Life From Life

When James Hanselman of Hanselman Landscape needed containers for young nursery stock, he commissioned Jeff Hershey, his friend and a neighboring wood craftsman, with a sustainable option: build the new “grow boxes” from trees that had been removed from a nearby property.

“In keeping with our traditional hand-crafted approach in every aspect of garden care, it seemed fitting that we find a local craftsman to help us build these boxes,” smiles Hanselman.

The photos below show the full-circle journey from live trees, through the milling and assembly processes at Jeff’s lumber mill and workshop, to the final stage–as life-support structures in which saplings can receive nourishment and nurture in the HL nursery, until they are ready for installation in client gardens.

Gladly shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife

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Sunrise, Sunset…

. . . quickly fly the years.
One season following another,
laden with happiness and tears.
~ Sheldon Harnick and Lewis Bock Jerrold, from Fiddler on the Roof (musical)

Gratefully shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (& grateful daily “grace gift” recipient)

Sunrise and sunset over our back patio, grand reminders that I take time to still my racing soul and savor the grace and glory all around me.

Goose Music

“I hope to leave [my children] good health, an education, and possibly even a competence. But what are they going to do with these things if there be no more deer in the hills . . . no more chattering of teal as darkness covers the marshes; no more whistling of swift wings when the morning star pales in the east? And when the dawn-wind stirs through the ancient cottonwoods, and the gray light steals down from the hills over the old river sliding softly past its wide brown sandbars–what if there be no more goose music?”
~ Aldo Leopold (American author, naturalist, conservationist; 1887-1948)

Good news! Geese still glide over Ginkgo in Central Pennsylvania garden; March, 2021.

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GARDEN VIEWS: Winter Sunshine

On the cold, sometimes dreary days when winter and spring seem to be playing an interminable game of hide and seek, how delightful to have the varied shades, textures, and shapes of evergreens to brighten the landscape! Here are a few of my favorites: glossy-leafed ‘Edith Bogue’ Magnolia, brightly- berried ‘Satyr Hill’ Holly, lush-needled Nordmann Fir, and the rare Sciadopitys verticillata (Umbrella Pine). Do you have a favorite evergreen that brightens your winter days? Let me know in the comments!

Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (& evergreen enthusiast!)

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Garden Views

Swans in winter . . . captured in timeless elegance and beauty by one of our crew members at a farm pond we renovated in Manheim, PA.
(Photos by Peter Dymond, Hanselman Landscape Garden Care Supervisor)
Renovations to this Central Pennsylvania farm pond included reshaping steep banks into gently sloping lawns for ease of mowing, surrounding the pond edge on one side with jumping rocks for water play, and adding a peninsula for sunny-day picnics.
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Garden Views in Winter

