Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

Quaker merchants who followed founder William Penn (1644-1718) to his beloved colony planted formal, English-style gardens amidst the native forest landscape. An ornamental garden suitable for a family of means in Great Britain in the seventeenth century consisted of a residence with a series of three terraces descending from the rear elevation. The upper terrace, often used as an extension of living space and a place to entertain family and friends, take tea in fine weather, or to engage in solitary contemplation, was planted with formal beds separated by linear walks. From such a terrace, one could survey the remaining levels decorated with parterres,formal gardens with flower beds and paths arranged in a pattern. In Pennsylvania, woodlands formed a backdrop to these gardens.

Formality for early gardeners was nothing less than challenging nature’s supremacy, and they constantly battled to prevent trees and underbrush from encroaching on their Landscapes. English and several European styles have influenced garden design in the Keystone State, but the concept of woodlands has slowly crept into prevailing sensibilities. The origins of this vision began as early as the founding of the province, when William Penn instructed his gardeners to transplant “roots and flowers … out of the woods” to the gardens of Pennsbury Manor his country estate overlooking the Delaware River in Bucks County. Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852) the prevailing arbiter of taste of his day, later urged Americans to value native trees and shrubs in landscaping designs. By the Victorian era, Pennsylvanians had been incorporating native woodlands in their English-style landscape gardens, and by the height of the Gilded Age, clever gardeners had created ways to wrap their European confections in the native forest. And more than a few gardens in Pennsylvania document this transformation.

Great Britain was rapidly changing during the colonization of Pennsylvania. The upper middle class expanded and grew wealthy through manufacturing and trade with colonies in Asia and America. Newly affluent families sent their sons to Oxford and Cambridge to study the classics that influenced the tastes of the landed gentry. These young aristocrats saw Great Britain as the inheritor of the ideals of classical Greece and republican Rome. Control of a vast empire on which the sun never set and limitless possibilities for commercial development inspired boundless confidence and optimism that begged expression in daily life. A residence in London with a formal garden was no longer sufficient; gracious living required a commodious residence with sprawling grounds where one could emulate the aristocracy. In fact, some members of the nobility, impoverished by their dissolute ways, including heavy drinking and unchecked gambling, sold their properties to rising members of the new merchant class.

Despite their newfound wealth, the merchant class encountered two problems: how to use their properties to announce to the world that the British economic and political outlook was global and unfettered, and how to impress one another and the established upper class with their culture and taste. The first issue was answered, in part, by an unlikely source – a young gardener, Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716-1783), apprenticed to two of England’s best known garden architects, Charles Bridgeman and William Kent, on the estate of Lord Cobham at Stowe, Buckinghamshire. Kent had renounced the static aspects of leveled and lined landscape in favor of a model based on natural land contours. Undulating topography allowed for curving paths that revealed surprises and shifting scenes at every turn. What Brown (whose nickname alluded to his fondness for speaking about a country estate possessing a great “capability” for improvement) hit upon was the idea of using an expanse of lawn informally edged and punctuated with clusters of trees to carry the eye of the observer into the mysteries of the distance. While this hardly seems revolutionary today, it was unheard of­ even radical – for its time. Gone were the confining hedges and stifling formality of the old garden style. Breadth, air, light, and independence expressed the vision of a just, powerful, and affluent society. The concept spread like wildfire, and for a half-century, from the 1730s through the 1780s. Owners of large estates in Great Britain sought Brown’s advice in replacing formal, regimented landscapes with rolling lawns, serpentine drives, and artfully arranged groupings of trees.

The appeal of the new style was not lost on wealthy colonials, either, as they looked to England for administrative direction and cultural cues. Even those who had been born in America and had never been abroad listened attentively to travelers who described the homes and gardens of the wealthy in England. They imported books such as Thomas Whatley’s Observation on Modern Gardening (1770), periodicals, and prints depicting the new style, characteristics of which they incorporated into the country houses they built. A particularly fine example of these country places, Cliveden, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, was originally built as the summer residence of Benjamin Chew (1722-1810), Chief Justice of Pennsylvania from 1774 to 1776. Entrance to Cliveden is made along a curving drive through an expanse of lawn punctuated with shade trees. Sculptures along the drive recall classical themes. Chew had embraced the cultural trends of his ancestral homeland in planning his country retreat.

