lingering reservations. This was true French bistro fare. But, then, it was foolish of me to expect less from Chef Al Paris. As I sit now at the Jazz Café bar savoring the last morsel of Al’s divine trout amandine I replay our interview of just a few days ago. The two of us are sitting at one of Paris Bistro’s restaurant window tables. Al’s warm and unpretentious manner belie his reputation as one of Philadelphia’s star chefs. While chef and partner at Rococo in Philadelphia, Gourmet magazine named it

continued on page 69

Photos: Courtesy Visit Philly

Our Towns

Above, Skippack Village, Top right, Main Street in Ambler and below the Main Line.


owns in Montgomery County are rich in their history. They are great places to walk and have many events that draw people from throughout the area. Here are some of the historical and cultural highlights of seven of these towns. They are all different from one another and yet are part of a common heritage shared by all the municipalities in Montgomery County, PA. HARLEYSVILLE Harleysville is the home of annual Heckler Fest, which is held at the historical Heckler Plains, one of the oldest properties in the area. It is also the home of the Mennonite Heritage Center, which tells the story of Mennonite faith and life in eastern Pennsylvania. It is home to the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania (MHEP). The mission of the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania is to collect, preserve, and interpret the Anabaptist-Mennonite heritage in order to educate, inspire, and witness to the church and broader community. The Mennonite Heritage Center’s building’s architecture, with lines modeling the simplicity of traditional Pennsylvania Mennonite meetinghouses, points toward the spiritual center of Mennonite life. The concept was that “church” was the congre-

gation, not the building in which they “met.” The building also suggests rural images of mill, barn and house, while exhibits show the movement toward a more urban society, giving contemporary expression to a deep-rooted heritage. LANSDALE The earliest known settlers in Lansdale were members of the Jenkins family. At the peak of its growth, the Jenkins homestead occupied approximately 120 acres of land. The construction of the North Pennsylvania Railroad during the 1850s contributed to rapid growth and expansion in Lansdale by 1872, Lansdale Borough was officially incorporated and named after Phillip Lansdale Fox, chief surveyor of the North Penn Railroad. The Jenkins Homestead and Lansdale Silk Hosiery Compy-Interstate Hosiery Mills, Inc. are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lansdale is known for its many popular events held throughout the year including: Lansdale Bike Night, the Under the Lights Car Show, Lansdale Day, Founder's Day, Oktoberfest and The Lansdale Beer Tasting Festival. Lansdale is home to a Kugel ball, which is a dark grey granite sphere supported by a very thin film of water pumped from beneath its base. The Kugel Ball is located in Railroad Plaza, adjacent to the SEPTA S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 59

Lansdale/Doylestown Line train station in downtown Lansdale. SPRING HOUSE Spring House is a part of Lower Gwynedd, which is one of the oldest townships in Montgomery County. The Quakers settled Gwynedd Township in the late 1600's. With the help of the leadership of William Penn the township was developed and later separated in 1891 into Lower and Upper Gwynedd. The word Gwynedd is derived from the Welsh word "Gwyn Eth" which means white fields. Records show that when the pilgrims first arrived here from Wales that their new land, Gwynedd, was blanketed with snow. The township is rooted in tradition and, in fact, still has a member of the community whose descendant's trace back to a family of the first settlers in Lower Gwynedd. Out of the 66 pilgrims to arrive, 31 were named Evans, and a descendent of more than 300 years, Gwenellyn Evan Nicodemus, still resides in the township. SKIPPACK Skippack is known for its quaint shops, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. It is a historic shopping village that lies within the boundaries of Skippack Township. Once termed Skippackville, the village served residents of Skippack with a post office, firehouse, printing house, shirt factory, furniture maker, blacksmith, liquor store, a hat store and several inns in-

cluding the Valley House now called “Justin's Carriage House.” The origin of the name "Skippack" came from early German settlers, they originally spelled it Schippach, named after a town of the same name in the Bayern region of Germany South East of Frankfurt. In the year 1706 Gerhardt and Hermanus Indenhofen purchased 440 acres of land from Mathias Van Bebber. This property over the next 100 years was divided and sold off becoming the village of Skippack. Gerhardt and his brother built a house on their land around 1720. It is the first house built in the village and perhaps in the Township. The Skippack Historical Society has been studying and restoring the Indenhofen house and farmstead over many years. Something is always going on in Skippack. There are festivals, First Friday, Car Shows, Skippack Days Arts & Crafts Festival, and entertaining events every weekend. AMBLER On the Borough of Ambler Website, the town is introduced as "the social, cultural and business center of this friendly, small community with a population of 6,400 and covering less than a square mile. Its churches, affordable housing, great schools, convenient public transportation accessibility, parks and recreation facilities, and a “walkable” downtown make it an ideal location for living, working and playing. Ambler boasts many wonderful organizations, community facilities and arts centers, including Ambler Theater, Wissahickon Valley Public

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Trust the IT LA ANDES team. itlandes.com 215.256.4221 Library and the Ambler Area YMCA.” Ambler is named after Mary Ambler, who in 1829 married Andrew Ambler and moved to the town of Wissahickon. In 1856, after a disastrous train crash, she walked to the site of the crash and helped put in place rescue and relief operations. A year after she died in July 1969, the North Pennsylvania Station hanged the name of Wissahickon Station to Ambler Station. In 1888, the village and post office of Wissahickon also adopted the Ambler name. BRYN MAWR Bryn Mawr is named after an estate near Dolgellau in North Wales that belonged to Rowland Ellis. He was a Quaker who emigrated in 1686 to Pennsylvania from Dolgellau to escape religious persecution. The town was originally named Humphreysville but was renamed by railroad agent in 1869 after railroad acquired the land, which is now Bryn Mawr. Bryn Mawr is home to Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr is he center point of the prominent Pennsylvania Main Line. Bryn Mawr College is one of the famed Seven Sister elite liberal arts colleges, all located in the Northeastern United States. Although there are many events in Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr Day is celebrated every year in September. This year it will be 62


