Bartram’s Garden is a unique and worthwhile attraction in southwest Philadelphia. Its location on beautiful riverfront land is known to have been occupied seasonally by Native Americans as early as 3,000 BCE. The tract of land that includes Bartram’s Garden was settled as an outpost of a New Sweden colony on the Schuylkill River. John Bartram (1699-1777) was a third-generation Pennsylvania Quaker who purchased this land from Swedish settlers in 1728, and then began gathering the most varied collection of North American plants in the world. A self-taught botanist, Bartram collected seeds and plant specimens, and plants from his garden were exchanged with patrons in Britain. In 1765, Bartram was appointed as the “Royal Botanist” by King George III. At home, Bartram founded the American Philosophical Society with his friend Benjamin Franklin.
Bartram’s Garden offers guided tours of both the historic garden as well as the 1728 family homestead. Visitors can explore the lovely garden and grounds of the estate all year round, although spring through fall are the best times to visit.
The garden's Green Room provides hands-on activities for kids based on monthly themes in science and nature. The nursery at Bartram’s Garden cultivates hard-to-find plants that are available for purchase in the garden shop.