Just Listed: Hortulus Farm in Wrightstown
The couple who have painstakingly put together this Best of Philly-winning garden are ready to pass the torch to another garden lover who can care for their unique vision. Might that be you?
Perhaps you’re one of the many people who have visited Hortulus Farm in Wrightstown, toured its 100-plus acres of rare and beautiful plants and oh-so-photogenic gardens, and said to yourself, “I wish I could live in a place as magical as this.”
Noted garden and event designer Renny Reynolds and garden author Jack Staub have put their one-of-a-kind horticultural creation and home up for sale, right on the heels of winning 2019 Best of Philly honors as “Best Place for Rare Plants.”
(You can check out all the other winners here.)
The nucleus of Hortulus Farm is the Isaiah Warner house, a classic stone Pennsylvania farmhouse built in stages between 1793 and 1830. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the house has been the seat of the Warner and Thompson families, and for most of its history, the house and two barns that were added to it in the 19th century served as a working dairy farm. Other outbuildings have been added to it over the years, and all of them now contribute to the life and workings of this garden, nursery, event space, garden store and museum.
For the past 40 years, it’s been the home of partners in business and life Reynolds and Staub.
“Hortulus Farm began as a passion project to highlight the beauty of a variety of different plant species that thrive in Bucks County and that anyone in the area could grow at home,” says Reynolds. “My training as a landscape architect helped Jack and I turn 15 acres of land and 24 gardens 40 years ago into more than 100 acres of stunning, natural landscaping.”
Their unique vision has wowed visitors from all over. It also impressed The Garden Conservancy, which made Hortulus only the second Affiliate Garden in the organization’s history in 2015.
The photos you see here only barely scratch the surface of the gardens at Hortulus, but they should be enough to demonstrate that this is a truly unique creation. Reynolds and Staub have applied similar creativity and vision to the care and shaping of the residential spaces.
The most spectacular and original of their interior creations is the great room of the converted barn residence on the property. A wall of glass on one side fills the room with natural light and showcases such features as a staircase with railings fashioned from garden implements.
The converted barn has two bedrooms and two and a half baths. It could serve as a spectacular guest residence.
The pair have maintained the 18th-century charm and warmth of the main house with similar skill. Yet as its TV room and kitchen demonstrate, they have also kept it up to date in order to meet the demands of modern life.
Judging from these photos, I’d say Reynolds and Staub have interior design skills equal to their landscaping and gardening skills.
The house is surrounded by its own private garden that’s as attractive as the gardens that the public can tour.
In addition to these two dwellings, the property contains a two-bedroom, one-bath ranch house that serves as a caretaker’s residence, a larger barn that serves as Hortulus’ offices and garden museum, and a third barn that houses the farm’s animals and equipment.
“Renny and I have a true love of Bucks County, the community and the wonderful native wildlife that make it an incredibly unique place,” says Staub. “Our hope was to be an example to the public of what natural beauty people could bring to their own homes and to show visitors some of the best of what Bucks County has to offer.
“Being honored in Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly, among other recognition Hortulus Farm has received, has been an unexpected joy.”
Put bluntly, you’re not just buying a house and garden here. You’re buying a legacy designed for the enjoyment and education of all. Reynolds and Staub have done the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is look after it and shepherd it into a new future.
“We’re proud Hortulus Farm has become a fixture in Bucks County and look forward to seeing it continue to blossom for years to come,” says Reynolds.
The pictures you see here give you a good idea of what you will be getting with your acquisition, but there are many more on the listing — 99 in all. (I’m sure the agent appreciates Bright MLS’ listing engine, which removed predecessor TREND’s 25-photo limit.) I encourage you to go to the listing to look at all 99.
THE FINE PRINT
(figures for main house only)
BATHS: 3 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 693 (We’re sure this is a typo.)
SALE PRICE: $5,650,000
OTHER STUFF: While Hortulus Farm is protected by a conservation easement through The Garden Conservancy, it does have room for change: there’s room for a second residence with a separate driveway on the property.
60 Thompson Mill Rd., Wrightstown, Pa. 18940 [Art Mazzei | Addison Wolfe Real Estate]