Photos, story by Lou Perri
Bartram’s Garden welcomed Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Senator Anthony H. Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and other friends and partners to a special unveiling of the transformed Ann Bartram Carr Garden on Thursday, July 14th. The event include a speaking program, picnic lunch, open house and tours and Bartram and Eastwick families reunion.
The Ann Bartram Carr Garden, which is the only 19th-century flower garden in Philadelphia, is the result of a transformative $2.7-million project and marks the first major garden restoration at Bartram’s Garden in nearly a century.
The Ann Bartram Carr Garden creates a welcoming new entrance as Bartram’s Garden takes its place as a premier river destination in the city. The arrival of the Bartram’s Mile trail, a project led by the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, and the Garden’s growing presence as a destination for the Southwest Philadelphia community, provides more than 50,000 Philadelphians with access to nature and recreation each year.
Located to the west of the historic 1731 John Bartram House, the Ann Bartram Carr Garden was established as an exhibition garden by Ann and her husband, Colonel Robert Carr. It was also the first public green space at Bartram’s Garden, showcasing fashionable exotics that the Carrs imported from Asia as well as Ann’s own hybrid dahlias and camellias. In the new garden, visitors will also be able to enjoy boxwood-edged beds, roses, peonies, nicotiana, and bright bedding annuals that will provide color all summer long.
Bartram’s Garden Executive Director Maitreyi Roy, told Explore Philly: “To me, Ann Bartram Carr remains important because she opened Bartram’s Garden up to the general public and spread the importance of horticulture and open spaces — ideals that are still dear to us 200 years later. She was also one of the first women to run a gardening business in our young nation, carrying on until 1850. Ann taught her visitors and customers about the need for beautiful plants and open spaces in their lives, paralleling a time when heavy industry was blossoming in the Philadelphia area.”
To celebrate the opening of the Ann Bartram Carr Garden, new guided tours of the house and garden will highlight critical conservation work as well the Bartram’s Mile project that will eventually connect Bartram’s Garden with the Schuylkill River Trail and revolutionize access between Southwest Philadelphia and Center City.