Behind The Fairy Tale-Like Gardens Of This Country Home


In 1929, Frederick P. Ristine, a Philadelphia investment banker, and his wife, Elizabeth, moved into BetzFred, the aptly named Wayne, Pennsylvania, English Arts and Crafts estate that would be their country home.

Fast forward nearly a century and seeing an irreplaceable diamond in the rough, Lauren Wylonis, of Kings Haven Design, scooped it up with a view to restoration. While the property was renamed the Heydon Estate, everything else was lovingly patched, painted and coaxed back to period glory. Even the original potting shed, which stands like a beacon at the entrance to a walled English garden (which Wylonis nostalgically planted with lavender, hydrangeas, redbud trees, salvia and roses), got a fresh face lift befitting its roots.

Today, BetzFred is home to a young family who saw a great place to raise children in its fairy-tale grounds rich with nooks and crannies and history. While outbuildings are on the rise, this grand specimen, modeled after the potting sheds of old English country homes, reminds that “structures are super important, interesting focal points to gardens,” says Wylonis. “This has been true for years and years and years.”