Bartram’s Garden

Well, guys, it’s the second day of spring, and it was flurrying here in South Jersey.  I was not excited.  I need hoodie weather and sunshine now, please!

Because of this, I’m posting another spring-inspired post.  One can never have too many photos of flowers, right?

Last May, Megan and I went to Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia.  Better Homes and Gardens was having a free garden day, and we decided to give it a try.

The day was AMAZING.  The weather was warm.  The sun was out.  There was a light breeze.  We seriously could not have asked for a better day.

Well… the day would have been a bit better if I didn’t get lost in the bad part of town.  I don’t venture into Philly very often.  When I do, someone else usually drives.  I have no sense of direction.  So, I wasn’t surprised I turned the wrong way at one point and ended up in an area with razor wire around the playgrounds.  Thank goodness for GPS, though!

Bartram’s Garden is actually the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America.  It was started by John Bartram in 1728.

Bartram's Garden


The gardens started as John Bartram’s personal landscape.  It grew over time due to Bartram’s curiosity and love of plants.  The garden stayed in the Bartram family for three generations, but was sold to a private owner in 1850.  This private owner, Andrew M. Eastwick, turned the public gardens into a private park for his estate.

Luckily, after Eastwick’s death, lots of people rallied to return the garden to its former glory.  The city of Philadelphia was given control of the property in 1891.

It’s still protected as a city park, and The John Bartram Association has controlled the maintenance and restoration of the gardens and surviving buildings.

Bartram's Garden

One of the surviving buildings is John Bartram’s house.


Of course Bartram’s Garden has many plant varieties.  We visited the grounds when many flowers were bloomed.  They were all beautiful.


We were surprised by how small the actual flower garden is.  The majority of the grounds seemed to be grassy areas and trees.  The paths were gravel, which made pushing Charlie (she wasn’t even a year old yet!) in her stroller really difficult.

It wasn’t boring, though.  There were lots to look at, including a pond full of fish, a weird fenced in rock, and a pretty epic view of the Philly skyline.


We were really perplexed by the rock, which was noted on the map as ‘notched rock’.  I totally had to Google it!  It turns out to be a cider press, hand carved by Bartram.

The trees on the property are pretty amazing, too.  There’s a huge variety, and we were lucky enough to be there while some were flowering!  Some of the trees at Bartram’s Garden are famous, too!  They have the oldest living Ginkgo tree in North America!


It was totally worth the stress of being lost in the bad part of town.  It may not be the most amazing public garden in the area, but it has a lot of beautiful specimens and history.


Hopefully this throwback spring adventure helps you get through the next few chilly days.



About pamasaurus

"I have learned to keep to myself how exceptional I am." ~Mason Cooley I'm a married stay at home mom living in Southern New Jersey. I have one daughter, one son, and three furbabies. I love to cook. I love to craft. I love to sew. I just.... love to create in general. I also am pretty fond of adventuring, of exploring new places. I'm shy when I first meet people, but once I'm comfortable with them, you can't shut me up. I'm crazy and silly. I have an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
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9 Responses to Bartram’s Garden

  1. Looks like a lovely trip! Remember Easter is just a little over a week away and after that, weather will be fine!

    • pamasaurus says:

      Of course it’ll probably snow this coming weekend for Easter and our planned hayride/egg hung on Saturday :/

      Oh well, it’ll be funny to think back on 😉

  2. TheLittleGSP says:

    Your red poppy photo is BEAUTIFUL! I really want to try to grow some oriental poppies at some point.

    • pamasaurus says:

      Thanks! It’s one of my favorite photos ever 😉

      I have some oriental poppy seeds. I need to start them soon, I guess. I’m excited!

  3. Angie says:

    Ahhh Spring…..Beautiful photos!

  4. Pingback: Longwood Gardens | Pa-BLAM!

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