The Hidden Hill nursery is alive with color

A spring tour of riotous beauty
Bob and Janet Hill ran the Hidden Hill Nursery & Sculpture Garden in Utica, Indiana, for 19 years, cultivating rare and unusual plants he has collected from around the world. It was a second career for him, after retiring after 33 years as a metro columnist for The Louisville Times and Courier Journal. Hidden Hill closed its full-time operation in 2018 but is open for special events and by appointment. Hill gave LEO photographer Kathryn Harrington a tour recently.

The Redbud ‘Pauline Lily,’ named for the wife of Colin Lily, who found this tree growing in the mountains of West Virginia.
The Quince ‘Double Take Scarlet’ – a beautiful screaming and THORNLESS cultivar.
The beautiful remaining flower buds of a hydrangea.
Magnolia – ‘Marilyn’.
A daffodil with somewhat mysterious history, the flower had already been at the location when the Hills’ moved in 45 years ago.
The Bleeding Heart, one of Hill’s favorite spring plants, is a hardy plant first discovered in Japan.
The Appalachian Red redbud. Most vivid of all. It was found growing along a road in Maryland as a “sport” of nature and was later released by University of Tennessee.
The ‘Wood Poppy’ – A very aggressive North American native that hurls spring color at you. Propogates like gerbils.
According to Hill, the Adirondack Crabapple is “as bold and frothy a plant as nature can provide.”
Yellow Archangel.
A butterfly perches on a fragrant viburnum.
These tulips came from a trip to Keukenhof Gardens in Netherlands two years ago where SEVEN MILLION tulips were on display in fantastic artistic creations. SEVEN MILLION.
The wondrous forget-me-not. This one goes back hundreds of years with several stories. The best is two lovers were walking along the Danube and saw this flower. The man went to pick some for his lover, fell into the river and as he was swept away he hollered back ‘Forget me not!”.
The Paper Bark Maple. A fabulous four-season tree because the bark is always exfoliating.
The Creeping Phlox is a native of the Appalachian mountains and has about 50 different colors.
Kerria bush. An early spring stunner. Native to Asia, the bush grows six to eight feet.