The birds and the bees come to Chadds Ford

New life came to The Christian C.  Sanderson Museum with the dedication of the Hannah Carmack Sanderson Memorial Garden. More than just the pretty faces of flowers, the garden provides a habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.

Barbara Rinehart, from the Penn State Master Gardeners of Chester County, designed the garden. The idea was to show how native host and pollinator plants support native birds, butterflies, bees and other insects.

First the non-native flowers and briars, which had overgrown their bounds, were torn out. Master gardener Raugan Aylan was given a special commendation for bravery in the face of poison ivy.

While cleaning out the old plants, the volunteer gardeners discovered an unsightly wellhead. The solution was the use of inverted planter both to cover the wellhead and to serve as the base for the puddling station.

A puddling station was created in a large dish that looks like a birdbath.  The station contains sand, rocks, water, salt and minerals for butterflies to enjoy.

Once the back yard was cleared, Reinhart selected a variety of plants native to Pennsylvania that would attract pollinators and provide host plants for larva. She cultivated a 10 by 11 foot garden area.

The project leader was Nancy Sakaduski from the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners. Readers may recognize her name from the many columns she wrote for Chadds Ford Live.  You can see her archived columns at Other master gardeners were acknowledged for there work: Gail Lidondici, Angel Henderson, Anne Wagner, Carlene Baer and Lee Ferrier.

Most of the plants were donated by the gardeners themselves.  All of their time was on a volunteer basis. A birdhouse with a copper roof was purchased by funds donated from the Rosalind Schewebel Trust.

Sue Minarchi, museum president, said the pathway connecting the museum to the back lot of the Brandywine Prime Restaurant will be redone. Engraved stones will be sold to help pay for the project. In the back yard of the museum are the footings of an old blacksmith’s workshop. This area will be made into a patio with benches.

Minarchi hopes that the Sanderson Museum grounds will be a welcoming area for visitors. Her dreams include shutting down Creek Road for a day to celebrate Sanderson day where guests can walk between Barn Shoppes, Brandywine Prime, Hank’s and the Chadds Ford Historical Society without stopping for traffic.

The museum is located at 1755 Creek Road in Chadds Ford just north of the Route 1 intersection. The museum is open from 12-4 Thursday through Sunday from March to November.  “History as you have never seen it before.” For more information go to

Hannah Sanderson was Chris Sanderson's mother.

Photo above: Nancy Sakaduski shows puddler created for the Hannah Carmack Sanderson Memorial Garden. The puddler will provide butterflies a place to light and get minerals from the water specially prepared by volunteers. (Photo by Emily Myers)



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About Emily Myers

Emily Myers has lived and worked in Chadds Ford for over thirty years.  She founded the parent company of Chadds Ford Live, Decision Design Research, Inc., in 1982. represents the confluence of Myers' long time, deep involvement in technology and community. Myers was a founding member of the Chadds Ford Business Association and currently serves on its board of directors.  Her hobbies include bridge, golf, photography and Tai Chi. She lives with her husband, Jim Lebedda, in Chadds Ford Township.



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