September 10. On Bryn Mawr Day there will be live music, rides on the fire engines, a traveling petting zoo, shopping, a history tour and more. SOUDERTON Souderton was originally named Welshtown, because the Welsh settled it. Souderton is prefigured in a map of 1847 as Souder's Lumberyard, and the new name was certainly in place by the railroad era in the second half of the 19th century. The Souderton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Souderton is home to Montgomery Theater, one of only three professional theaters in Montgomery County. Sitting in the historic firehouse on Main Street (Rt. 113), the Theater produces five subscription-series shows each year, and offers education programs for students ages 8–18. Montgomery Theater draws people to Souderton from around the five-county area. Souderton also hosts an annual Art Jam every September, bringing artists and artisans to the borough park, and offering craft beer and wine tastings. This event is hosted by SoudertonTelford Main Streets, the non-profit organization that supports revitalization in Souderton.




  B RY N   M AW R





Handcrafted Furniture American traditional, Amish, and Shaker and other kinds of handcrafted furniture from over 60 vendors are available at Country Home Furniture –by Mary Beth Schwartz



THE SUMMER MONTHS ARE A GREAT TIME TO go out on shopping adventures. You can visit local farms to get the freshest produce. You can hop around boutiques in quaint villages like Skippack. You can even travel to the countryside of Lancaster County to take in the Shady Maple complex, complete with a farm market, gift shop, and massive smorgasbord filled with Pennsylvania Dutch comfort foods. Also located in the Shady Maple complex you will discover Country Home Furniture, a 30,000-square-foot store offering custom furniture, accents, and accessories for your home decorating needs. Celebrating 16 years of business, Country Home Furniture offers over 60 vendors from the United States, Canada, and Amish communities in Ohio, Indiana, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The store features two floors of model stock for cash and carry,

and also offers custom orders with a variety of wood, upholstery, stain, and hardware options. (There are 16-20 different colors of woods for customers to select from alone.) Customers travel from all over the East Coast to shop at Country Home Furniture. According to General Manager Darren Uliasz, they can deliver goods all over the continental United States. “We are known for our great style, great quality, and great prices,” Uliasz says. He recently took over Country Home Furniture as General Manager. “There will be lots of things going on, including a new look for the store. Coming this August, we will be having our anniversary sale. There will be an event going on every Saturday the entire month of

Opposite, is a Lynwood Bedroom Collection with Eclipse Bed. Top, contempory leather reclining sectional built with comfort in mind. Right, Queen Victorian Dining Room. And, left shows the handmade live edge table with bench.

continued on page 68 SUMMER 2016




Sustainable Scapes Boutique firm SED Design offers modern landscape architecture designs to meet the unique property needs –by Mary Beth Schwartz 66


TODAY’S HOMEOWNERS ARE LOOKING FOR landscape architecture designs that blend creativity with sustainable elements that contribute to the area’s ecology. Permeable paving, rain gardens, green roofs, reforestation, living walls, bioswales, and native plantings are among some of the elements being incorporated into modern residential landscapes by S. Edgar David, RLA, president of SED Design, a boutique landscape architecture firm based in Blue Bell. Founded in 1990, SED Design has clients in Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as New Jersey and Delaware. Their services include residential master plans, conservation design, ecological restoration, and landscape architecture and garden design, including patios, terraces, plant-

ings, lighting, pools, and garden structures. According to David, a former tenured Professor of Landscape Architecture at Temple University, they also specialize in landscape management plants for specialized areas such as wetlands, meadows, and woodlands. In addition, SED Design is a partner in SITES, an environmental stewardship certification program majorly supported by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). SED Design is up on the latest sustainable landscape design trends. David mentioned a few of them for our readers. Through reforestation and vegetation management, the firm restores natural areas and enhances the quality of existing native landscapes. With

Opposite, a hillside garden that overlooks the Whitemarsh Valley. The design is a model for managing stormwater in ways that engages people while cleansing the water supply and recharging our aquifiers. Above, a water garden where rainwater is captured in a garden runnel that flows through the garden wall and cascades into the water gardens below. Bottom, S. Edgar David, RLA, and president of SED Design.

continued on page 69 SUMMER 2016


Style continued from page 65

niture from everyday wear from such things as sweating beverage glasses and hot dishes. Tip three: clean your furniture safely and dry dust frequently with a wool duster or a white cotton cleaning cloth. For a deeper clean, check with the manufacturer for recommended oils or waxes.

August to celebrate. In the past we had such activities as a chicken barbecue and an ice cream making display. This is our biggest sale of the year.” Before you make the trip to Country Home Furniture, take an inventory of what you will need in your home. Do you need accessory items like pictures, lamps, rugs, clocks, baskets, perhaps a corner curio to give an added flair? Do you want to add to your home office with a secretary or computer desk, office chair, hutch or bookshelf? Do you want to create a relaxing living room with some occasional tables, a recliner, home theater seating or sectional? Does your bedroom need an update? You’ll find a selection of beds, mattresses, hope chests, nightstands, chests, and dressers. They even have bunk beds for the kiddies. Does your dining area need a kick? Country Home Furniture has goods for formal as well as casual dining, including hutches, buffets, even custom islands for the kitchen. Walking through Country Home Furniture, you will find an array of styles. “Our main style is primarily traditional. We also do well with Shaker, Mission, and primitive. We are starting to get into more transitional styles. The reclaimed/distressed restoration items are extremely popular. We also carry more diversified items such as industrial metal tables and rustic live edge tables,” Uliasz adds. Once your furniture is in your home, you’ll want to take good care of it. HGTV offers some helpful tips for furniture and mattress care.