When a blanket of new-fallen snow softens the lines in the overall landscape, berries, boulders and branches are highlighted and redefined. A garden with interest and beauty in all seasons is a delight we enjoy sharing!
Shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (& winter garden explorer)
Fresh snowfall redefines stone steps with Pine and Boxwood plantings, front porch view, Deciduous Holly berries, and ‘tsukubai’ water feature in country garden, Central Pennsylvania.
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As soon as spring weather permitted, the Hanselman Landscape team members began preparing the site by first “getting rid of the ugly,” Betsy remembers. They yanked out the huge, overgrown Yew bushes that had dominated the tiny courtyard for so long, and removed the old concrete slab, chunk by chunk. The cleared area was excavated and graded to provide a level base for the patio and make allowances for surface water flow. The crew then created planting mounds for Azaleas, Pines, and other plants. For Betsy, this was one of her favorite parts of the project: “I loved watching the mounds being shaped, and seeing the grades change,” she recalls. Following the grading of the area, boulders were set into the soil and mounds were shaped around the boulders to integrate them naturally into the landform. Then, while the area was still accessible to equipment, the largest plants were brought in and planted.
Finally, the area was ready for the installation of the patio. The cut stones were delivered to the Miraglia residence and the real fun began! Stone by stone, the patio was pieced together—much like a huge jigsaw puzzle—beginning in the back corner adjacent to the house. As the work progressed out towards the courtyard’s entry gate, the crew planted shrubs in the newly graded soil next to the patio, finally closing off access to any activity that required wheels. From the entry gate descending to the surface of the driveway, the patio transitioned to stepping stone stairs cut from the same sandstone. Small shrubs and ground covers were then added and the planting areas were mulched with Pine straw. The final step was to spread gravel in the space between the mounds and the patio.
(For Betsy’s response to the finished project, please come back next time!
Happily shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (with great respect for all of the artists involved in this skillful “puzzle” presentation!)
Finished Nobedan patio mirrors the prototype that was first pieced together at Hanselman Landscape. Large boulders and evergreen plantings were placed together in gently-mounded soil to soften the space and hide the community-mandated fence.
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Here in the Northeast, we observe four seasons and either celebrate or rue the seasonal changes that dictate our wardrobe, our activities, and our house and garden projects. In Japan, however, the traditional Japanese calendar divides the year into 24 major divisions which are each split again into three for a total of 72 kō (or micro-seasons) that last around five days each. These 72 “seasons” offer a poetic journey through the Japanese year, exemplifying a culture infused with deep sensitivity and appreciation for the nuances of nature.
Here are a few of the beautifully lyrical descriptions of Japan’s seasonal changes:
Spring wind thaws the ice
Brush warbler starts singing in the mountains
First Cherry blossoms
Distant thunder
Wild geese fly north
Bamboo shoots sprout
Rotten grass becomes fireflies
Hawks learn to fly
Evening cicadas sing
Maple and Ivy turn yellow
North wind blows leaves from the trees
Gratefully shared by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife
Enjoy each of the four (or 72!) seasons of the year in your very own garden paradise, carefully planned to surround you with close-at-hand beauty! Whether it be brilliant fall foliage, evergreen diversity for winter interest, spring-blooming trees, shrubs and flowers, or a swim-in waterfall for summer refreshment, our team of designers, craftsmen, and plant care-givers is ready to bring year ’round garden joy to life for you!
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Good Earth

Success in a garden is from the ground up–literally! The health and beauty of garden plants depend on the soil in which they are planted, so investing in high-quality soil, soil amendments, and the right type of mulch is important and justifiable.

In many locales in Central Pennsylvania, new homes are built on soil that has been depleted of nutrients after many years of farming. This type of soil will inhibit rather than promote plant health. If this is your situation, when you begin to develop your outdoor spaces we advise you to spend the money to add topsoil that is nutrient rich, loosely textured, and as weed-free as possible. Good topsoil will provide the nutrients plants need, allow for adequate water penetration and drainage, and reduce competition from weeds.
If your garden is already established but not thriving, it may be that a fertilization regimen and an irrigation system will correct the nutritional and moisture deficits. Hanselman Landscape provides fertilization, irrigation, and weed control to encourage healthy, robust plant growth.

Hanselman Landscape & Gardens of Manheim, Pennsylvania Receives Best Of Houzz 2016 Award

    Woodland path - stepping stones 2                A child-sized path to waterfall                Courtyard garden - Bryn Mawr 1                                               

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World

MANHEIM, PA – Once again, Hanselman Landscape & Gardens of Manheim, PA has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.

“Believing the world can be beautiful, we are dedicated to bringing the joy of natural beauty within the daily reach of our clients and their loved ones.”

—James and Betty Hanselman,

The family-owned garden design and development firm was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.”

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Hanselman Landscape & Gardens among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

About Hanselman Landscape & Gardens

With unique solutions to complex challenges, Hanselman Landscape’s garden design experts will embrace your home with a custom-tailored, sustainable landscape design. Japanese gardens, swimming pool landscapes with refreshing waterfalls, and carefully-pruned specialty plants are just a few of the ways we can bring natural beauty into your daily experience.

About Houzz

From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit

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