A New Day For Stoneleigh
Almost a century ago, Otto Haas, founder of chemical giant Rohm & Haas, purchased a parcel of land in Villanova where the Haas family lived for more than 60 years. After Otto’s son John passed away, the family wanted Stoneleigh to be preserved and enjoyed so they donated it to Natural Lands, a non-profit that preserves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors.
The grounds at Stoneleigh feature a number of state champion trees, intimate garden spaces, and garden architecture dating back to the early 20th Century.
One of the more unique parts of the Stoneleigh story is that the gardens, while maintained for safety and preserving the natural landscapes and native vegetation, allow the trees to grow naturally rather than “lollipopping” them.
Lollipopping a tree removes lower branches and forces the tree to grow in specific ways, creating a look that is fuller at the top. This is a popular landscape design method in dense urban areas where space is at a premium, but it can lead to unnatural branch growth and branch failure.