Bartram's Garden

Bartram's Garden, a 50-acre public park and National Historic Landmark in Southwest Philadelphia (PA), is located on Lenape territory, on the banks the Tidal Schuylkill River. It serves as a venue for art and provides access to the tidal stream and wetlands. It also functions as an outdoor classroom and living laboratory. It was established in 1728 by John Bartram (1699-1777), and is the oldest surviving North American botanical garden. Bartram's Garden aims to preserve the colonial legacy by sharing the truth about Southwest Philadelphia's plants and those who grow them.

Bartram's Garden is the only access to the Tidal Schuylkill River for recreational purposes. Its trails form segments of the East Coast Greenway. Its John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library houses a large collection of documents and materials that relate to the history and development of botany, Philadelphia's history, and the Garden's history. The John Bartram Association, a non-profit organization, manages the Garden in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Bartram's Garden's physical endurance, resonant associative meanings, and its resonant associative meanings make it an exceptional location for understanding a variety of historical facets. These include John Bartram, the North American seed and plant business, and Philadelphia's domestic life.

Rambo's Rock was a large rock that stood on the eastern edge the Schuylkill River. It was located just south of Grays Ferry, across from Bartram's Gardens, a plantation of Swedish immigrants Peter Rambo and Brita Rambo. The rock has been replaced by a wharf. WikiMiniAtlas39deg55'48''N 75deg12'29''W / 39.93degN 75.208degW / 39.93; -75.208

It is still protected as a city park. The John Bartram Association was established in 1893 and has been responsible for preservation and historical interpretation of the garden, John Bartram House and many of its outbuildings. In 1960, the garden was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Although the garden's plant collection is limited to a few examples that date back to the Bartram family, there is plenty of documentation about what was once in cultivation. The garden was neglected in the first century of its public ownership. Despite the loss of many other physical elements, the garden's rectilinear framework is still easily identifiable. It was designed and laid out in the second quarter of 18th century by Bartram. Four acres of the Garden's southern border were renamed the Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram's Garden in 2011. This is a crop farm that is geared towards the African Diaspora. 2016 saw the opening of Ann Bartram Carr Garden. This was a restoration of the semi-circular specimen garden from 19th century to the west of Bartram House.

Ann Bartram Carr (1779-1858), the daughter of John Bartram Jr. maintained the family garden and business together with Colonel Robert Carr (1778-1866), and their son John Bartram Carr (1804-1839). Their commercial activities were centered on the international trade of native North American plants. They also managed to increase domestic demand and established an additional specimen garden west of the Bartram House in order to display popular new flowering species.

The family sold the historic garden in 1850 due to financial difficulties. Andrew M. Eastwick (1811-1879) took over the preservation of the park as a private park for his estate. Thomas Meehan (1826-1901), a botanist, organized a Philadelphia campaign to save the garden after Eastwick's death in 1879. Charles Sargent, Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts, helped to organize a national campaign for funds. The City of Philadelphia took control of the site in 1891.

Philadelphia PA Awbury Arboretum
Contact Us

Contact Us Today!

Contact Us Today For a Free Estimate!