Archive for Chubb Insurance

What’s New at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

American sycamore, Platinus occidentalis (all photos courtesy of our wonderful tenant Cynthia)

You may have noticed that Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, the blog and the plant nursery, has been unusually quiet lately.  That’s because we have been in shock.  In August, a freak storm snapped the top off of our gigantic, over 100-year-old American sycamore and sent it crashing down on our historic carriage house.  Those of you who have been here know that the carriage house is my place of business.  There is also an apartment upstairs, and my garage, where the cashier’s table normally sits at open houses, is attached to the side.

The sycamore on top of the carriage house

Four branches the size of normal trees came crashing through the roof into the two bedrooms, a storage area, and the garage while the trunk fell on the roof itself.  Thankfully no one was hurt,  and our tenant wasn’t home.


The tree cut up and removed from the roof.

We are also very thankful to Chris Lepping of Lepping Landscape & Tree Service in Collegeville, PA.  The tree fell on Sunday evening at 6 pm, and on Monday morning at 8:00 am Chris was in our driveway with a bucket truck to assess the situation. He and his crew were able to remove the tree with no further damage.  Chris said it was the most dangerous tree removal he has done in over 20 years of business.

The part of the tree that was left standing towered over the carriage house.

We are also very happy that we opted for a relatively expensive Chubb Insurance “masterpiece” homeowners policy.  A Chubb remediation team was there on Sunday night at 11:30 pm  to keep the torrential rains from flooding the building.  Chubb has worked closely with us to expedite repairs and has not questioned the expenses being incurred to fix the extensive damage.


Sadly, the tree had to come down.  It was my favorite tree on the whole property, which has some pretty amazing trees, and the only American sycamore.  All the other “sycamores” are London planetrees.


Finally, we are very thankful that my brother, Nick Walker, is a contractor with the capability to fix all the damage to our historic carriage house.  His business, Cottage Industries in Wayne, PA, specializes in renovating old homes like ours and has won the Historic Preservation Award from the Radnor (PA) Historical Society.  Nick and his crew are working hard to get Carolyn’s Shade Gardens back in business.

The trunk diameter was almost five feet.  We grow them big in the mid-Atlantic!


So what does all this mean to Carolyn’s Shade Gardens?  We are slightly behind in starting our fall season but still have a full month of events planned.  The first fall open house is this Saturday, September 22, from 10 am to 3 pm.  We intend to do a shrub offer in late September or early October.  As we have in the previous two years, we will also be offering for preorder gorgeous Winter Jewels double hellebores (for photos click here) potted earlier this summer and waiting to find a home in your garden.  To receive details of all these events you must be on my customer email list  (see below).  Now if I can just get the dumpsters out of my sales area!!!!

I hope to see you this fall,


Nursery Happenings:  The first fall open house is this Saturday, September 22, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on my customer email list should have received plant lists and photos already.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.


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