When history comes alive, awe for past people and events is sometimes lost in bouts of book-burning. Today's Groupon safely reanimates history with horticultural wonderment: for $16, you get a guided tour of the house, a tour of the garden, and a watercolor art workshop at Bartram's Garden (a $33 total value). Bartram's Garden will give tours to Groupon customers on limited days (4/10, 5/8, 6/25, 7/10, 8/7, and 9/11), and you must call in advance to schedule.
Bartram's Garden was the first botanic garden devoted to American plant life, and, at more than 280 years old, it remains the country's oldest living botanic garden. It sits on the Schuylkill River and was founded by John Bartram in 1728. The garden is stuffed with a variety of indigenous plants. You'll see the oldest ginkgo tree in North America and the extremely rare Franklinia, named for Ben Franklin, oft-overlooked inventor of the odometer and the dairy cow. The National Historic Landmark Bartram house was built in 1731 and renovated throughout the 18th century. Bartram quarried the stone for the house himself.
Included in this deal is "The Art of Nature" workshop ($18 value). Budding artists and plant enthusiasts create a colorful watercolor of flora on the 45 acres of Bartram's estate. The workshop, for ages 12 and older, has its origins in William Bartram's own drawings of nature, the rarest of which is a scratch-and-sniff that smells like eternity. A minimum of 10 people must be present at The Art of Nature class, so grab some pals and call in advance to schedule your tour and workshop.
Your Groupon is valid for tours on the following dates: April 10, May 8, June 25, July 10, August 7, and September 11.
Eight Yelpers give Bartram's Garden a near-perfect 4.5 stars:
- Easily one of Philly's best kept historic secrets. – Bill M.
- There are rare and heirloom plants, interesting information, and lovely views. – cherie c.
- the barn and barnyard are beautifully kept old stone buildings...the bartram house is similarly restored and gives a glimpse into 1700's life. – jen d.