British admiration of classical details was further embedded in the landscape garden designed by Charles Hamilton at Painshill Park, beginning in 1738. Hamilton, like Brown, was an unlikely candidate to achieve status as a garden revolutionary. The youngest son of an impecunious prelate, he had no hope of an inheritance or even an income. His father sent him to Oxford intending that he should befriend classmates whose families might provide him with patronage. The senior Hamil­ton’s hopes were realized as his son was invited on tours of Europe by several of his friends who later financed the building of a garden that reflected his love of classical themes. Hamilton purchased several acres of poor land in Surrey and dug a lake and heaped the excavated soil into “mountains.” Swaths of grass like those advocated by Lancelot Brown were planted around the lake and on the mounds; trees, vines, and shrubs were introduced as informal borders and specimens to create contrast, to seclude certain areas, and to suggest distant venues such as an Alpine valley. Greek temples, gothic chapels, and classical sculpture dotted the lake’s shores, and some of the hidden pockets among the trees. A Chinese bridge alluded to the exotic, far-off culture of the mysterious Far East. A grotto suggested the underworld and the River Styx, and groupings of trees amidst an open lawn evoked the Elysian Fields, the picture-perfect ideal of paradise. Hamilton’s grand tour inspired his pleasure garden.

Pains hill Park created a sensation among Hamil­ton’s friends because it presented an idyllic, naturalistic landscape that did justice to their notions of antiquity and their ideas of how they wanted to be perceived. They took up the vision and designed versions of their own. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson toured several of these gardens in 1787 and 1788 but, although notably impressed, neither built a garden of this type. Jefferson designed a neoclassical house, but the mountaintop location, Monticello, made the creation of a water scene difficult, and he was reluctant to give up all vestiges of formality in his design. On the other hand, William Hamilton (1745-1813) of Philadelphia was so taken with descriptions of landscape gardens that he traveled in 1784 to England, where he studied for two years. He avidly collected and shipped plants to his secretary, Benjamin H. Smith, with instructions to oversee the cultivation of native and exotic horticultural species for his emerging garden. On his vast tract overlook­ing the Schuylkill River, which he christened The Woodlands, Hamilton built a mansion, completed in 1788, in the Greek Revival-style to complement the landscape garden with its many classical references (see “Into The Woodlands” by Kate Withiam, Summer 2003). Hamilton continued to improve the garden until his death at the age of sixty-eight. Plans or drawings of Hamilton’s gardens no longer exist, but Jefferson praised them as perfect models of an English garden. Downing pronounced The Woodlands “the most tasteful and beautiful residence in America.”

Gardens in the style of a past era were frequently employed as a means of recalling a family history – or a history as one might have wished it to be. One such example is The Grange in Haverford Township, Delaware County. Welsh Quaker Henry Lewis arrived in Pennsylvania in 1681 and purchased five hundred acres along Cobbs Creek directly from William Penn. He cleared land for a farm and began construction of a one-room stone dwelling on a hillside, also building a barn and a stone wall to protect it from view. Lewis willed the property to his wife Margaret for use during her lifetime; their son, Henry Lewis Jr., took possession of the tract containing the homestead upon her death. The younger Lewis commenced construction of a mansion house with drawing room, library, and stair hall. Henry Lewis ill inherited the property and sold it in to Captain John Wilcocks, who transformed the mansion to the Georgian style and renamed it Clifton Hall in 1750. Wilcocks sold the estate in 1761 to his son-in-law and daughter, Charles and Clementina Cruikshank, who enlarged the house and added landscaping and gardens.

Born in Scotland, Charles Cruikshank remained loyal to the Crown. Instead of opting for the informal lawn and stands of trees then in vogue in England, he chose to cut three traditional terraces into the hillside adjacent to the house. He planted the terraces with a formal rose garden, a knot garden (a formal garden with an intricate pattern) in the Eliza­bethan style, and a box-bordered herb garden. A forest of native beech, tulip poplar, ash, and oak trees bound it on the north. The surrounding landscape formed a dramatic backdrop to the gardens. The remaining acreage was actively farmed. Cruikshank returned to Scotland after the American Revolution and sold the property to his son-in-law, John Ross, an ardent patriot, who renamed the property The Grange after the Marquis de Lafayette’s residence, Chateau La Grange, at Seine et Marne, in France.

