A romantic Victorian landscape garden
Stroll through the classical English landscape structures and sculpture gardens at Morris Arboretum, a 92-acre Victorian arboretum in the Northwestern corner of Philadelphia.
Watch for birds as you enjoy the elegant beauty of the 19th-century grounds, complete with a formal rose garden, majestic old trees and unusual plants from North America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Kids love the garden railway, which trundles through a miniature landscape, and delight in the hidden tunnel underneath the Mercury loggia. On some summer evenings, adults can bring a blanket and a picnic, pick a lush spot on the lawn and enjoy a soothing evening of live jazz.
Morris Arboretum’s soaring permanent exhibit let’s you get a bird’s eye view of the forest on a 450-foot-long canopy walk more than 50 feet above ground level. Cross a swaying suspension bridge, climb on the rope net high up in the trees and take a break in the larger than life bird’s nest as you experience the beauty of the treetops. Click here to learn more.
In 1887, siblings John and Lydia Morris built Compton, their summer home. Over barren hillsides, they created a splendid landscape devoted to Victorian ideals of beauty and knowledge, and featured plants collected on their extensive travels. When the University of Pennsylvania acquired the property in 1932, it became the Morris Arboretum. Today, it’s the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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 interest gardens.
The Mother’s Day weekend plant sale featuring rare plants, scarecrow making and apple carving in the fall, and, from April to October and during the Christmas season, the Garden Railway’s model trains trundle through a miniature landscape made from natural plant materials.
In the cold winter months, duck into the charming little Fernery, a period glass greenhouse beloved by Victorians, for a warming glimpse of lush, green growth. The Rose Garden peaks in June.
Youngsters love to visit Flora and Fauna, the pair of resident swans at the pond, hunt for the dinosaur in the Fernery and visit the creek-side log cabin.
A treasured site for horticulturists, the Morris Arboretum includes an excellent collection of outdoor sculpture, including works by such well-known artists as George Rickey, Scott Burton, George Sugarman and Richard Torchia.
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