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  Longwood Gardens. Photo by Alexandre Rykhlinski.
Brandywine Valley Gardens & Beyond

There a wide variety of gardens in the Brandywine Valley and surrounding area that can be enjoyed year-round, indoors and out. Of course, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square is by far the most popular tourist destination, by there are more than a dozen others that include woodland wildflower gardens, Victorian landscape gardens, naturalistic woodlands inspired by European landscape architects, ornamental and botanical gardens and French-style formal gardens. We have listed the gardens below in alphabetical order with links to their respective Web sites.

Philadelphia, PA
Just minutes from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House is America's oldest living botanical garden, a pastoral 18th century homestead surrounded by the urban bustle of Philadelphia. You won't believe you are in the city when you see the wildflower meadow, majestic trees, river trail, wetland, stone house and farm buildings overlooking the Schuylkill River, and, of course, the historic botanical garden of American native plants.
Chadds Ford, PA
The Brandywine Conservancy's Wildflower and Native Plant Gardens feature indigenous and some naturalized plants of the greater Brandywine region displayed in natural settings. These demonstration gardens use wildflowers, trees and shrubs in landscaped areas. Plants are selected to provide a succession of bloom from early spring through the first killing frost. Each is located in a setting akin to its natural habitat: woodland, wetland, flood plain or meadow.
Wayne, PA
A "pleasure garden" designed to illustrate the beauty of the art of horticulture. Thousands of bulbs clothe the ground in spring, followed by orchards of flowering trees with native wildflowers blooming in the woods. A vegetable garden complements a cut-flower garden, both accompanied by espaliered fruit trees. Courtyards are a framework for unusual combinations of herbaceous perennials, punctuated by pots of tropical plants. Vines grow in nooks and crannies, trailing and twining. Unusual benches invite the guest to relax in the shade of a plant draped arbor.
Chanticleer Video
Wilmington, DE
Built in 1844 by Wilmington businessman and landowner John Rodney Brincklé Gibraltar was purchased in 1909, by philanthropist, preservationist, and amateur horticulturist Hugh Rodney Sharp [1880-1968] and his wife Isabella Mathieu du Pont Sharp [1882-1946]. The Sharps made extensive additions and renovations hiring landscape architect Marian Cruger Coffin, one of the first and most accomplished female landscape architects in the United States, who designed gardens and landscapes along the East Coast, including Winterthur's formal gardens and the University of Delaware's mall. Created between 1916 and 1923, Gibraltar's garden consists of a series of garden "rooms," each with a unique character and purpose. Hand-forged iron gates and railings and the Sharp's collection of statuary, urns, and fountains complete the design.
Wilmington, DE
The first du Pont Family home in America, Eleutherian Mills, was built by E. I. du Pont in 1803. Situated on the crest of a hill, it affords a commanding view of the Brandywine River, with a dam which fed water to the original millrace. This charming Georgian-style residence is furnished with antiques and memorabilia of the five generations of du Ponts associated with the home. Adjoining it is the restored French-style garden created by E. I. du Pont, an avid botanist.
Haverford, PA
In 1831, a distinguished group of Philadelphia and New York Quakers purchased 198.5 acres which lay in the center of the Welsh Tract, a part of the 40,000 acres of land ceded to the Welsh Quakers by William Penn. Upon this land the group founded Haverford College two years later. William Carvill, an English gardener, was hired in 1834 to convert the farmland into a functioning campus. His design reflected the influence of Sir Humphry Repton, one of England's great landscape architects.
Haverford College Arboretum Video
Devon, PA
Located in a rare remnant of the once continuous southeastern Pennsylvania hardwood forest, Jenkins Arboretum, a 46Ğacre, thriving woodland ecosystem, possesses large natural stands of mountain laurel, pinxterbloom azalea, blueberry, deerberry, native wildflowers, ferns, and herbs.
Jenkins Arboretum Video
Kennett Square, PA
Longwood Gardens, created by Pierre S. du Pont, is one of the premier arboretums in the country if not in the world. The Gardens encompass horticultural displays, walkways and meadows on 1,050 acres. The beautiful four acre conservatory and fountains are not to be missed.
Philadelphia, PA
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is an interdisciplinary center that integrates art, science and the humanities. Thousands of rare and lovely woody plants, including many of Philadelphia's oldest, rarest, and largest trees, are set in a romantic, 92-acre, Victorian landscape garden of winding paths, streams, flowers and special garden areas.
Greenville, DE
Mt. Cuba Center, dedicated to the study of the Piedmont flora, realizes the vision of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. On the gently rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont, the Copelands established their 630-acre estate to preserve the historic rural pastures and fields, protect the native forests and develop a series of naturalistic woodland wildflower gardens and formal landscapes.
Wilmington, DE
Nemours is the 300-acre country estate of the late industrialist and philanthropist Alfred I. duPont. The estate looms over the 47,000 sq. ft. mansion surrounding formal gardens and is furnished with fine antiques, famous works of art, beautiful tapestries, and other treasures. The grounds surrounding the mansion extend for one third of a mile along the main vista from the house, and are among the finest examples of French-style gardens in the United States.
Wilmington, DE
Enjoy 72 acres of quiet and serene parkland including 6 acres of formal gardens, 2 1/2 miles of lighted trails and tour the 12 room historic Rockwood Mansion. Rockwood is part of the Northern Delaware Greenway.
Swathmore, PA
The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College is a garden of ideas and suggestions. Encompassing more than 300 acres of the Swarthmore College campus and exhibiting over 4,000 kinds of ornamental plants, the Arboretum displays some of the best trees, shrubs, vines and perennials for use in the region.
Philadelphia, PA
The Japanese House and Garden (Shofuso) is one of the most notable and unusual attractions in Philadelphia. This shoin-zukuri (desk-centered) house, built in 16th century style, is located on the grounds of the Horticultural Center in the West Philadelphia section of Fairmount Park. The perfectly proportioned architecture of the main structure and adjoining tea house is enhanced by an ornamental garden and picturesque pond.
Media, PA
Tyler is one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, encompassing 650 acres of horticultural collections, rare specimens, ancient trees, historic buildings, and extensive hiking trails.
Pottstown, PA
The Pinetum and Hillside Garden that greet visitors to Welkinweir preview the natural beauty of this richly diverse, secluded stream valley. Enjoy the majestic views of the Chester County countryside from the terrace of the former Rodenbaugh estate. Investigate the barn ruins on the way to the ponds, which are a focal point of this 162-acre refuge and environmental education center.
Wilmington, DE
Winterthur's 982-acre country estate encompasses rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life's work in the garden. He selected the choicest plants from around the world to enhance the natural setting, arranging them in lyrical color combinations and carefully orchestrating a succession of bloom from late January to November. Du Pont translated his love of the land into a unified work of art that embodies a romantic vision of nature's beauty.
A group of public gardens, arboreta and historic houses with gardens in the Philadelphia region formed in 1989 to work together to promote the gardens and encourage visitors. Collectively the institutions attract more than two million visitors each year. The Collaborative has become a model for other public gardens, arboreta and historic houses all over the country.

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