As early as 1862, George Smith, in his History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, described The Grange as an “ancient seat of grandeur and elegance,” adding “during the summer months, it was not infrequently the scene of elegant and luxurious entertainments.” Smith noted the terraced walks were laid and the green­house was built in the mid-eighteenth century, opining, “that the almost unequaled natural beauties of the place were fully developed by the application of art, under the direction of a well cultivated taste.”

By the late 1780s, Britons were beginning to weary of endless swaths of lawn and clumps of trees that draped the hillsides of country estates. A newcomer to landscaping, Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) accepted the naturalistic approach, but noted that Brown’s style missed two elements: it failed to integrate the architecture of the house into the landscape and it lacked variety. Repton addressed the former by restoring foundation plantings and instituting a broad terrace near the dwelling from which the gardens and surrounding park could be handily surveyed. Formal flowerbeds and rose gardens reintro­duced the joy and variety of flowers. His genius lay in the ability to view landscape in three dimensions and to envision how it would look under the progression of daylight, seasons, and varying perspectives of the viewer. The upper middle class, more interested in displaying wealth and exotic plant specimens than in flaunting the conceits of a classical education, admired and adopted his designs.

A younger contemporary of Repton, John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843), perceived that there was a wide audience for gardening in the burgeoning middle class. Loudon, a journalist as well as a designer, believed the essence of a garden lay in the choice of plants. Loudon set about popularizing gardens, emphasizing planting, maintenance, and propagation in his Encyclopedia of Gardening, The Gardener’s Magazine, and similar publications. They were read voraciously on both sides of the Atlantic and continue to influence what is written about garden­ing to this day.

The democratization of gardening and the appealing designs of Repton inspired Andrew Jackson Downing, who crusaded for aesthetic reform. Downing acknowledged borrowing ideas of both Repton and Loudon in developing a theory of garden architecture for a society based on democratic ideals. In Down­ing’s view, the need to gain mastery over the lands of America required close affinity for its soil and landscape. “Cultivating the earth and adorning our own property,” he vowed, would accomplish this goal. He also believed that harmonious integration of architecture with improved landscape would ensure a stable social and environmental order. Downing encouraged the use of native trees and shrubs in A Treatise On the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening Adapted to North America, published in 1841.

Wyck, home of the Wistar and Haines families in the German­town section of Philadelphia, reflects the influence of Henry Repton. When Reuben Haines III remodeled the house in the Greek Revival style in 1824, his wife Jane revamped the garden (see “Wyck, Witness to a Way of Life” by John M. Groff, Stephanie Grauman Wolf, and Sandra Mackenzie Lloyd, Winter 2003). Jane Haines replaced a neglected parterre dating to the 1780s with a formal rose garden. She adorned the facade of the house, whose windows had been framed by trellises, with climbing roses. Lawn and shade trees completed the street-side landscaping. Behind the house, a vine­colored pergola covered a terrace, and a path leading from the conservatory separated the rose garden from an expansive lawn. Woodlands surrounded the lawn, forming a link to the native landscape.

Several garden styles gained popularity while England’s Queen Victoria occupied the throne from 1837 to 1901. One of the most distinctive styles derived from the ideas of Uvedale Price and Richard Payne Wright, who advocated a style known as the picturesque, suggesting the wildness of nature by festooning gnarled trees, crumbling ruins, moldering logs, and tree stumps with tangled vines. Adherents concocted scenes from nature with jumbles of woody plants. Owners of several large country places near Philadelphia incorporated faux architectural ruins in the landscape schemes.

Built in 1859 by a cloth merchant in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is a high-style Gothic villa, easily recognized by its facade of Wissahickon schist and its three-story tower. The mansion’s gardens, a masterful restoration undertaken in the 1970s, embody a combination of Down­ing’s late style, Victorian picturesque, and the ideals of Frank J. Scott (1828-1919), a prominent landscape gardener and author of The Art of Beautifying Suburban Home Grounds of Small Extent, an influential book published in 1870. Scott briefly studied in the Newburgh, New York, office of Andrew Jackson Downing, to whom he dedicated the book. A disciple of Downing, he would emerge to be the American lawn’s most brilliant propagandist. The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s Downing­style garden, complementing the front elevation of the residence, features a lawn with irregular dusters of rounded shrubs and a row of dense conifers that obscure the view from the street. The Scott component is more elaborate and highly decorative, consisting of a grassy terrace along one side of the house edged by a narrow border of shrubs and flowers. A grape arbor and a Gothic-style arch fashioned from living hemlock serve as an entrance to an adjoining space. A Victorian period picturesque section separates the two. A star attraction, a cast iron stag, is set amidst a thicket of native ferns, azaleas, and mountain laurel ringing a small pond.

