Just minutes from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House is America's oldest living botanical garden, a pastoral 18th century homestead surrounded by the urban bustle of Philadelphia. You won't believe you are in the city when you see the wildflower meadow, majestic trees, river trail, wetland, stone house and farm buildings overlooking the Schuylkill River, and, of course, the historic botanical garden of American native plants.
||Brandywine River Museum |
The Brandywine Conservancy's Wildflower and Native Plant Gardens feature indigenous and some naturalized plants of the greater Brandywine region displayed in natural settings. These demonstration gardens use wildflowers, trees and shrubs in landscaped areas. Plants are selected to provide a succession of bloom from early spring through the first killing frost. Each is located in a setting akin to its natural habitat: woodland, wetland, flood plain or meadow.
A "pleasure garden" designed to illustrate the beauty of the art of horticulture. Thousands of bulbs clothe the ground in spring, followed by orchards of flowering trees with native wildflowers blooming in the woods. A vegetable garden complements a cut-flower garden, both accompanied by espaliered fruit trees. Courtyards are a framework for unusual combinations of herbaceous perennials, punctuated by pots of tropical plants. Vines grow in nooks and crannies, trailing and twining. A "sculpture" of wheat and boulders undulates while a perennial garden reaches its peak in the warmest days of summer. A woodland garden carpeted with exotic groundcovers and full of rarities precedes a water garden surrounded by grasses and sweetsmelling herbs. Unusual benches invite the guest to relax in the shade of a plant draped arbor.
The first du Pont Family home in America, Eleutherian Mills, was built by E. I. du Pont in 1803. Situated on the crest of a hill, it affords a commanding view of the Brandywine River, with a dam which fed water to the original millrace. This charming Georgian-style residence is furnished with antiques and memorabilia of the five generations of du Ponts associated with the home. Adjoining it is the restored French-style garden created by E. I. du Pont, an avid botanist.
||Haverford College Arboretum |
In 1831, a distinguished group of Philadelphia and New York Quakers purchased 198.5 acres which lay in the center of the Welsh Tract, a part of the 40,000 acres of land ceded to the Welsh Quakers by William Penn. Upon this land the group founded Haverford College two years later. William Carvill, an English gardener, was hired in 1834 to convert the farmland into a functioning campus. His design reflected the influence of Sir Humphry Repton, one of England's great landscape architects.
Located in a rare remnant of the once continuous southeastern Pennsylvania hardwood forest, Jenkins Arboretum, a 46-acre, thriving woodland ecosystem, possesses large natural stands of mountain laurel, pinxterbloom azalea, blueberry, deerberry, native wildflowers, ferns, and herbs.
Longwood Gardens, created by Pierre S. du Pont, is one of the premier arboretums in the country if not in the world. The Gardens encompass horticultural displays, walkways and meadows on 1,050 acres. The beautiful four acre conservatory and fountains are not to be missed.
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is an interdisciplinary center that integrates art, science and the humanities. Thousands of rare and lovely woody plants, including many of Philadelphia's oldest, rarest, and largest trees, are set in a romantic, 92-acre, Victorian landscape garden of winding paths, streams, flowers and special garden areas.
||Mount Cuba Center |
Mt. Cuba Center, dedicated to the study of the Piedmont flora, realizes the vision of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. On the gently rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont, the Copelands established their 630-acre estate to preserve the historic rural pastures and fields, protect the native forests and develop a series of naturalistic woodland wildflower gardens and formal landscapes.
||Nemours Mansion and Gardens|
Nemours is the 300-acre country estate of the late industrialist and philanthropist Alfred I. duPont. The estate looms over the 47,000 sq. ft. mansion surrounding formal gardens and is furnished with fine antiques, famous works of art, beautiful tapestries, and other treasures. The grounds surrounding the mansion extend for one third of a mile along the main vista from the house, and are among the finest examples of French-style gardens in the United States.
||Rockwood Mansion & Park |
Enjoy 72 acres of quiet and serene parkland including 6 acres of formal gardens, 2 1/2 miles of lighted trails and tour the 12 room historic Rockwood Mansion. Rockwood is part of the Northern Delaware Greenway.
||Scott Arboretum at Swathmore College |
The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College is a garden of ideas and suggestions. Encompassing more than 300 acres of the Swarthmore College campus and exhibiting over 4,000 kinds of ornamental plants, the Arboretum displays some of the best trees, shrubs, vines and perennials for use in the region.
||Shofuso Japanese House and Garden |
The Japanese House and Garden (Shofuso) is one of the most notable and unusual attractions in Philadelphia. This shoin-zukuri (desk-centered) house, built in 16th century style, is located on the grounds of the Horticultural Center in the West Philadelphia section of Fairmount Park. The perfectly proportioned architecture of the main structure and adjoining tea house is enhanced by an ornamental garden and picturesque pond.
||Tyler Arboretum |
Tyler Arboretum is one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the
northeastern United States, comprised of over 650 acres of lush, naturalized
plantings with 20 miles of hiking trails through serene native woodlands.
Attractions at Tyler include spectacular plant collections including lilac,
magnolia, cherry, and crabapple. The rhododendron collection is considered
one of the finest in the country. Children and adults alike will delight in
the butterfly-filled Meadow Maze that winds a labyrinth through native
grasses. Tyler has been designated an Important Bird Area by the
Pennsylvania Audubon Society and enjoys a diverse population of raptors,
songbirds, and waterfowl. On the National Historic Registry, Tyler's history
dates back to a 1681 land grant from William Penn. Visitors will enjoy tours
of the historic buildings, which are filled with antique furnishings and
decorative arts. The Arboretum has classes, workshops, and events on-going
throughout the year. Tyler is open seven days a week year-round.
||Welkinweir , Pottstown, PA |
The Pinetum and Hillside Garden that greet visitors to Welkinweir preview the natural beauty of this richly diverse, secluded stream valley. Enjoy the majestic views of the Chester County countryside from the terrace of the former Rodenbaugh estate. Investigate the barn ruins on the way to the ponds, which are a focal point of this 162-acre refuge and environmental education center.
||Winterthur Museum & Garden |
Winterthur's 982-acre country estate encompasses rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life's work in the garden. He selected the choicest plants from around the world to enhance the natural setting, arranging them in lyrical color combinations and carefully orchestrating a succession of bloom from late January to November. Du Pont translated his love of the land into a unified work of art that embodies a romantic vision of nature's beauty.
||Greater Philadelphia Gardens |
A group of public gardens, arboreta and historic houses with gardens in the Philadelphia region formed in 1989 to work together to promote the gardens and encourage visitors. Collectively the institutions attract more than two million visitors each year. The Collaborative has become a model for other public gardens, arboreta and historic houses all over the country.