You’ll want to take good care of your leather furnishings so that they last for years to come. Tip one: keep the pieces away from both light and heat. If your furniture is covered with uncoated leather, be sure to dust it frequently. For coated leathers, check with the manufacturer for recommended cleaning methods. You can vacuum regularly to remove surface dirt. Another important leather care tip is to never use oil, furniture polish, dusting spray, or ordinary stain removers.



You can keep your fine wood furniture looking like it just came from the showroom. One tip is to avoid heat and light. A second tip is to protect your fur-

The luxurious mattress you just purchased need some TLC to keep you sleeping like a baby. Every season you should rotate the mattress from heel to



UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE With upholstered furniture, there are a few things you can do to keep it looking like new. One idea is to flip loose cushions on a regular basis and rotate them on a unit with multiple cushions. You should rearrange the upholstered furniture seasonally to evenly distribute wear. Tip two: protect furniture with arm caps that fit over the arms of chairs and sofas. A third tip is to protect furniture with a slipcover during the summer months. This will block out sand, sunblock, sweat, and sticky watermelon fingers. For spray-on fabric protection, check with your manufacturer—many pieces have this applied at the mill before purchase.

toe. To rotate, revolved the end of the mattress nearest the headboard toward the foot of the bed, then nudge the mattress back into pack on the box springs. Tip two: flip the mattress when the seasons change. If you have children, make sure to limit bouncing on the mattress and protect it with mattress pads and a cover. Another tip is to vacuum the mattress to keep it clean and fresh. To clean a mattress stain, check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Whether you are shopping for a mattress or a new piece of furniture, stop in to Country Home Furniture. It is located at 1352 Main Street in Earl, PA. The store is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Shady Maple complex, including Country Home Furniture, is closed on Sunday. You can call the store at 717354-2329. If you want to visit their website, visit www.chfs1.com. Mary Beth Schwartz is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to regional publications.


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continued from page 67

Hudson Valley duck, garlic sausage, pork belly and white beans. Or classic chicken liver paté as an appetizer. For this, he says, he follows his “French grandfather” Paul Bocuse’s recipe. For another French bistro classic, Al called upon his good friend Georges Perrier to help him perfect his French onion soup. “It’s our most popular soup,” he says. Then there are his oysters. On Le Buck a Shuck Monday, the restaurant will go through 700 oysters and easily 200 during the rest of the week Like the French classics, the menu stays wedded to tradition. But there are “Daily Classics” such as the oysters on Monday. On Tuesday you’ll find Moules-Frites Five Way. That’s also one of the beauties about Al’s menu. You can come any night of the week and find your favorite or discover a new one with his Daily Classics, such as Classic Thursday’s sole Meuniére, Friday’s bouillabaisse, Saturday’s roasted lamb shank or Sunday’s pork loin charcuterie. Wine, traditionally a specialty at French bistros, is no less here. Wendy Wolf, general manager and sommelier, chooses wines that pair well with Al’s food. If ever unsure what to order, Wendy and the waitstaff are well versed in the day’s menu and happy to assist. Just as it is inherent that Al should come home to French cooking, so, too, is it that French food pairs well with jazz—both have such rich histories together. It’s been said: “Jazz music has no expiration date.” The same goes for classic French bistro food. You’ll find them both at Paris Bistro & Jazz Café. Paris Bistro & Jazz Café is located at 8229 Germantown Avenue (corner of Germantown & Southampton avenues, next door to the Chestnut Hill Hotel); 215-2426200; parisbistro.net. On Fridays and Saturdays there are three sets, with the first one beginning at 7 p.m. On Thursday and Sundays, the sets begin at 6 p.m. Diana Cercone is an area freelance writer who specializes in food, art and travel.

living walls, you can create a self-sufficient vertical garden that is attached to the exterior or interior of a structure. You can have a rain garden, which is a landscaped area planted with flowers and native plants that collects and soaks up rainwater and filters pollutants. “A rain garden also can create a wonderful habitat. It is an opportunity for gardeners to grow wet tolerant species.” Bioswales are implemented in a landscape to convey stormwater. Last but not least there are green roofs and rooftop

“A rain garden

also can create a

wonderful habitat.”

gardens. “Your rooftop can be a shallow extensive green roof used to manage stormwater or a deeper more diverse intensive rooftop garden providing outdoor living space. These spaces give incredible views and transform barren areas into green ones. There has been a surge of green rooftops in urban areas like Philadelphia.” Many of the projects completed by SED Design have been featured in documentaries about designing sustainable landscapes or in national publications like Better Homes and Gardens. One such project, a hillside garden, was featured in both. “In this project, the outdoor living spaces are terraced on a hillside outside of Philadelphia overlooking the Whitemarsh Valley. The design is a model for managing stormwater in creative ways that engage people, while cleansing our water supply and recharging our aquifers. Rainwater is captured in a garden runnel that flows through the garden wall and cascades into the water gardens below. Overflow then flows through the vegetated swale and infiltrates into the soil below where it is filtered and cleansed by the roots and

microbes contained in the soil,” David explains. SED Design met another hillside design challenge with a space that featured a patio, pool, and waterfall. David describes this unique project: “In this project, we designed a hillside pool that is elegantly integrated with the surrounding woodland and draws inspiration from its unique environment. The pool is a metaphor of a sun-filled glade immersed in flowering Mountain Laurels and Rhododendrons. Serving as a sculpture in the garden, the cascading waterfall creates tranquility throughout the garden and backyard.” To arrange a design consultation with S. Edgar David, RLA, of SED Design, you can call 610-584-5941. The company’s address is 740 Penllyn Blue Bell Pike in Blue Bell, PA. You can visit their website for more information at www.seddesignstudio.com. Mary Beth Schwartz is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to regional publications.