A second version of the Victorian era garden, based on Loudon’s theories, emphasized choice of flowers and arrangement of color patterns. The result was a showy array of formal beds with bold parterre designs. The style was artificial and contrived, and no plant was permitted to assume its natural habitat. These gardens were enormously popular from the mid- through the late nineteenth century and can still be seen at many of the great estates administered by Eng­land’s National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. It’s difficult for many to imagine such properties among the forests and farmland of Pennsylvania, and very few survive. Perhaps the best example is the cemetery at The Woodlands.

William Hamilton bequeathed his beloved house and gardens to a nephew, also named William Hamilton, whose heirs sold the property to the Woodlands Cemetery Corporation in 1839. The design of the cemetery, opened in 1840, followed the Victorians’ fashion of creating rural spaces secluded from the hubbub of daily life and “landscapes of memory” that spoke to their fascination with death. The cemetery, whose paths traced Hamilton’s original drives through his expansive garden, became a place to stroll, picnic, and enjoy nature. Today, thee flowerbeds, maintained by local garden clubs, preserve the spirit, if not the original layout, of Victorian period gardens.

An equally intriguing Victorian era style, the restoration garden, was based on the English landscape model, but included Continental touches such as Italianate balustrades, French parterres, German cowsheds, as well as Chinese pavilions and bridges and ancient Greek and Roman temples. The meld of such disparate styles often resulted in nothing more than a hodgepodge of unusual garden structures, but if executed with intelligence, the plan would be romantic and interesting, especially if the property owner was willing to relinquish some control and follow the ideas of English garden designer William Robinson (1838-1935).

Robinson deplored the artificiality of Victorian era gardens and in The Wild Garden, published in 1870, he advocated the use of native plants, allowing them to grow freely in their habitats, and “leaving it to each gardener’s imagination and ability to create his own private, personal wilderness.” Siblings John T. Morris (1847-1915) and Lydia T. Morris (1849-1932) combined several of Robin­son’s ideas with those of a restoration garden in designing the landscape at Compton, their summer home in the Chestnut Hill suburb of Philadelphia, beginning in 1887. Devoted to landscaping Compton, the Morrises lavished great attention to planting the grounds with specimens of both native and exotic species of trees and shrubs. Many of the exotic specimens were obtained during collecting expeditions to China sponsored by Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and by the Morrises during their far-flung travels. Charles Miller, the chief horticulturist for the Centennial Exhibition, a trained landscape architect and Mount Airy nurseryman, helped lay out the grounds at Compton, but Morris eventually took on the? duties of designer as he and his sister expanded their estate. Lydia T. Morris, who made Compton her permanent residence in 1924, bequeathed it in 1932 to the University of Pennsylvania, which christened it the Morris Arboretum. The Commonwealth designated it Pennsylvania’s official arboretum on Arbor Day in 1989.

Demolished in the 1960s, the mansion at Compton, designed by Theophilus Parsons Chandler Jr. (1845-1928), was sited on a hill overlooking the vistas of Whitemarsh Valley and Militia Hill. A serpentine drive rings the central space in the garden. A swan pond with a Greek temple at its edge graces one end, while a Roman temple to Mercury and a fem-filled grotto anchors the other. Informal plantings of specimen trees, unrestricted and now gloriously mature, form a border around the lawn. Several spaces surrounding the central area are devoted to several themes, among them an azalea meadow, a wetlands area, a woodland park, a formal rose garden, a fernery, and greenhouses. The fernery, designed by the New York firm of Hitchings and Company in 1897, is a rare example of late nineteenth-century American garden architecture (see “Lost & Found,” Spring 1995). What makes the garden typical of the restoration style is the inclusion of two small Japanese gardens tucked into the tree border, a log cabin (in lieu of a German cowshed), an Italianate balustrade, a seven-arch facade recalling ancient Rome, a formal oak allee (destroyed in ]993 by Hurricane Andrew), and French-style steps that lead to nowhere in particular. Many of the original features still exist, but some have been modified nearly beyond recognition. Floral plantings have been installed along the restored and paved allee, and the azalea meadow and rose garden have been substantially redesigned.

