Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Field trip report: Philadelphia gardens

[Caption: Bartram vegetable garden, Bartram House].
Philly Area Gardens

The New York Times recently had an article about the many gardens and arboreta in the Philadelphia area and we recently paid some of them a visit. Of course, the jewel in the crown of these gardens is Longwood Gardens (www.longwoodgardens.com) . Longwood is an over 1000 acre series of gardens purchased by Pierre S. DuPont in 1906 to preserve an historic arboretum slated to be cut for lumber. I have been to Longwood several times and have enjoyed it very much. They have some lovely display gardens, including a children’s garden, fruit and vegetable gardens, wonderful water features and fountains with fountain shows, a recently renovated greenhouse that includes a great orchid collection, dessert plants and the original glass enclosed fruit trees for the estate. One of my favorite gardens in a display garden with ideas for home ornamental gardeners. Great plants, well designed and well trended. If this graden deosn;t give you the "garden bug," no garden will! Longwood is the first stop on a trip to the Philly area and, if you only have time for one garden on the trip there, this one is it.

On our most recent trip we did not go to Longwood, wanting to explore the 45 acre Bartram’s Garden (the oldest botanical garden in the US on the Schuylkill River in SW Philly). John Bartram, a Quaker farmer, and his son William became the earliest plant collectors in the colony, from this farm purchased in 1728. He travelled north to Canada, south to Florida and west to Ohio in search of plants. The original stone home exists on site (tours on weekends) and there are flower and vegetable gardens, a native plant collection, a river walk (not a great view of industrial Philly across the river-and the garden itself is located in a poverty- stricken area) and native and imported trees.

We also happened upon the Morris Arboretum at the University of PA, which I highly recommend-more on that another time!

To read more about these area gardens go to:



Anita said...

What do you think about putting all of your field trips under a "field trip" label? Your many travels made me think about seeing it all in a book, but all together on the blog would accomplish that too. "Field Trip Adventures" :)

Judy Thomas said...

Voila! It's done