In the Garden

Growing Scented Herbs

Growing scented herbs such as lavender and a variety of lemon scented plants makes gardening a multi-sensual experience 70



HERE’S A PERFECT GARDEN PLANT THAT grows up to two feet tall and wide, with flower colors ranging from white to deep purple. Although the flowers are edible, this plant is used primarily for its magnificent scent. What is this hearty garden lovely? Lavender. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a woody plant with gray-green leaves. It is famous for the fragrance of its dried flowers, is deer resistant, and attracts butterflies and bees to the garden. Try it en masse, or as a short hedge or border planting. The silvery leaves compliment nearly every flower color. Lavender plants are –by Lori Pelkowski intriguing in containers and flower gardens as well as

the herb garden. Lavender thrives in dry, sunny locations and is drought tolerant. For best results, plant English lavender in a sheltered area out of the wind. Adding sand and/or lime to the soil, and planting it on a slope can help avoid winter kill. French lavender is also lovely. Use it as an annual, as it will rarely survive our winters. The easiest way to propagate lavender plants is by cuttings. In the springtime, before the plant flowers, clip off a long soft (not woody) stem and remove the bottom leaves. Dip the stem in rooting hormone and plant it in a small pot filled with three parts peat moss and one part vermiculite. Keep the pot out of direct sun, and keep it well watered for the first few weeks. Once the cutting is established, water it only when the soil has just dried out. The new plant will be ready for the garden in about six weeks. The fragrance of lavender is beloved in many parts of the world. Its essence can be found in oils, perfumes, soaps, and room sprays. But there is nothing like the scent of lavender flowers grown in your very own garden. To dry lavender flowers, pick them before the florets are fully open. Tie the stems in bunches and hang them upside down in a cool, well-ventilated place out of direct sun. A garage, shed or basement that is not damp or humid is ideal. When the flowers have dried, use them in potpourris, or stash them in drawers and closets to keep clothes and linens smelling heavenly. The fresh scent and flavor of lemons pervades our lives, from our cleaning products to our desserts. We can grow lemon trees in a greenhouse, or even in a very sunny room in the home, but there’s another way to grow your own lemon scent and flavor with lemonscented herbs. Use them fresh to give a lemony lift to chicken, fish, pasta, jellies, teas and desserts. It would be easy to create a lemony herb garden, if these plants all required

the same soil and light conditions, but they don’t. Still, it isn’t hard to find a spot for at least one lemony herb in your yard or on your patio. They all enjoy growing in containers, as either the container’s centerpiece or as an accent plant. Not to give one preference over another, here they are in alphabetical order: Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum), Lemon Thyme (Thymus citri-

Lavender thrives in dry, sunny

locations and is

drought tolerant.

For best results, plant English

lavender in a

sheltered area out of the wind.

odorus), and Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla). Lemon Balm gets two feet tall and wide when it has some shade and moist soil. It is a nice addition to a perennial garden. It has pretty, serrated leaves in a clear green that sets off any color flower. The top of the plant is annual; it will die back in the winter. But the roots are perennial, and a new plant will form in the same spot the following spring. If you don’t want your Lemon Balm to produce hundreds of seedlings, cut off 1/3 of the plant when the flowers form in summer. The flowers are small and whitish, and can be hard to see under the leaves. Lemon Basil, like all basils, prefers light, well-drained soil, full sun, and the warmest part of the garden. Grow this annual from seeds or plants set in warm soil in late spring. Pinch it frequently to

keep the plant about 18 inches tall. Also pinch off any flowers that form, as they make the leaves bitter. Lemon Basil will thrive when grown with tomatoes, since they both love heat and lots of sunshine. And like tomatoes, this tender annual will be killed by frost. Lemon Thyme prefers dry soil and lots of sun, and grows easily from plants or cuttings spaced ten inches apart. It has emerald green leaves edged in chartreuse, and a spreading-but-not-invasive habit that creates a six-inch tall evergreen groundcover. Its dark pink flowers are stunning when it is left to spread into a living carpet. Lemon Thyme is a cultivar of wild thyme and bees love it. It gives their honey a distinctive flavor. Lemon Thyme is a perennial in our area but is not as hardy as other thymes, so give it some winter protection. Lemon Verbena will grow to three feet tall in moist soil and a warm, sheltered location, like against the south side of the house. This shrub is a native of Chile and Argentina, and is grown here as an annual. Or, it can be wintered over in a container in the sunniest spot in the house. The sensory experience of the lemon scent is enhanced by masses of purple or white flowers in the summer. Lemon Verbena has the strongest flavor of the lemony herbs, so use it sparingly. It grows well from plants or cuttings set about four feet apart. The leaves of the lemon-scented herbs are an irresistible mixture of sweet and citrus that compliments the lighter foods, drinks and desserts of summer. Use only the leaves when cooking or drying. Instead of discarding the leftover stems, run them through the garbage disposal with hot water and enjoy the clean, refreshing scent. Gently rub lavender and lemonscented herb plants between your fingers to savor the lovely perfumes of summer in your very own garden. Lori Pelkowski, The Midnight Gardener, is a Temple University Cer tified Master Home Gardener. SUMMER 2016


Dining Out



Photos: Paul Wesley

–by Frank Quattrone

ucked away comfortably amid Blue Bell’s business

timate “library” alcove, it has been drawing a steady stream of banquets,

a mid-sized castle that offers culinary delights to those

And each dining area has its own private rest rooms.

parks, shopping facilities, and executive-style houses is who have fallen under its spell. Ristorante Castello

private parties, and business conferences, since it was added last year.

Guests are also pleased by Habib’s BYO practice. Although the

(“castle” in Italian) is now holding court in its eleventh

restaurant has a liquor license, the owner permits customers to bring

Youthful owner Habib Troudi, whose eight-year reign at the North

wine list,” he says, “there’s no reason we should keep our guests from

year at the site once warmed by Chef Alison Barshak.

Wales iteration of the restaurant ended when he decided to stand alone— to leave the shopping center setting for a pleasant courtyard, to offer easier

their own drinks and charges no corkage fee. “Although we have a fine complementing their meal as they please.”

