10 Gardens in Pennsylvania to Visit This Summer

August 17, 2021

Written by Samantha Stone

Chanticleer GardensWayne. Located just outside of Philadelphia is an enchanting pleasure garden bursting with colorful blooms and lush foliage. Sculptured fountains act as resting places for a wide variety of aviary species, and thickly wooded areas create shade for Chanticleer’s busy horticulturists. Guests are invited to speak with the experienced gardeners that tend to the 35 acres of stunning public gardens, and to relax, read, converse, and meditate all throughout the property, enjoying that Chanticleer is centered around imaginative inspiration.

Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore. Coined “the garden of ideas,” this arboretum is home to robust gardens filled with around 4,000 plant varieties representing the horticultural diversity of Delaware Valley. Located on the campus of Swarthmore College, the vast gardens provide both an educational and an inspirational experience for students and visitors alike, showcasing brightly-colored blooms and abundant greenery on charming, historical grounds.

Hershey Gardens, Hershey. In 1937, Milton Hershey requested that a small garden of roses be created; today, that small request has blossomed into 23 acres of beautiful botanical gardens, a butterfly atrium, and a hands-on garden for children to enjoy. Featuring a vast assortment of rare flora and specialized seasonal displays, this garden destination is sure to amaze and inspire every visitor.

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square. The rich history of Longwood Gardens seeps into every elegant feature of the property, from magnificent floral arrays to carefully choreographed fountain displays. Wander the winding pathways and discover the grand conservatory, where thousands of plant varieties surround visitors, creating a sense of immersion and wonder. It’s no surprise that Longwood Gardens has been an engaging focal point of Kennett Square for nearly a century, and continues to grow in popularity and in size.

Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh. Since 1893, Phipps Conservatory has been considered the green oasis of Pittsburgh. Its 15 acres of land are home to a large glasshouse and 23 distinct and ever-changing gardens, including the lush tropical center, meticulous orchid and bonsai tree collections, and stunning seasonal flower shows and exhibits. A unique highlight of this conservatory is the Fruits and Spices room, featuring an exotic selection of trees bearing guava, allspice, lychee, and more.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope. Just down the road from New Hope’s historic Main Street lies a stunning oasis. Home to over 800 plant species native to the Delaware Valley, this 134-acre wildflower preserve showcases the natural beauty of Bucks County in ecologically diverse landscapes. Beyond wildflowers and foliage, there are a variety of historical sites that can be found at Bowman’s Hill: The Captain James Moore Pavilion, built in 1941 in honor of a New York artillery officer who died on December 25, 1776, and a chestnut-wood log cabin and stone arch bridge constructed in 1933.

Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia. “To create equitable relationships among people and nature through immersive, community-driven experiences.” This is the mission of the John Bartram Association, proprietors of the Bartram Garden and House. This garden was planned by John Bartram, a Royal Botanist, and it is no surprise that his horticultural work inspired visits from the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Visitors will enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bartram’s beautifully preserved grounds, walking the same paths as George Washington himself!

Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. With more than 13,000 labeled plants of approximately 2,600 types, Morris Arboretum provides a breathtaking excursion for plant lovers. With special exhibitions like the Fairy Woods and the miniature Garden Railway, a canopy walk for birdwatching, and fascinating natural art exhibits, the arboretum offers an experience that everyone will love.

Wyck Rose Garden, Germantown, Philadelphia. Take a step back into history and revel in the beauty of Wyck’s collection of roses dating back to the 18th century. With several variations of roses that have only survived thanks to Wyck’s propagation and unique features such as the grove of pawpaw fruit trees, a visit to the garden promises to be unlike any other.

Magic Gardens, Washington Square West, Philadelphia. Looking for a unique twist on the traditional garden experience? Look no further than Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, made up of two indoor galleries and a bi-level outdoor sculpture garden handcrafted by modern artist Isaiah Zagar. Explore the many creative twists and turns of this imaginative exhibit located on the edge of Washington Square and get lost in the thought-provoking messages hidden around every bend.

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