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What are some Great Gardens to visit in PA?

10 years ago

Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA

Sixth oldest rural cemetery in the United States comprises 300 acres of land. The gateway of the cemetery's Butler Street entrance is an outstanding example of John Chislett's reposeful Tudor style. Chislett, the first superintendent of the cemetery, was an architect of English descent. His careful planning and foresight formed the foundation for the present beauty of the cemetery.

American College Arboretum, Bryn Mawr, PA

35 acres with about 600 labeled trees, an interior valley & a pond

Andorra Natural Center, Wissahickon section of Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA

210 acres of woodlands, old forest, and meadows with 5 miles of trails, a European beech allee, an enormous beech tree with multiple trunks, unusual specimen plantings from the old Andorra Nursery share the hill with native tulip poplar, black cherry and white oak

Appleford/Parsons-Banks Arboretum, Villanova, PA

22-acre arboretum with streams, woods, tracts of rhododendrons, stone walls, and a series of formal gardens

Arboretum at Haverford College, Haverford, PA

216 acres with over 1,000 labeled trees & shrubs, including 3 of PA state champion trees

Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA

13-acre arboretum displays collections of crabapples, magnolias, peonies, and more than 250 varieties of lilacs and a woodland. Flower gardens include a formal garden, an annual garden, and a restored rose garden.

Arboretum Villanova, Villanova, PA

Flowering pear, crabapple, cherry and horse chestnut trees (some of the 1,500 trees, many of them labeled) and 35,000 daffodils are highlights of the self-guided tours.

Awbury Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA

55 acres of beautiful scenery including 140 species of trees with a pond & stream located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope, PA

100 acres with 2 dozen trails devoted to preserving the native flora of PA

Brandywine Conservancy, Chadds Ford, PA

Wildflower and Native Plant Gardens at the Brandywine River Museum feature indigenous and some naturalized plants of the greater Brandywine region displayed in natural settings.

Bryn Mawr Campus Arboretum, Bryn Mawr, PA

135-acre campus, designed by Vaux and Olmsted, features an English-style landscape design

Chanticleer, Wayne, PA

30 acres with several types of gardens; seasonal

Chatham College Arboretum, Pittsburgh, PA

The college's lovely Woodland Road Campus is a registered arboretum.

Cliveden National Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA

1767 Georgian manor house offers 6 acres of park-like landscape

Colonial Penn Plantation, Media, PA

The plantation includes a number of structures: Farmhouse with period furnishings, a Privy, Root Cellar, Springhouse, Stable, as they were in the 1700's, with crops, a pasture and an orchard. Visitors will witness all the duties and chores of an 18th century farm carried on in the old tradition by people wearing the same kind of clothes that farmers wore 200 years ago.

Cooper Cabin, Butler, PA

Pioneer museum, originally a farmstead, displays an herb garden.

Crozer Arboretum, Upland, PA

Arboretum, affiliated with a medical center, showcases the 25 acre Leona Gold Gardens and the Crozer Greenhouse.

Curtis Arboretum, Allentown, PA

Campus arboretum displays more than 135 varieties of trees and shrubs. A Nature Trail Guide is available for self-guided tours.

Curtis Hall Arboretum, Wyncote, PA

Arboretum surrounding Curtis Hall, the ballroom of the Cyrus Curtis Mansion.

Demuth Foundation, Lancaster, PA

City garden of artist Charles Demuth

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, Philadelphia, PA

1859 Victorian house museum depicting 19th century domestic life surrounded by a recreated Victorian garden

Elfreth's Alley Museum Houses, Philadelphia, PA

America's oldest continuously occupied residential street is a national historic landmark and includes city gardens.

Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown, PA

16-acre zoo featuring 150 North American wild animals of 50 species in natural habitats, including Deciduous Forests, Grasslands, Wetlands, Desert and an indoor Bayou.

Erie Zoo (now the Zoological Park and Botanical Garden of Northwest PA), Erie, PA

15-acre park with naturalistic habitats is home to 300 animals representing nearly 100 different species from six continents plus thousands of plants from 450 different species.

Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA

Renowned Frank Lloyd Wright house, situated in the 5000 acre Bear Run Nature Reserve, demonstrates the integration of architecture and landscape.

Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

6 acre site showcases an art museum, a car and carriage museum, and a greenhouse, on beautifully landscaped grounds.

The Gardens of Temple University, Ambler, PA

Several theme gardens, a formal perennial garden, dwarf evergreens & Japanese maples

Governor's Mansion Gardens, Harrisburg, PA

Grange Estate, Havertown, PA

The Grange is shown as a nineteenth century Victorian country house, the summer home of the Ashurst family, as it was around the turn of the century. The Mansion is surrounded by extensive Victorian gardens and woodland.

Graver Arboretum of Muhlenberg College, Moorestown, PA

60-acre arboretum displays wildflowers, ferns, mushrooms, mountain laurels, rhododendrons, azaleas, giant grasses, and native and rare trees including 200 species of conifers.

Grumblethorpe, Philadelphia, PA

1744 summer residence displays a re-created historic garden.

