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Garden Bus Trips

Bus Trip! May 13 Magical History Tour

March 22, 2019

Join DIG IT! Magazine and the Rollin’ Garden Party Bus on Monday, May 13, for a step back in horticultural time when the country was young and the first botanical garden was born.

In Philadelphia, we’ll visit Bartram's Garden, the garden of America's first botanist, and Hedgleigh Spring, the private garden of Charles Cresson. These renowned historic gardens of third and fourth generation families still contain special original species, although the gardens have also been rejuvenated over the decades with unusual species and design.

STOP ONE: Bartram House & Garden, a National Historic Landmark in Philadelphia. Start with a 90-minute guided tour of the gardens that centuries ago began as a gentleman’s farm. But passed down through generations, the gardens were created by plant explorer and collector and naturalist John Bartram, with his father before him and son, William, after him.

John Bartram, America’s first botanist, explored the entire East Coast for plants and seeds to send to Britain and Europe and developed a thriving intercontinental plant trade as well as a commercial nursery featuring over 1,400 species of native plants. In the Welcome Center, you can buy native plants discovered by the Bartrams that are grown there.

“Our historic core is fundamentally a collection of Bartram plants—species collected, grown, and studied by the Bartram family from 1728−1850, with a focus on native plants of eastern North America, although a wide range of exotic plants were also under cultivation in each generation.” (from the website)

After the tour, a box lunch by Jamie Hollander Catering will be served. Please see the Registration Form for details.

STOP TWO: Hedgleigh Spring, The Cresson Garden, a 2-acre garden of family stewardship for over 100 years. From Ezra Cresson’s 1883 gentleman’s farm to his son, William, who built his house in 1911 and created his garden during the next 40 years. William Jr. and his son, current owner Charles, restored the garden and expanded the plant collections. A few 200-year-old trees accent the garden's design and original specimens that reflect early 20th century style.

“A sweeping lawn with scenic springhouse is home to ancient oaks and black gum with mature azaleas and dogwoods and a hardy camellia collection. Beyond, stone walls and shrub plantings divide the property into a series of gardens, intimate spaces and microclimates. The central flower garden of roses and perennials features over 100 feet of traditional flower borders backed by a unique crescent-shaped white picket fence. Surrounding gardens include woodland gardens, small pond, creek with waterfall, vegetable garden and lowland perennial meadow with masses of spring bulbs.

The diverse plant collection provides bloom throughout the year. May is especially interesting for its variety, particularly in woodland areas and a brick patio is furnished with numerous exotic potted plants. Hedgleigh Spring has been featured in Rosemary Verey's book, The American Man's Garden and Ken Druse's book, The Collector's Garden: Designing with Extraordinary Plants and numerous magazines.

Charles Cresson is a garden designer, award-winning author, nationally known lecturer and avid gardener and plantsman. He has worked for the Royal Horticultural Society, Nemours Mansion and Garden, Meadowbrook Farm, W. Atlee Burpee Co., Winterthur and Chanticleer. He has taught bulbs at Longwood Gardens for 30 years. and is author of 3 books: Charles Cresson on the American Flower Garden, Ornamental Trees, and Rock Gardening. As a garden consultant, he has helped many avid gardeners develop their own gardens.” - Charles Cresson

DATE: Monday, May 13. Bus leaves Rockaway Mall at 8:30am SHARP and returns approximately 7:00pm
COST: $104 includes bus, driver tip, garden admissions, guided tours, catered box lunch

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