European influence on the Keystone State’s gardens continued well into the twentieth century. The Gilded Age, roughly from the 1880s to the 1920s, witnessed the amassing of great fortunes by magnates of the oil, steel, railroad, coal, automobile, and food processing industries. These individuals wielded enormous power and influence over American life, and they searched for lifestyles to express their newfound status. They found the British models of residences favored by earlier generations too understated, but as they traveled the Continent they were impressed by the grandeur of French chateaux and Italian villas and their elaborate gardens, some of which are dated to the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Architectural gardens with sweeping marble staircases, carved balustrades, reflecting pools, fountains, statuary, and orangeries seemed a more suitable expression of their power and status than tranquil, idyllic scenes evoking antiquity. Many returned to the United States, purchased country properties, and employed landscape architects to design spectacular gardens imbued with a decidedly European flair.

Few of these venues were built in Pennsylvania, and those were mainly located on Philadelphia’s Main Line and in Pittsburgh’s tony enclaves of great wealth, where socialites lived and played on great estates hidden from public view at the end of long tree-lined drives. Pittsburgh’s industrial magnates, although they lived in dizzying opulence, did not engage in such large scale gardening activities. Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), who masterminded the reorganization of Carnegie Brothers and Company into United States Steel Company, extensively renovated Clayton, his home in Pittsburgh, where he had erected a greenhouse in 1883 that provided fresh flowers for his baronial home throughout the year. In 1897, Frick replaced the original greenhouse with one designed by the firm of A Lden and Harlow, a firm with offices in Pittsburgh and Boston. Although Frick spent his final years Living in Manhattan, he bequeathed one hundred and fifty acres and an endowment of two million dollars to the City of Pittsburgh for a public park. His will stipulated that his executors were to be responsible for the park’s design. Frick Park’s four entrances were designed by the unabashed champion of neoclassicism, John Russell Pope (1874-1937), nicknamed “the last of the Romans,” who designed the National Archives, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Other Pittsburghers were equally generous. Living in London and rarely returning to Pittsburgh, Mary Croghan Schenley (1827-1903), heir to an enormous family fortune, gave three hundred acres in the city’s Oakland section for the creation of Schenley Park.

Several years later, industrialist and philanthropist Henry Phipps (1839-1930), wanting to “erect something that will prove a source of instruction as well as pleasure to the people,” engaged the prestigious greenhouse firm of Lord and Burnham, of Irvington-on-the-Hudson, New York, to erect Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park. When Phipps’s crystal palace, consisting of nine spectacular display houses, opened in early Decem­ber 1893, it was the largest conservatory in the United States and boasted the finest collection of tropical plants, which had been acquired from the World’s Columbian Exposition recently staged in Chicago.

Several of the Commonwealth’s more unusual park-like settings, gardens, and landscapes are safeguarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). In addition to interpreting Pennsbury Manor, the PHMC also administers Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, Montgomery County, Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, and the Conrad Weiser Homestead in Womelsdorf, Berks County, all of which boast fabulous grounds.

Hope Lodge, one of the finest surviving Georgian period houses in the country, is furnished in the styles of both the Colonial era and the Colonial Revival of the early twentieth century. William L. and Alice Degn, who occupied the Hope Lodge from 1922 to 1953, highly prized the formal gardens they created, the design of which they based on an old European estate. The Degns’ formal rose garden originally contained a gazebo and a fish pond. The couple also built a greenhouse on the property, which still exists.

Old Economy Village, the third and final home of the Harmony Society, one of the most successful communal societies in history, featured several gardens. George Rapp (1757-1847), leader of the Harmonists for more than forty years, always had an ornate botanical pleasure garden reminiscent of the gardens of the nobility in Wurttemburg, Germany. At Old Economy Village, his garden was laid out in a large square, with straight intersecting paths quartering the area. Angular paths further divided the quarters. The garden possesses four striking features, the main element of which is a large stone garden house, or pavilion, in its center. Originally topped with a copper dome, the pavilion deteriorated and has been replaced by a painstakingly reproduced replica. However, the pond surrounding the structure is original – its bricks were made by members of the Harmony Society and by 1827, it contained goldfish that had been purchased in Philadelphia. Standing in the center of the garden house is a wooden figure, Harmony, the original of which had been carved by American sculptor William Rush, whom the Harmonists commissioned in 1824.