Hartwood, Hampton, PA

Beautifully landscaped grounds with formal gardens on this 629 acre estate include outdoor sculpture.

Haverford College Arboretum, Haverford, PA

198-acre campus was designed by an English gardener in 1834 and the current Arboretum Association continues his efforts at campus beautification. The Ryan Pinetum offers a restored conifer collection begun in the 1920s.

Henry Foundation for Botanical Research, Gladwyne, PA

50 natural acres preserving many rare & endangered species with varieties of rhododendrons, holly, magnolia & others

Henry Schmieder Arboretum, Doylestown, PA

A large preserve with several special gardens plus the Kerr orchid collection & mature specimen trees

Hershey Gardens, Hershey, PA

23-acre botanical display with an award-winning rose garden, collections of conifers, hollies, rhododendrons & Japanese maples & several specimen trees, seasonal

The Highlands Mansion and Gardens, Ft. Washington, PA

The extensive plantings on this 44-acre estate include a lovely herb parterre garden developed over two centuries.

Historic Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia, PA

The oldest living botanical garden in the US, the home & garden of John Bartram, America's first botanist & best-known plant collector

Historic Fallsington, Fallsington, PA

The grounds surrounding these historic 17th, 18th and 19th century homes and buildings are replete with herb, flower and vegetable gardens, plus heritage roses

Holtwood Arboretum, Holtwood, PA

Recreation area, arboretum and wildflower preserve

Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA

Started in 1855 by Prussian landscape artist Adolphe Strauch, the Lawn Park style of cemetery was a merger of landscape design and a system of rules and regulations. The design stressed clearing the dramatic natural landscapes of yesteryear and manipulating the grounds into a natural looking greensward. The 200-acre Homewood Cemetery was established in 1878 and Strauchs theories were implemented from the very beginning.

The Homewood Cemetery is currently undertaking a major restoration effort to maintain the Lawn Park intention of the cemetery's design in an effort to regain the restrained elegance of the original landscape design. Guided tours available.

Horticulture Center, Philadelphia, PA

31,000 square foot greenhouse, seven formal demonstration gardens, the 22-acre Centennial Arboretum (specimen trees and shrubs) and a 13th century-style Japanese House and Garden

Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia, PA

Home of the Liberty Bell, World Heritage Site includes an 18th century garden, a rose garden and magnolia garden (at the Todd House) and extensive landscaping.

Jenkins Arboretum, Devon, PA

46-acre preserve with collections of azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies & wildflowers & test gardens for woody ornamentals & daylilies

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA

1,050 acres of formal gardens, fountains, idea gardens, meadows & woodlands with a nearly 4-acre conservatory, 11,000 different types of plants, a topiary garden, rose garden, wildflower garden, lily ponds, etc. etc. etc., one of the premier gardens in North America

Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum, Lancaster, PA

This arboretum, designed by Gustav Malmborg, beautifies the Historical Society grounds with 104 varieties of mature plants.

Malcolm W. Gross Memorial Rose Garden, Allentown, PA

In the city called "Pennsylvania's Park Place", you'll find this All America Rose Selections accredited garden.

Marywood University Arboretum, Scranton, PA

This 115 acre arboretum campus displays over 100 species of trees and shrubs.

Masonic Homes, Elizabethtown, PA

Extraordinary formal gardens with lawns, terraces, rare trees, ornamental shrubs, rose beds and arbors, a reflecting pond, and large water fountain

Mont Alto Arboretum, Mont Alto, PA

Campus arboretum displays over 200 labeled trees, planted between 1910 and 1925, including an excellent collection of Asiatic conifers. 2 self-guided trails available.

Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA

92 acres with many of Philly's oldest, rarest & largest trees plus thousands of rare & lovely woody plants, winding paths, streams & special garden areas

Mt. Assisi Monastery, Loretto, PA

Franciscan monastery offering lavish grounds with extensive gardens including the formal Sunken Garden and rock gardens, waterfalls, fountains, statuary, a medieval stone water tower, and a palatial mansion

Mutter Museum Herb Garden, Philadelphia, PA

Museum of medicine offers an herb garden.

National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA

Indoor aviary, declared the official U.S. aviary in 1993, is home to 500 birds representing over 200 species in an environment of extensive plantings.

Old Economy Village, Ambridge, PA Two gardens and a greenhouse grace the grounds of this restored and recreated 19 C. communal society, featuring lawns, arbours, and flower beds with an open Pavilion over a pool and a re-creation of a typical Harmonist family garden with old varieties of plants and vegetables planted according to historic arrangements.

Penn State Horticultural Trial Garden, University Park, PA All America Selections trial garden and a Fleuroselect (a similar program in Europe) garden, the trial gardens display a rainbow of flowers. Penn State is also planning a 395 acre campus arboretum with natural woodlands, theme gardens (including vegetable, perennial, butterfly, herb, shade, plant society speciality, parterre), collections of vines, flowering shrubs and hedges, and a 10-acre naturalistic park.

Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville, PA Recreated home of William Penn includes a recreated kitchen garden of fruit, vegetables and herbs and walled formal gardens.