And needless to say, Ristorante Castello owes the lion’s share of its

parking for his growing legion of loyalists, says, “We keep growing because

success to its vaunted kitchen, where Troudi’s dear friend and Tunisian

they’ve introduced to our restaurant, have been around. They travel, they

been a great asset to the restaurant. He’s been with me for ten years now.

I know what our clientele like. The residents of Blue Bell, and the friends love eating out, they’re demanding, and they keep coming back.”

They enjoy the courtly service, typified by longtime staff member

John O’Hara, a popular regional playwright and actor. They feel at ease

in one of the restaurant’s three discrete dining rooms, two of which seat

roughly 35 each, while the third can accommodate up to 80 guests. Called “The Great Room,” and graced by a working fireplace and an in72


countryman, Adel Khemiri, serves as executive chef and manager. “Adel’s He looks out for me; he has a calm about him that works well with our kitchen staff; he’s creative; and he interprets our northern Italian menu perfectly.”

Adel has become one of the most accomplished Mediterranean chefs

in the region. Although Eve and I enjoyed his culinary legerdemain

countless times at Venezia Italian Restaurant, the popular Hatboro eatery

he once operated, he outdid himself the evening of our most recent visit

mented by sautéed jumbo shrimp in a light lemon white wine sauce.

Salad topped with roasted peppers and shallots.

kitchen staff takes pride in breaking down a whole side of beef and bring-

tortellini, pappardelle, gnocchi, and the like—are all made in house, we

lighted with our entrées. Eve enjoyed the Baked Halibut special,

to Castello. Our starter was a bright, zesty, refreshing Tomato Avocado Aware that the restaurant’s baked and specialty pastas—

were still stunned by the appearance, aroma, and taste of the chef’s homemade special, Arugula Ravioli, stuffed with goat cheese and comple-


At Ristorante Castello, every dish is made to order. The

ing in the freshest products from local sources. So we were equally de-

encrusted with rosemary and sage and served in a light dry fig mustard cream sauce. For me, the grilled and pounded Veal Medallions topped continued on next page


t was a simple dish, not the least bit fussy, but its appearance— and, yes, its taste—were amazing. It was a Pear and Apple Salad, with moist shredded fruit and radishes served over a bed of ricotta and garnished with fennel fronds and edible apple blossoms. No dressing needed. All natural. And a promising start for the restaurant’s dynamic new executive chef, Lidia Leudo. She followed that with another surprise—a plate of Charred Asparagus topped with smoked gruyere and provolone, kissed by lemon juice and crunchy, crispy capers. Oh—and it wasn’t a side dish. When was the last time you enjoyed asparagus on its own flavorful merit as the center of attention and not as an afterthought? Thought so. By now, Eve and I realized we were witnessing the onset of a brilliant career. Not that she hasn’t already proven herself. This youthful culinary gem comes to our region from the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, where she learned the intricacies of Italian cooking from a restaurateur eager to teach the curious teenager all she needed to know about preparing gnocchi, pappardelle, and other popular dishes from scratch. Before she arrived at her present destination, her most recent

stint was at New York’s famed Chelsea Market (think Reading Terminal in the Big Apple). She also studied at Le Cordon Bleu, cooked at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants, and even worked for a time in Germany. Next up on the chef’s new menu was light-as-air House Made Ricotta Gnudi (a filling-free relative of gnocchi), complemented by arugula, lemon zest, and locally foraged sting nettles. For our entrées, Evie enjoyed swordfish, traditionally the driest dish on the menu, but moist and delicious here, wading in a pool of roasted fennel broth with carrots, while I found my Chicken Jus Grace, served with a ginger carrot brown butter soubise on the side, accompanied by tangy broccoli rabe, as satisfying as Eve’s swordfish. Chef Lidia Leudo’s a keeper! Owner Jack Ott, a graduate of the prestigious culinary program at Johnson & Wales University, says he’s having the time of his life working side by side with his new chef, who has reinvigorated his passion for cooking. Leudo, of Cuban Hispanic descent, continues the recent run of fine chefs (succeeding Ed Hancock and Helen Kang) who have made the Valley Green Inn a dining destination as well as (arguably) the most romantic and scenic SUMMER 2016


Dining Out Ristorante

with sautéed spinach, garlic, and olive oil couldn’t have been more

faithful service of so many longtime staffers. He says that people love the

And true to the difference between northern and southern Italian

They like the menu—from standard items such as grilled scallops topped


cuisine, as described by our congenial host, Habib Troudi, Eve and I did

not feel stuffed. “Northern Italian cuisine tends to be lighter,” he says. “Nothing overwhelms or overpowers the dish. There’s just enough sauce

to complement or enhance the flavor. Despite the size of our portions, you can actually see the bottom of your plate. You feel like you can finish your dish—and still have room for dessert!”

Well said! So Eve and I shared a magnificent Banana Bread Pudding

stuffed with warm chocolate soufflé and crowned with banana caramel

compote and vanilla gelato, accompanied with an aromatic double espresso that recalled the best meal-toppers from the old country.

Troudi says that it’s not difficult to satisfy so many loyal guests for so

many years when the restaurant maintains its consistency, thanks to the

Valley Green

historic restaurant in the region. “I would describe her style as ‘urban rustic,” says Ott. “Her background is farm-to-table, so the ‘new flavor’ of the inn will focus more on locally sourced products, including local fisheries. Lidia will, simultaneously, lighten up our traditional dishes while adding a bolt of lightning to the menu.” Quite an understatement, that! Even our choices of dessert bore this out. We bypassed a lovely carrot cake and a cheesecake with walnut crust for a taste of the superfruity Chocolate Chip Banana Sorbet and our first encounter ever with the likes of dark Mayan Chocolate Sorbet pinched with cinnamon and pepper! Although Ott and Leudo assured us that several of the restaurant’s traditional dishes will still be available—like Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Grilled Angus Beef Filet Mignon, and Diver Sea Scallops—expect each dish to be tweaked slightly to create new taste sensations at the old inn. Speaking of that, we had hoped to enjoy our meal alfresco, at tables overlooking the Wissahickon, with ducks and geese entertaining squealing children, as couples sauntered by, hand in hand, where dog fanciers and their canine pals frolicked on the trail, as horsemen and their mares cantered by along car-free Forbidden Drive—a scenario that’s delighted us countless times on balmy days. But in the wake of a week of heavy rains, with the creek cresting higher with each passing 74


openness of the restaurant—the big windows that brighten every room. with smoked paprika, filet mignon au poivre, gnocchi served with gor-

gonzola sauce, or bronzino encrusted in salt, to regular daily specials, like

Chef Adel’s arugula ravioli or halibut encrusted with rosemary and sage.