(Rush’s original work rotted beyond repair.) The garden’s other important components include a rustic grotto built of river stone, a mound where grapevine had once been planted, and a garden wall, a feature typical of European gardens of the period.

The Conrad Weiser Homestead is in a class all by itself. In the early 1920s, Berks Countians decided to refurbish the famous eighteenth-century peacekeeper’s house and create a scenic park around it. Local residents and businessmen organized the Conrad Weiser Memorial Park Association to acquire the house and twenty acres. The association also hired the best-known landscape architecture firm in the United States, Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts. John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. were the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s first prominent landscape architect, who had designed New York’s Central Park and the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House at Ashville, North Carolina. The design submitted by the Olmsted Brothers firm placed Weiser’s small stone house in the midst of a carefully manufactured environment that features winding drive­ways, an artificial lake, groves of trees, and wide expanses of rolling lawn.

The best example in Pennsylvania of a great private country estate dating to the early twentieth century is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Chester County, created by Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954), scion of one of the country’s most prosperous families and an heir to a staggering explosives and chemical company fortune. In 1906, du Pont purchased the tract for his country estate. A Quaker family, the Pierces, purchased the property directly from William Penn in 1700, and by the close of the century, brothers Joshua and Samuel Pierce had begun planting an arboretum. Du Pont purchased the property to preserve the trees that the Pierces had so carefully cultivated.

An astute businessman – du Pont spearheaded the acquisition of the family company to spare it from being taken over by “outsiders” and served as president and chairman of General Motors – he tackled his gardens with equal enthusiasm, introducing eclectic landscaping that encompasses several European styles. He used the gardens for entertaining family and friends, and built a large glass conservatory with a ballroom. Below the conservatory terrace lies an elaborate formal garden bordered by impeccably pruned topiary and a wall with niches for statuary and fountains. Its lawn is dotted with pools, each fitted with its own jets. Both students and scholars of landscape gardening often compare the garden to Chatsworth in Derbyshire, England, but it also bears a strong resemblance to seventeenth century French gardens. One of Longwood’s outstanding features is an Italian water garden, reached by an allee of tulip poplars. The water garden is an elegant design of geometric pools and fountains shaded by trees along the adjoining slopes and softened by trailing ivy. A further walk takes the visitor along a naturalized lake and a privet hedge to a French rose arbor near the garden entrance.

The skill with which naturalized areas are integrated with formal European designs is unique to Longwood. The Italian water garden does not seem incongruous amidst native woodland­ – both have become more interesting for the contrast. The evolution that began with the Quakers incorporating native plants into European designs has spawned a “fusion garden” with nature that preserves the best of both worlds.

Pennsylvanians – owners of great estates, country or summer houses, landscape architects, garden designers, even communal societies-have indelibly hallmarked the Keystone State with a legacy that, in many areas, continues to flourish and bloom. They endowed the Commonwealth’s verdant hills and fertile valleys with their visions of ideal (and idyllic) beauty by drawing from the Old World. By embracing concepts of European lands?cape design, they unwittingly sowed a growing heritage that continues to delight and enthrall all those who seek pleasure in such garden settings.


For Further Reading

Birnbaum, Charles A., and Robin Karson. Pioneers of American Landscape Design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Faris, John T. Old Gardens in and About Philadelphia. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1932.

Favretti, Rudy, and Joy Favretti. For Every House a Garden: A Guide for Reproducing Period Gardens. Chester, Conn.: Pequot Press, 1977.

Gutowski, Robert R. Victorian Landscape in America: The Garden as Artifact. Philadelphia: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 1989.

Hendrick, Ulysses Prentiss. A History of Horticulture in America to 1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1950.

Hope, John G. Gardens of Philadelphia. Harrisburg: RB Books, 2004.

Klein, William M. Jr. Gardens of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

Moss, Roger W. Historic Homes of Philadelphia: A Tour of the Region’s Museum Homes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.


Myra K. Jacobsohn lives and gardens in Springfield, Montgomery County. Site is professor emeritus at Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College) in Glenside, where she taught biology and was engaged in research for twenty-seven years. Her interest in gardens dates from her childhood years in upstate New York and was encouraged by students who preferred to learn about garden history and landscaping rather than the intricacies of plant biology.