The Ann Bartram Carr Garden creates a welcoming new entrance as Bartram’s Garden takes its place as a premier river destination in the city. The arrival of the Bartram’s Mile trail, a project led by the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, and our growing presence as a destination for our Southwest Philadelphia community, is providing nearly 50,000 Philadelphians with access to nature and recreation each year.
Located to the west of the historic 1731 house, the Ann Bartram Carr Garden was originally the 19th-century exhibition garden created by John Bartram’s granddaughter, Ann (1779-1858), and her husband, Colonel Robert Carr. It was also the first public green space at Bartram’s Garden, showcasing fashionable exotics that the Carrs imported from Asia, as well as Ann’s own hybrid dahlias and camellias.
Says Bartram’s Garden executive director Maitreyi Roy, “To me, Ann Bartram Carr remains important because she opened Bartram’s Garden up to the general public and spread the importance of horticulture and open spaces—ideals that are still dear to us 200 years later. She was also one of the earliest women to run a gardening business in our young nation, carrying on until 1850. Ann taught her visitors and customers about the need for beautiful plants and open spaces in their lives, paralleling a time when heavy industry was blossoming in the Philadelphia area.
“This new garden reconnects us to the Bartram spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation,” adds Maitreyi, “It further complements recent improvements to the National Historic Landmark Bartram House, which received a new roof, geothermal climate control systems, and historic in early 2016.”
“To celebrate the opening of the Ann Bartram Carr Garden, new guided tours have begun to highlight critical conservation work, as well the Bartram’s Mile project that will eventually connect Bartram’s Garden with the Schuylkill River Trail and revolutionize access between Southwest Philadelphia and Center City.”