As Audrey Hepburn once said, “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Philly is a busy city so you might not think there are a lot of gardens or nature patches to visit, but there are in fact many lovely places where you can admire nature’s beauty in and around the city. Get a breath of fresh air at these green and floral gardens, and smell the roses… literally!
1. The Barnes Arboretum
Established in 1922, what began as a property purchase by Dr. Barnes and his wife soon transformed into a lush oasis. While Dr. Barnes focused on his art collection, his wife, Laura Barnes personally spearheaded the project of creating a beautiful garden. Indeed, she did just that.
This 12-acre space quickly became the home of over 2,500 varieties of plants! At this arboretum you’ll be able to visit their lilac collection, peony collection, magnolia collection, as well as discover rare trees, a hosta garden, and a medicinal plant garden. Located 8 miles from Philly, this haven amongst a busy city is the escape you need!
Where: 50 Lapsley Ln, Merion Station, PA
2. Morris Arboretum
Located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philly, with more than 13,000 plants from 30 countries, Morris Arboretum is a botanical dream. Open year-round, Morris Arboretum is home to beautiful seasonal displays. From July to September, the hydrangeas, the butterfly bushes, the chaste trees, the golden-rain trees, as well at the rose garden are in bloom. The holiday season brings a beautiful display of poinsettas as well as their gorgeous Holiday Garden Railway, a stunning replica of miniature Philly landmarks.
For lovers of our winged friends, you won’t be surprised to find many of the birds that live in this garden flying by. Turtles have made a home here too! Tickets are required to enjoy the beauteous displays however, admission is free to members. A visit to Morris Arboretum makes for a picturesque day outdoors in the city!
Where: 100 E Northwestern Avenue Philadelphia, PA
3. Bartram’s Garden
Located on the other side of the Schuykill River, this 50-acre public park is the perfect getaway for when you are in need of some fresh air. Bartram’s Garden’s goal is “to create equitable relationships among people and nature through immersive, community-driven experiences”. Indeed, visit the Historic Garden, learn about the healing properties of plants at the Medicinal Plant Display, and see plants you have never seen before like the Franklinia Tree or the Ginko Tree. Additionally, enjoy a mindfulness session or Yoga in the park to reset, renew, and relax!
Where: 5400 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
4. Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
Located an hour drive away from Philly, their mission is to encourage the appreciation of native plants by creating an educational sanctuary for conservation and stewardship. Recognized as the only accredited botanical museum in the country dedicated to native plants, Bowman’s Hills Wildflower Preserve is indeed worth a visit. Promoting native plant diversity, this 134-acre park has over 2,000 native plants growing here. All year long plants will be flourishing, so visitors can visit anytime time of year and still experience a spectacle. Currently, in bloom for the summer are a variety of pretty wildflowers. You can discover more through their website here.
Where: 1635 River Rd, New Hope, PA
5. 18th Century Garden
Located in the middle of Center City, next to Independence Hall, is a small sanctuary among the big city. This little park is defined by its famous gazebo where many couples have popped the big questions, as well as the remarkable architecture of the garden beds. Colorful flowers and vibrant green bushes galore shine bright in this cute park! 18th Century Garden is also the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot or a camera roll selfies!
Where: 339 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA
6. Longwood Garden
Originally, Longwood Garden was the land of the native Lenni Lenape tribe, the space has evolved into a beautiful lush garden with thousands of plants and many fountains. Currently, stunning plants are in bloom such as the Egyptian star-cluster, the ageratum also known as high tide blue, calla-lilies, orchids, roses and so many more! Plus from now until September Longwood Garden is hosting daily fountain shows for their annual Festival of Fountains. This architecturally impressive garden is a magical place to visit!
Where: 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA