MORRIS ARBORETUM OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
100 East Northwestern Avenue
The 92 acres of Morris Arboretum are an ever-changing array of colors and textures, thanks to the talents of its landscape artists who ensure a continual bloom of flowers and trees. A peaceful swan lake features an idyllic Grecian structure, and the kid-friendly garden railway chugs through a quarter-mile of miniature track. Be sure to visit the tree adventure, "Out on a Limb," with its spectacular view.
ABINGTON ART CENTER
515 Meetinghouse Rd
The grounds of the Abington Art Center are home to a rather unusual "garden"; it cultivates not only trees and shrubs but also art. The 27-acre Sculpture Park blends human creativity with nature's vitality, celebrating artists who incorporate a bit of Mother Nature into their work. The Sculpture Park is a place to visit and revisit, as it changes by time of day and also season of the year.
BRYN ATHYN HISTORIC DISTRICT
1001 Cathedral Road
Today, the three structures that comprise the Bryn Athyn Historic District - Glencairn Museum, Cairnwood Estate and the Bryn Athyn Cathedral - house a museum, a spectacular event venue and a house of worship, respectively. But at one time, Glencairn and Cairnwood were residences, and vestiges of their use as living space are evident in the landscaping. Although there are no gardens in the formal sense, the trees, shrubberies, flowers and beautiful lawn that hug the structures make delicious horticultural eye-candy.
786 Church Road
The London Financial Times has declared Chanticleer to be "planted to perfection." The 31-acre pleasure garden featuring tropicals, perennials, and containers; a colorful cut flowers garden, woodlands, water garden and ruin garden. Its name, meaning "rooster," brings a sense of whimsy with rooster motifs being woven throughout the estate.
HIGHLANDS MANSION & GARDENS
7001 Sheaff Lane
The Highlands Mansion and Gardens is a 44-acre historic site with a late 18th century Georgian mansion and two-acre formal garden. Surrounded by massive stone walls, the gardens offer a beautiful example of early 20th, century estate gardening, with an unusual blend of horticulture and architecture. The site features nine outbuildings, including a bank barn, springhouse, greenhouse, smokehouse and Gothic Revival gardener's cottage.
Route 1, 1001 Longwood Road
Garden fans from across the globe make it a point to include Longwood Gardens on any itinerary to Valley Forge and Montgomery County. After a long winter, this 1,050-acre wonderland is worth the price of admission just to enter and smell the spring flora. The activities calendar is packed with performances and concerts, as well as a fountain show and educational opportunities.
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore College
The "Scott" of Scott Arboretum is Arthur Hoyt Scott, Swarthmore College class of 1895. He was both inventor (paper towels) and horticulturist, founder of the American Peony Society. The preserve bearing his name contains more than 4,000 varieties, grouped into a woodland walk, a rose garden, a holly collection and a grove of pines and conifers.
OTT'S EXOTIC PLANTS
861 Gravel Pike
Gardening gurus don't have to cancel an outing just because the spring weather turns drippy. Step inside the floral fantasy of Ott's Exotic Plants. The tropical room will have you believing that the next turn in the path will lead to a secluded beach. And the stock of seasonal flowers can brighten even the dimmest day.