Ralph Archer Woodland Gardens at Whitehall Mansion

Ralph Archer (the namesake for Whitehall's Woodland Garden) chatting with Richie Steffen and JCMGA members

Ralph Archer (the namesake for Whitehall’s Woodland Garden) chatting with Richie Steffen and JCMGA members


From Master Gardener Cheri Casey. Photos from Master Gardener Rick Harned.

Most Monday mornings March through October, you will see a faithful band of Master Gardeners along with Whitehall’s Landscape Director, Mike Hayman, in the Ralph Archer Woodland Garden. (The garden is located at 3110 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40206.)

Some years we are lucky to add new Master Gardeners to the team. We welcomed our newest member Brenda Townes, who has proven to be an enthusiastic team member. This group has worked to cultivate and develop one of the region’s premier shade gardens since Ralph Archer began the project in 2002. Visit Whitehall’s website for detailed photos of the garden.

Each year new and rare varieties of plants, shrubs and trees are added to the area thanks to connections with cutting-edge people in the trade. A BIG THANKS to JCMGA for providing the funds to purchase more plant tags in our ever-expanding collection, and for supporting this year’s speaker, Richie Steffen. Mr. Steffen, President of the Hardy Fern Foundation, held a June workshop at Whitehall with 50 in attendance from the region. We learned a great deal, not only about ferns, but other shade loving plants.

Richie Steffen leading a tour through Whitehall's Woodland Garden

Richie Steffen leading a tour through Whitehall’s Woodland Garden

Ralph Archer and Richie Steffen at the Woodland Garden

Ralph Archer and Richie Steffen at the Woodland Garden

Education about these plants is part of our mission. This world-class garden has been toured not only by local garden groups, but national and British touring garden enthusiasts. Every other year the Master Gardeners, along with Whitehall staff, plan an event featuring national speakers from all over the US.

Our favorite team member and Master Gardener, Ralph Archer, is now able to show up periodically to survey his garden. We’re so happy to have Ralph Archer feeling better and coming more often – he is a delight to us all!

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