1 Frolic's head gardener, David Brown, led our tour through the grounds of The Big Bend. This was the main house. Originally, this was the front, but Frolic switched it because of a need for a more functional driveway.
2 Here was Kevin standing in what is now the front of the home. When the house was originally built in the 18th century, this was the back of the house.
3 The entire facade was made of stone. Here was one side partly covered with ivy.
4 In the front entry was a vase of flowers under an 18th century Queen Anne mirror labelled by Philadelphia cabinet maker, John Elliott. In the 1960s, a major restoration uncovered the original yellow-gold colored paint used on the walls, so Frolic had the paint matched and used it again.
5 This was the Spring House for the main residence, located next to the front entrance.
6 Here, David showed us the map of the property and gardens.
7 This was a life size bronze peacock made for Frolic by artist Rikki Morley Saunders. It sits on a brick wall in the courtyard.
8 Look at this old local Pennsylvania walnut tree - it was so very beautiful and tall.
9 This was the entrance to the wine cellar. Originally, it was a root cellar - used for refrigeration to store root vegetables, as well as various fruits, nuts and other foods at milder temperatures.
10 The fern allee to the hollyhock garden. The two figures are called caryatids - female statues used as supports or columns, as in the ancient Greek temples. Here, they were used more decoratively, holding up potted ferns.
11 In the clearing, we came to the hollyhock garden. Known botanically as Alcea rosea, these pretty hollyhocks are popular ornamental garden plants for areas of full sun, and moist, rich well-drained soil.
12 Hollyhocks have a pretty long blooming season, but it is usually considered a short lived perennial. They can also grow quite tall, reaching up to six-feet in height.
13 At the end of the hollyhock garden was this beautifully sculpted hornbeam hedge. And, just through the hedge stood a bronze ghost figure.
14 The ghost figure was by the late artist, Robert Jones. Frolic first saw the sculpture at a New York gallery showing. It was originally part of a series made in fiberglass. Frolic had one of the figures made into bronze and displayed it in Jones' honor back at The Big Bend.
15 A mallow flower, Malva - a fun and easy to grow member of the Hibiscus plant family. The flower blooms resemble hollyhocks, and are about two-inches across, in white or tones of pink.
16 Another beautiful garden allee - this one with Rose of Sharon, erect, deciduous shrubs that produce cup-shaped flowers in summer and fall. And, can you see the structure at the very end of this allee?
17 It's an Indonesian fertility hut Frolic humorously built about 15-years ago - I admired its thatched roof.
18 David walked us back through the hollyhock garden - the weather on this day was perfect for a garden tour.
19 This was originally the servants' house. During the major restoration in the early 1960s, this was used as the temporary main residence.
20 Then we saw a path lined with white caladium. The all white variety is only a few years old. Caladium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. With their large heart-shaped leaves, they are big landscape favorites.
21 Look how beautiful they are lined along this footpath.
22 Back at the main house, we learned that instead of the stairs, a porch spanned the second floor until the 1920s. The home was built in the 1780s. At one point, the entire property belonged to the Lenni Lenape Indians. The land passed through many hands before Frolic purchased it in 1961.
23 Underneath the stairs was a Swedish Indian trading post. Now, it is one large dining room.
24 This circular garden was used for Frolic's annuals.
25 In the center of the annuals garden was a statue of two greyhounds by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Most visitors think the two dogs are fighting, but the art piece is really of two "courting" greyhounds.
26 Tilthonia, also called the Mexican sunflower, is an annual drought tolerant plant that blooms from summer to fall. The daisy-like flowers in orange and yellow grow to about three-inches across and are very attractive to butterflies.
27 Kevin stopped for a quick photo next to the Mexican sunflowers. Some varieties can grow pretty tall - up to five-feet or more.
28 This is what Frolic calls the colosseum. He built it following a cousin's wedding on the property. A tent on a platform stood in this general area, from where guests could see straight across the garden. Frolic wanted a place where visitors could always sit and enjoy the views.
29 This was the view from the steps of the colosseum.
30 Kevin enjoyed the scenery.
31 Here was Frolic's vegetable garden. In the back was his crop of Mexican corn, which was unusually tall - about 10-feet on this day.
32 I saw this and recognized it quickly - the poisonous castor bean, or castor oil plant, Ricinus communis. The leaves and the seeds contain the powerful toxin, ricin. It is grown as an ornamental plant in many areas, but be very careful not to ingest any of it.
33 In the barn, these Chinese lanterns were put up about 10-years ago for Michael's birthday party and never came down. They add color and whimsy to this great entertaining space.
34 Here I was joined by Frolic's close friends, Carlton Cropper and Michael Mattson. The art piece was from France, of a man and dog in a reversal of roles - the dog was walking the man.