If you are wondering what could possibly be the connection between the gardens listed in the title and historic places in South Jersey, you are right. There really isn't any, except that John Bartram was a Quaker and the Delaware Valley as a whole was seeded, cultivated and reaped the rich reward of Quakerism. We had the house tour and the garden tour and of course we saw the Franklinia tree along with many other rare and beautiful specimens. My favorite was the imposing London Sycamore, a hybrid born of a sturdy London branch and a more fragile American variety.
The Bartram house was built in the first decades of the 1700's, and in it Mrs. Bartram raised nine children and ran the family business which was horticulture. Wealthy English gardeners would finance expeditions in the new world of North America, on the search for new and rare species to grace their gardens. Bartram would satisfy their requirements while gathering seeds, cones, and specimen for his own cultivation and sale. That was how he supported himself and his large family. He had shown a love of plants from his early childhood and he, and one of his sons, were gifted botanical artists.
Chanticleer is 35 acres of breathtaking gardens, especially just now as everything is in bloom. It is outside the Wayne, Rador area. You know how landscape designers speak of 'outdoor rooms' well there were dozens of settings where you could sit in the shade and enjoy the view of a water feature, a little bridge, fish pond, artistically re-created ruin, or any number of arrangements of flowering and unusual trees.
786 Church Road, Wayne, Pa. 19087 610-687-4163
Here's another New Jersey connection, the trip was arranged through Senior Citizens United of Camden County, located off Nicholson Rd. across the street from the Acme at the corner of Nicholson and Black Horse Pike. You don't need to be a Camden County senior, or even a senior to take one of their many trips. This trip cost $77 which covered everything, tours, lunch and a very comfortable bus. The whole day was a sheer delight with the most delicious weather anyone could have wished for. I'll post a page of photographs when I get home again.
Off to the Villas today to visit a friend. More on Villas history later - Happy Trails, Jo Ann