The Hidden Hill nursery is alive with color

Apr 15, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Bob Hill looking at the very rare Croton Alabamensis, or ‘Croton'.  Only found in four Alabama counties and three in Texas. These shrubs have silver-backed leaves with a great fall color.
Bob Hill looking at the very rare Croton Alabamensis, or ‘Croton'. Only found in four Alabama counties and three in Texas. These shrubs have silver-backed leaves with a great fall 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.

click to enlarge The Redbud 'Pauline Lily,’ named for the wife of Colin Lily, who found this tree growing in the mountains of West Virginia. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
The Redbud 'Pauline Lily,’ named for the wife of Colin Lily, who found this tree growing in the mountains of West Virginia.
click to enlarge The Quince ‘Double Take Scarlet’ – a beautiful screaming and THORNLESS cultivar. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
The Quince ‘Double Take Scarlet’ – a beautiful screaming and THORNLESS cultivar.
click to enlarge The beautiful remaining flower buds of a hydrangea. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
The beautiful remaining flower buds of a hydrangea.
click to enlarge Magnolia – ‘Marilyn’. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
Magnolia – ‘Marilyn’.
click to enlarge A daffodil with somewhat mysterious history, the flower had already been at the location when the Hills’ moved in 45 years ago. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
A daffodil with somewhat mysterious history, the flower had already been at the location when the Hills’ moved in 45 years ago.
click to enlarge The Bleeding Heart, one of Hill's favorite spring plants, is a hardy plant first discovered in Japan. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
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. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
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.
click to enlarge The 'Wood Poppy’ – A very aggressive North American native that hurls spring color at you. Propogates like gerbils. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
The 'Wood Poppy’ – A very aggressive North American native that hurls spring color at you. Propogates like gerbils.
click to enlarge According to Hill, the Adirondack Crabapple is "as bold and frothy a plant as nature can provide." - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
According to Hill, the Adirondack Crabapple is "as bold and frothy a plant as nature can provide."
click to enlarge Yellow Archangel. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
Yellow Archangel.
click to enlarge A butterfly perches on a fragrant viburnum. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
A butterfly perches on a fragrant viburnum.
click to enlarge 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. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
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.
click to enlarge 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!”. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
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 Paper Bark Maple. A fabulous four-season tree because the bark is always exfoliating.
click to enlarge The Creeping Phlox is a native of the Appalachian mountains and has about 50 different colors.
The Creeping Phlox is a native of the Appalachian mountains and has about 50 different colors.
click to enlarge Kerria bush. An early spring stunner. Native to Asia, the bush grows six to eight feet. - KATHRYN HARRINGTON
KATHRYN HARRINGTON
Kerria bush. An early spring stunner. Native to Asia, the bush grows six to eight feet.