Ristorante Castello, where warmth is married to unpretentious

fine dining and attentive service, is the perfect place to dine alfresco

on a cool summer night or to enjoy a large family gathering in airconditioned comfort.

Ristorante Castello is located at 721 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422; 215-2839500; www.ristorantecastello.com. Lunch is served daily, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Dinner is served daily from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations highly recommended, especially on weekends. Available for takeout, catering, conferences, and private parties. Liquor license, but BYOB permitted with no corkage fee.

hour, we enjoyed our meal equally well seated comfortably next to the ancient fireplace in the charming main dining room, adorned with paintings of the inn, farm tools, and quaint reminders of the mid-nineteenth century. That’s when Valley Green Inn, situated between Chestnut Hill and Roxborough at the northwestern-most tip of Fairmount Park, served as one of the main stagecoach stops heading into and out of the city. Built on a tract of land once owned by William Penn, it remains the last standing roadhouse in Philadelphia. Its reputation as a popular site for weddings and private parties of every kind under its covered patio remains intact, and the buzz generated by its hearty Sunday Brunch (the inn served 500 brunch guests on Mother’s Day this year!) continues to grow. Select wines can be ordered by the glass, and beers, both bottled and draft, are also available. But we suspect that when word gets out about the restaurant’s exciting new chef, the menu just might become the inn’s main attraction. Valley Green Inn is located on Valley Green Road at Wissahickon Creek (between Chestnut Hill and Roxborough), Philadelphia, PA 19128; 215-247-1730; www.valleygreeninn.com. Open for lunch: Monday–Friday, noon–4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; Dinner: Monday – Friday, 5–9 p.m.; Saturday, 5–10 p.m.; & Sunday, 4–8 p.m.; and Sunday Brunch: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Reservations recommended, especially for Sunday Brunch. Available for special events, private parties.


Ma Mainland 3 Bells lls Craig LaaBan

Philadelphia Inquirer Food Critic

R estauur ant j P atio Dining j Ba r j Sunda y Brunch j P rivatee E veents



Clean Foo Cl od


1 7 Mainla nd R oad j Harleysville, PA 1943 8 j 484.704.2600 j www .mainlanndinnn.com

Bay Pony Inn, 508 Old Skippack Rd., Lederach, PA; 215-256-6565; www.bayponyinnpa.com The Bay Pony Inn is where informal elegance and warm hospitality come quite naturally. A blend of American and international culinary traditions, gracious service and warm hospitality await you.We invite you to visit us and allow us to share with you a bit of this old world charm and elegance.Lunch,Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m.– 2:30 p.m.; Dinner,Tues.–Thurs., 4:30–9 p.m., Fri.-Sat, 4:30-10:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30-8 p.m. Closed Monday. Banquet and wedding facilities.

Blue Bell Inn, 601 W. Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA; 215-646-2010 www.bluebellinn.com. The Blue Bell Inn began welcoming guest in 1743 and a regular patron was George Washington. Now recently remodeled, yet retaining its historic integrity, the Inn is known for fine Contemporary American food, which includes premium cuts of meat, a raw bar and seafood and outdoor dining on the flagstone patio is available by request. Hours: Monday–Thursday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

Capone’s, 224 W. Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA; 610-279-4748 www.capones-pa.com For over forty years Matt Capone and his family have provided the East Norriton area with great food at a great price.The restaurant is familyoriented with a touch of sports bar, primed with some of the best beer you can find in the region.Our extensive menu includes traditional pub fare, delicious entrees, and even a kids menu. For the beer connoisseur in all of us – take a moment and visit our Bottle Shop in the back of the restaurant to browse our incredible selection of beers from local micro breweries, domestic craft breweries, and international micro breweries. Gourmet Seafood & Grill, Skippack Village, 4101 Skippack Pike, Schwenksville, PA; 484-681-0838; 484-991-8130; www.gourmetseafood-

grill.com. Gourmet Seafood & Grill is a family owned Mediterranean cuisine destination with freshest seafood for all cuisine and delicious pastries. Culinary master Chef Jimmy uses his talents, knowledge and love for food to transform the space into a relaxed destination where you can experience the best of various cuisine flavors, spices and cooking techniques.With over 50 combined years of food and restaurant experience, the owners of Gourmet Seafood & Grill, are bringing a culinary adventure worthy of Skippack’s foodie’ community. Serving brunch and dinner, along with catering services, the Gourmet Seafood & Grill offers a varied menu rich in traditional Mediterranean favorites. From Bronzini to New York Strip, crab cakes, stuffed grape leaves and more, the menu is sure to have just the thing to entice your taste buds. For the less adventurous crowd, Gourmet Seafood & Grill also has burgers, pasta, salads and a kids menu! Dinner daily 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Lunch Tues.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Gypsy Blu, 34 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA; 215-283-6080; . www.GypsyBluRestaurant.com Upbeat & Lively Atmosphere with an Eclectic Menu that ranges from Small Plates to Delectable Entrees. Beautiful Patio. On-Site & Off-Site Catering. Full Bar. Serving lunch and dinner 7 Days a Week. Serving brunch every weekend. Hours: Monday & Tuesday Kitchen 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12a.m.Wednesday & Thursday: Kitchen 11:30 am-10 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Friday: Kitchen 11:30–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Saturday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Sunday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12 a.m. Live music every Friday & Saturday. Reservations accepted. La Pergola, 726 West Ave, Jenkintown, PA; 215-884-7204 www.viewmenu.com. La Pergola’s international cuisine takes you to culinary fare around the Mediterranean.Testing the unique authentic dishes and appetizers, would make you feel as if you are sitting at a sidewalk cafe or restaurant in Tel Aviv or Athens.Enjoy contemporary cosmopolitan cuisine based on pure