Pennypack Park, Northeast Philadelphia, PA Known as the "Cradle of American Ornithology," Pennypack has a wide variety of bird species, as well as the beauty of its creek and woodland. The Pennypack Valley was protected against logging for many decades, and has provided us with immense trees that are over a century old. Among them, red oak, sycamore, tulip, locust, red maple, pin oak, white oak, black oak, tupelo, yellow poplar, white ash, black walnut, sassafras, black cherry, shagbark hickory, dogwood and sumac are also in abundance. A bit less common are the sugar maple, apple, weeping willow, and scarlet oak

Philadelphia Museum of Art Azalea Garden, Philadelphia, PA The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is working on a landscape rehabilitation project for the Museum's 25 acres of grounds.

Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA America's first zoo, this 42 acre park-like zoo offers the Carnivore Kingdom, the Children's Zoo, the African Plains, the Bird House and Bird Lake, the Treehouse, Bear Country, the Primate Reserve, plus many indoor exhibits and a monorail. 100 mammal species, 150 bird species, and 225 reptile and amphibian species are represented Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA 13-room Victorian glasshouse showcasing cacti & succulents, palms, orchids, ferns, seasonal displays & butterflies, plus many outdoor gardens

The Physic Garden, Philadelphia, PA
Proposed in 1774, the Botanical Garden was not actually created until 1976. It features a representative collection of herbs, trees and shrubs grown for medicinal purposes in 18th century American gardens.

Pine Breeze Villa Japanese House & Garden, Philadelphia, PA Late 16-C authentic Japanese tea house with a combination of flowers, trees, pond, bridge and statues to form a perfect park setting with over 200 different types of rocks, trees and plants.

Pittsburgh Civic Garden Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15 teaching gardens including daffodils, daylilies, ornamental grasses, herbs, ground covers & rock gardens

Pittsburgh Zoo, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
A world of animals and birds in naturalistic habitats.

Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA This museum offers 25 acres of grounds with hundreds of flowering trees, shrubs and sculptural gardens.

Renziehausen Park Rose Garden and Arboretum, McKeesport, PA 258 acre park with an All America Rose Selections accredited rose garden with 1,200 roses arranged in 28 beds plus 3 raised miniature rose beds of approximately 300 bushes.

Robert Pyle Memorial Rose Garden, West Grove, PA This rose grower, developer of All America Rose Selections winners, exhibits an All-America Rose Selections accredited garden.

Rock Ford Plantation, Lancaster, PA This 1794 Georgian brick mansion is surrounded by 32 acres of gardens and woodlands.

Rodale Institute Experimental Farm, Kutztown, PA Showcases organic principles in growing vegetables, flowers & herbs

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden, Pittsburgh, PA
Over 100 temperate & tropical plants in a setting of the land of the Bible, seasonal

Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA
Collections of rhododendrons, daffodils, azaleas, hollies, flowering cherries, crabapples, tree peonies, lilacs, magnolias & conifers, plus a rock garden, woodland garden & rose garden

Stonehedge Gardens, Tamaqua, PA
6 acres of lovely gardens featuring the Perennial Garden, the Formal Culinary Herb Garden, an Exotic Tropical Spice and Flowering Specimen Garden, the Chile Pepper Garden, the Water Garden and the Hosta Garden.

Swiss Pines, Malvern, PA 19 acre Japanese garden and wildlife preserve displays a Teahouse and Tea Garden, a stone garden, statuary, streams, a lake, stone lanterns, and bridges set among naturalistic plantings. Plant collections include the Glendale Azalea Garden (150 kinds); the Herb Garden (100 low maintenance species), the Ground Cover Garden (28 low-growing plants), and the Pinetum (over 200 varieties of conifers).

Taylor Memorial Arboretum, Wallingford, PA 30 acre arboretum includes Anne's Grotto (a former quarry site with mosses, ferns, wildflowers, and azaleas), the millrace and waterfall and the Bald Cypress Pond (with cattails, rushes, and iris). Plant collections include azaleas, dogwoods, magnolias, junipers, lilacs, viburnums, witchhazels, Japanese maples, boxwoods, and arborvitae. Three Pennsylvania State Champion Trees (a giant dogwood, a needle juniper, and a lacebark elm) are also featured.

Tyler Arboretum, Media, PA 700-acre preserve with collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwoods, swarf conifers, crabapples, cherries, magnolias and 20 miles of trails through the grounds

Welkinweir, Pottstown, PA Welkinweir has become a popular arboretum in the Delaware Valley, featuring many trails, walks, and ponds plus five rare Franklinia trees (Franklinia alatamaha).

Wyck, Philadelphia, PA Originally 50 acres in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Wyck's grounds today include a nationally known garden of over 30 varieties of old roses, flower borders, spring bulbs, herb and vegetable gardens

Zoo America, Hershey, PA
11-acre zoo features plants and animals native to five regions of North America (the North Woods, Big Sky Country, Cactus Community, Eastern Woodlands and Grassy Waters) and displays 150 animals representing some 70 species amongst extensive plantings.

Some of the above descriptions are provided courtesy of