GLENSIDE, PA - Often times, the best discoveries can be made right in your
own back yard. That's certainly the case at The Ponds & Gardens of Limekiln, located at 200 Limekiln Pike in Glenside, where behind an unassuming storefront lies a two-acre, multi-level oasis for gardeners and
Flowering perennials, fragrant herbs and colorful
container gardens guide the visitor to the second level of the store, where the
area's largest selection of aquatic plants and fish awaits. Two greenhouses
are devoted entirely to fish, including goldfish, fantails, shubunkins, and
domestic and imported koi of all sizes. Other critters such as snails, turtles,
and tadpoles can also be found here. The other
greenhouses contain an ever-growing assortment of tropical plants, seasonal
flowering plants, and specialty plants such as scented geraniums, miniature
plants and much more.
"So many people come through here and say, 'I had no idea all of this
was back here,'" said Denise Twelkmeyer, who along with her husband Hermann, took over the property in March of 1999. (Ponds & Gardens was
formerly located on Mermaid Lane in Wyndmoor.) After twelve award-winning appearances at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the Twelkmeyers have been
working tirelessly to make the Ponds & Gardens of Limekiln a store like no other.
Beyond the 4 retail greenhouses , lies more than 200
varieties of perennials (Denise prides herself on selecting unusual varieties)
and 7 more greenhouses, where more than 300 varieties of aquatic plants are propagated and raised.
There also display ponds and perennials that are field grown.
The Twelkmeyers operated a thriving wholesale aquatic
plant business, started more than 30 years ago, shipping fish and aquatic plants to stores
and garden centers all over
Hermann and Denise got their "feet wet", so to speak,
34 years ago when they put in their very first pond at
home. What they encountered then was a lack of readily available aquatic
plants, and virtually no knowledgeable people in this field. Having solved
just about every imaginable pond problem themselves, over the years, they are
more than happy to
pass that information on to their customers.
"The right advice is usually much more effective than pouring a
chemical additive into your pond," according to Hermann, who often fields questions about such common pond-keepers' problems as green water and
fish-eating predators. He attempts to get as much information as possible about a customer's pond before recommending a solution.
In addition to the almost overwhelming array of plants and fish, Ponds
& Gardens is also home to a unique collection of statuary, fountains, cast iron, and upscale pond-themed gift items, as well as an excellent selection
of books for the water gardener. Pond enthusiasts will also find a full line of pond supplies, including pumps, filters, fish food, pond liners,
waterfalls, and the like.
For this coming season, they hope to have their more display
gardens ready to view. So far, they have one pond, with deck and gazebo,
on the hilltop, a second stone 2- level pond---the view of the area is worth the
hike (be prepared to walk) and a third "Monet Pond". It is 38' x
25' with the Monet bridge used in one of their flower show exhibits.
"We want to create a place where our customers
can linger by the outdoor koi pools, and watch the graceful movements of the colorful fish.
We want people to stop and appreciate the excitement a garden can bring."
Take a preliminary tour