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 75

D I N I NG OU T GU I D E pleasure. La Pergola Restaurant offers healthy and delightful dishes from every corner of the Mediterranean.We offer casual fine dining at reasonable prices. Hours: Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.–9 p.m. Ristorante San Marco, 504 Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA; 215-6545000; www.sanmarcopa.com. Dining in a 19th century schoolhouse on a small hill. San Marco’s regular menu emphasizes traditional dishes from Southern Italy and Sicily.There is a beautifully appointed piano bar featuring nightly live music. Private parties for special occasions. Open Mon.-Fri., 11:30a.m.–3 p.m., 5p.m.– 10p.m., Sat. 5p.m.–10p.m., closed on Sundays.

Joseph Ambler Inn, 1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454;215-362-7500; www.josephamblerinn.com. Exquisite cuisine, attention to detail, and an award-winning wine list combine to make Joseph Ambler Inn one of the most popular places to dine in Eastern Pennsylvania. The restaurant’s random-width hardwood floors, handcrafted cherry tables,Windsor chairs and original, exposed stone walls create the ambiance for savoring a fine meal.Joseph Ambler Inn has earned a well-deserved reputation for its eclectic lunch and dinner menus, which offer many creative flourishes. Featuring only the finest quality fresh meats, fish, and produce, and seasonal herbs and vegetables, every dish is a delight. Hours. Lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lite Fare Luncheon: Sat. & Sun. Noon to 4 p.m. Served in the JPUB-No Reservations Necessary. Dinner: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations suggested. Accepts all major credit cards. Mainland Inn, 17 Mainland Road, Harleysville, PA; 484-704-2600; www.mainlandinn.com. In January 2015, farmer Sloane Six and her family reopened the doors to Mainland Inn, an elegant eco revival of the historic Montgomery County inn that acts as an extension of her farm, Quarry Hill located just a mile



and a half away.With an emphasis placed on culinary craftsmanship and nutritionally rich preparations, they have committed to sourcing only 100% organically grown and sustainably sourced ingredients on our menu. Heirloom vegetables and heritage, pasture-raised meats from itsown onsite gardens and farm, as well as other local farms allow our frequently-changing seasonal menu to offer you the freshest ingredients of the suburban Philadelphia region. Lunch:Tuesday–Friday 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner:Tuesday–Saturday 5 p.m.–9 p.m.

Skippack Village Italian Market 4101 Skippack Pike Skippack 610-584-4050; http://www.skippackitalianmarket.com. Full service dining room and outdoor patio. Gourmet hoagies and salads, Specialty desserts, and Coffee bar. Homemade meatballs and roast pork, Italian Deli items.Wooden shelves fill the front room, packed full of the authentic Italian groceries, and packaged sweets that keep hungry visitors coming back.The Italian Market is a great place to have lunch, shop for groceries, or just browse for snacks. On and off site catering is available for any size function. Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.– 7 p.m. Friday, Sat. to 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Tex Mex Connection, 201 E.Walnut St., North Wales, PA; 214-6999552; www.texmexconnection.com. Tex Mex Cuisine: Characterized by the adaptation of Mexican food by Texan cooks. Often exemplified by the extensive use of meats and spices (foreign and native) resulting in creative seafood dishes, great steaks, tender ribs, and juicy pork as well as our interpretation of standards like chile con queso, nachos and fajitas. Not Mexican, not Texan, just Tex-Mex. Dining Room: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.

Villa Barolo Ristorante & Wine Bar, the corner of Route 611 and Bristol Road, 1373 Easton Road, Warrington, PA 18976; 215-491-9370; www.villa-barolo.com.

D I N I N G OU T GU I D E Having almost 100 items on the menu with nearly 25 specials, everyday, Barolo serves fish and seafood, organic meats, pasta, chicken, and veal dishes and has a large raw bar. Named after an Italian wine,Villa Barolo boasts of having more than 100 wines in its wine cellar. Private parties and special events. Online menus. Hours: 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 11:30 a.m.—11:30 p.m. Friday—Saturday, 2-10 p.m. Sunday. No reservations necessary. Major credit cards. William Penn Inn, 1017 Dekalb Pike, Gwynedd, PA; 215-699-9272; www.williampenn.com. Established in 1714 as a public house, the William Penn is an historical venue based in the rich tradition of hospitality.The Inn is renowned for its dedication to a tradition of continental country dining in a relaxed, cordial atmosphere along with exquisite cuisine, fine wines, personal service and flawless coordination. Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m, Saturday 11:30 a.m–2:30 p.m. Dinner: Monday-Friday 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday: 4:30 p.m.–11 p.m., Sunday Sunday: 2 p.m.–8 p.m. Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Zakes Café, 444 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA; 215 654 7600; www.zakescafe.jimdo.com. Zakes Cafe is an American Fusion Restaurant featuring an innovative cuisine. It has been said of Zakes Cafe that they are a hidden Gem–an under the radar BYOB. Lunch–homemade soups, quiche, specialty salads & gourmet sandwiches. Dinner–warm and inviting, the pace is more relaxed and the menu has an eclectic American/Asian flair.The Dessert Case at the Cafe is worth the trip to Zakes on its own. Every day we feature a selection of our desserts individually sliced and in whole cake form for you to take home and enjoy.Whether you are buying one or two slices or a selection to offer your dinner guests, this is a great way to sample Zakes Cakes. Zakes is open for dinner Wed–Sun, Breakfast and Lunch Monday–Saturday and Brunch on Sunday.

