Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Philadelphia’s Most Amazing Garden Tours

Philadelphia is known for its fabulous food, history, and local nightlife, but while you’re browsing the streets trying to see the best the city has to offer, why not check out the most beautiful gardens it has on display? And not just any gardens.

These top 4 knock out the competition when it comes to being colorful, stunning, kid friendly, quiet, and tranquil places. Most importantly, their display plants are properly labeled, so you know what to add to your own flower pot.

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    Wyck House  

This spectacular estate screams American history and a dedication to accuracy. The entire Wyck Estate dates back to 1690 and is proudly known as one of Philadelphia’s oldest estates. The Wyck House’s Rose Garden was first created in the 1820s and features more than eighty historic varieties in the original garden area, some of which were once thought to be extinct. Often referred to as one of America’s oldest rose gardens, the Wyck House roses are beautifully cared for and are in bloom from May to late October.

Beyond their rare and superb roses, they have massive and ancient trees planted over 100 years ago, as well as over thirty specialized beds of diversified annual flowers and vegetables, which are grown completely organically. They have a large variety of herbs, fruit crops, an impressive flock of chickens, multiple beehives, and a stunning glass greenhouse built in 1914. They host a weekly farmer’s market and annual community festivals, and are open from April through November. From May to early June, the rose garden is at its ultimate blooming season and Wyck’s horticulturist gives a Celebration of the Roses Tour with detailed information on each rose.

  1. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden  

Named by Philadelphia Magazine as the ‘Best Hidden Tourist Attraction,’ Shofuso Japanese House and Garden’s 1.2 acre grounds is a must-see for all serious garden tourists. In reflection of seventeenth-century Japan, you’ll be asked to remove your shoes in the house while socks are required. After you tour the historical Japanese house, you’ll be lead to tour the garden, where shoes are required wear.

This amazing house was first built in Japan in 1953, and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City before being moved in 1958 to Philadelphia. Its present site is the location of previous Japanese gardens and homes that date to the 1876 Centennial Exposition.


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As you tour this house and garden, you’ll discover the rich Japanese tenets and customs that merge both history and culture with three classic, old-style Japanese gardens; a courtyard garden, an island within a koi pond garden, and a tea garden near a traditional tea house. They host an annual Cherry Blossom Festival which is a delight for the entire family to enjoy.

  1. Bartram’s Garden

The Bartram’s Garden’s forty-five acre surroundings are registered as a National Historic Landmark, making it an amazing place to visit, but prepare to spend an entire day. They offer both public and homeschool field trips; hands-on instructional classes on colonial cooking, identification of various bird calls; botany; outdoor concerts; and navigation tips with paddle boats along the river. The Bartram Garden’s rich foliage and diverse plant species makes this an informative and beautiful place you could spend weeks in.


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  1. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

This magnificent garden was once the summer home of John and Lydia Morris until, in 1887, it became the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. With an extensive collection of over 12,000 plant species from all over North America, Europe, and Asia, each carefully labeled, this is a paradise for learning and exploring. Even today, staff and students continue the tradition of plant collecting expeditions around the globe with over 35 countries represented in their incredible collections.


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The Morris Arboretum is not just for serious gardeners, but for future gardeners as well, with plenty of exciting activities to keep children engaged and interested. They have a miniature railroad running along a quarter mile track throughout the gardens, which includes several tunnels, bridges (one that you can even walk under), as well as cable cars, model trains, and tiny replicas of Philadelphia area landmarks —each made of natural materials found throughout the garden.



These magnificent garden tours may require a good stretch of your legs. Check out these exercises to help get you prepared for the tours as well as your own garden projects.

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