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Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap in Carlisle

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap in Carlisle

In 1908 James McCormick Cameron built a stone mansion in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to serve as his family's summer home. The mansion contains 32 rooms and is styled after an old Italian Villa. In addition to the mansion you'll find several other structures located on the property: Caretaker's House, Ice House, Water Tower, Generator Building, Carriage House, and Garden.

Although we've never stayed overnight (see their website online on how to make reservations), we enjoy visiting the gardens for some physical exercise and fresh air. In our honest opinion...the best times for visiting are during the late spring and early fall seasons. 

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap is maintained by the Penn State Master Gardeners of Cumberland County and Friends of Kings Gap Volunteers. It was established in 1992 as a cooperative educational project and is surrounded by a stone wall. The original garden on the property provided supplemental food for the mansion's first owners. 

When visiting you'll find four main garden areas: The Herb Garden, The Native Habitat Garden, The Shade Garden, and the Compost Demonstration Area. 

The Herb Garden

Offers a wide variety of different herbs in four beds surround a sundial in a traditional symmetrical layout. You'll find edible and medicinal herbs grown in the garden.

The Native Habitat Garden

Plants in this garden are native to North America, mainly the northeast. They're great for attracting wildlife onto your property and make beautiful landscapes for your own home.

The Shade Garden

This garden highlights the best plants to grow in an area that lacks a lot of sunlight. 

Compost Demonstration Area

This section of the garden has a variety of composting units showing how to convert organic waste into compost. Composting is something we can all learn how to do.

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

When visiting you'll find to follow the signs and park in the designated area. The gardens are open from sunrise to sunset. If you're unfamiliar with the layout of the gardens I suggest you pick up a map at the educational center which will show you where each garden is located.

You'll want to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. You're permitted to bring along your own non-alcohol beverages while touring the property. Cameras are allowed. 

The Mansion Garden at Kings Gap in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

While walking through the gardens you'll see a large variety of different trees, shrubs, and plants. Here's a few of the ones that we saw on the day that we were there: climbing roses, hawthorn, white currants, mountain laurel, tulip tree, oakleaf hydrangea, flowering crabapple, dogwood, river birch, northern bayberry, butterfly bush, Japanese holly, sour cherry...etc. 

Property Location and Information

Kings Gap Environmental Educational Center
500 Kings Gap Road
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17015

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