Did you know there are over 30 gardens in the Philadelphia area and Hamanassett is within 30 minutes of most of them? Planted so that every season is colorful, you’ll find special events throughout the year for the family to enjoy. View garden railways, tree houses, meadows, birds, and champion trees (our Red Cedar is one of them) as well as art and sculpture, birding, hiking, and museums within the gardens.
Most people coming to the Brandywine Valley are well aware of Longwood Gardens which was named one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States and the grounds of Winterthur, both famous du Pont estates. We have Hagley Museum and Library, Mt. Cuba Center, Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Welkinweir, The Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, Cabrini College, Chanticleer, Haverford College Arboretum, Henry Botanic Garden, Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens, Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, and Tyler Arboretum to name just a few.
Bartram’s Garden is a 45 acre attraction that has been named a National Historic Landmark. John Bartram was a third generation Quaker born in 1699 and is considered America’s first botanist. His garden began in 1728 when he purchased 102 acres from Swedish settlers. During his life he collected seeds and plant specimens which brought visitors such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to his property. In 1765 he was appointed Royal Botanist by King George III. Along with his friend Benjamin Franklin he founded the American Philosophical Society. The property thrived under successive generations and at its height had 10 greenhouses and over 1400 native plant species plus almost 1000 exotic species. Also of note is that the site has been found to have prehistoric locations identified which show that the area was occupied by Native Americans as early as 3000 BCE. During digs stone artifacts and flakes from tool production were found which you can view. In 1850 the property was sold because of financial troubles. When the garden was threatened by the expansion of Philadelphia many wealthy men stepped up to help save it and finally in 1891 the city of Philadelphia took possession. Today you can still purchase native plants year round. They also have an annual Spring Sale in May and Fall Sale. For more information or call 215-729-5281.
The newest addition to the gardens near Philadelphia is Stoneleigh which is a natural garden. Located on 42 acres, it was orignally the home of the Haas family. Notable landscape architects including the Olmsted Brothers who were the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted contributed to the gardens.
You’ll find more lovely gardens at the Philadelphia Zoo plus 9 other gardens in the Philadelphia area. Even Hamanassett was chosen by Select Registry as one of 21 bed and breakfasts with beautiful grounds. To learn more about all these wonderful gardens and plan your visit, go to www.americasgardencapital.org.