for your special event

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 77

Sun Young Kang continued from page 25

in front of us, but we sense that something else is there, another non-physical realm. I visualize invisibility, opposite ideas like presence and absence, life and death.” Her book art also creates negative space. “I cut out pages or burn out text with incense. The letters disappear physi78


cally so that the text is physically absent but you can still read it. You are actually reading the burnt out text, the absence.” Viewer participation is of the utmost importance to Kang and her work. This is accomplished in part by turning the book pages or walking around her installations. She explains that this is why she used motion sensor lights with her installation. “It is total darkness; then the lights

turn on and you see the physical presence. I am showing that even the physical is not permanent and this gets at life and death.” Sun Young met her husband in Korea and came with him to this country. She enrolled at the University of the Arts where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Book Arts/Printmaking. She was a fellow at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2015. Her thesis was a very large accordion-like book using folded screens. Each piece was a scroll book with text. “I was attracted to book art because I use personal narratives, life and death. My grandmother was always telling me of ancestors that I never met, but I became connected to them through her. When she died, I became the ancestor. I could understand the connection to the absence. I convey this through my book art.” I view two small beautifully crafted books that are also on exhibit. They are both quite small, and could fit in the palm of my hand. One is entitled In Honor of My Grandmother’s Simple Life, black and white with elegant calligraphic strokes and the other, Samsara which is composed of twelve hand-drawn colorful images of trees and water. These art books are designed so that you can turn the pages continuously. As Sun Young says, “This suggests there is no beginning or ending in nature; nothing is stationary.” While this exhibit will have ended by the time you read this article, do not despair. Sun Young Kang’s work is included in a number of permanent exhibits including The University of Pennsylvania Widener Library, Swarthmore College and the Pennsylvania State Museum permanent collection. Lafayette College has five of her exquisite books in their collection. Some of her Book art can be purchased. You can contact her directly and view her work at Sunyoungkang.com. John Cella is a freelance writer living in Montgomery County.

Staying Fit at Any Age


Sexy at 80 –by Vicky Waite

USUALLY I FEATURE A NEW AND EVEN SOME OLD PRODUCTS, but for this column I want to write about a woman I have been following for the past 23 years. And what better time to tell you about her, since she is turning 80 years old this June. It is someone who I find intriguing and who proves that you can become fit at any age. Her name is Ernestine Shepherd. She actually was a couch potato until she was 56 years old. Never really worked out. But her story is one that will amaze you. So for this column there won’t be any equipment to put together which makes my husband Bill in his glory! We will catch up with Bill the next time. But this is my chance to tell you about an amazing woman who at 80 seems ageless. And through self-determination and drive she has become the oldest female bodybuilder, breaking the Guinness World Record. Ernestine Shepherd is from Baltimore, Maryland. Ernestine at age 56 and her sister at age 57 went into a gym realizing they needed to get into shape again after years of neglect. There bodies were soft. It was now time to do something about it, they figured. They began working out at a local gym and they liked the results so they began to push themselves harder. Ernestine and her sister were very close. Sadly, her sister died suddenly of an aneurysm, which left Ernestine devastated. She withdrew and got very depressed. She couldn’t get into working out and felt lost for a while. She had panic attacks and high blood pressure. She remembered that the two sisters made a pact with each other to continue to push themselves to be the best. So Ernestine eventually got back into working out and used it as a way to push beyond her sadness. It was her sister who said that they would be in the Guinness World Book of Records as the oldest two-sister bodybuilders. It was her sisters’ wish that kept Ernestine going for the record. Along the way she met the former Mr. Universe, Yohnnie Shambourger and she asked him if he 79 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

would work with her because she wanted to become a bodybuilder. He had her ready to be on the stage in just seven months. And she hasn’t looked back since! Through her diet and daily exercise routine she did it. She does it because she practices what she preaches. Ernestine wakes up at 2:30 every morning. She says she never needs an alarm clock. She eats 10 egg whites scrambled and 16 ounces of water and a hand full of walnuts. Her mornings begin in the dark running with a light on her hat with her husband while singing her favorite song. Her songs and thoughts are positive—reinforcing the power of positive thinking. Ernestine started an exercise class to train woman, and even men joined. Everyone is inspired. Woman in their 60s are getting off the couch and working out with her. Her spirit and inspiration is contagious. She proves that age is nothing but a number. Ernestine has a toned body, a flat stomach and toned arms and legs. Her appearance is young and fit. If you were told she was 80, you just wouldn’t believe it. She maintains the same schedule everyday. The routine includes drinking a mixture of egg whites too. And, she takes no medicines at all. She is in excellent health. So it is never too late to begin an exercise program. Whether you work out at home or go to the gym. We all know that diet and exercise leads to a longer healthy life. The key is healthy. Being able to enjoy those golden years, by “staying fit at any age.” What does Collin Shepherd, her husband of 59 years has to say about all this? One thing is for sure; he just can’t keep the guys away from her. And, what do I have to say about all this: Move over all those sexy at 60 books and bring on Sexy at 80! Being in the publishing business, it really got me thinking! And with any exercise program, always consult your physician before you begin. Visit www.ernestineshepherd.com for a copy of her book "Ageless Journey."



In our caterpillar years, change came incrementally, grudgingly and sometimes not at all. We were old creatures in need of a transformation—waiting to be called with a voice that could wake up the dead—the power that raised Lazarus and holds all things together by the Word of His power.



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MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Summer 2016  

Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Music, Growing Scented Herbs, Handcrafted Furniture and Sounds of Jazz.

MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Summer 2016  

Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Music, Growing Scented Herbs, Handcrafted Furniture and Sounds of Jazz.