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55 Stunning Botanical Gardens You Need to See Before You Die

July 11, 2017 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


For the gardeners out there, Winston Gray of has put together a list of “25 Stunning Botanical Gardens You Need to See Before You Die” — click here to read the entire list of gardens.

In the area of the Great Valley House of Valley Forge, we have #3 Longwood Gardens:

#3. longwood gardens

  • Size: 1,077 acres
  • Location: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
  • Website:
  • Known for: Year-round events and performances

Longwood Gardens came about by chance after American businessman and entrepreneur, Pierre S. du Pont, purchased a farm to preserve the land in 1906. He began hosting parties and theater experiences on the gardens and soon named the land Longwood. After du Pont’s death in 1954, Longwood Gardens was officially opened to the public.

The Gardens host several seasonal attractions and events for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can even earn a tuition-free horticultural degree through its educational services.

Per my suggestion, Winston added Bartram Gardens to his list along with several others:

#28. bartram’s garden

  • Size: 46 acres
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Website:
  • Known for: Being the oldest existing botanical garden in North America

Bartram’s Garden began in 1728 by John Bartram, and the family continued to own the land until it was purchased in 1891 by the City of Philadelphia. You’ll find both native and exotic plants and trees throughout, and you can even visit John Bartram’s original garden.

The Farm at Bartram’s Garden covers four acres and is cared for by local high school students and families. It produces over 12,000 pounds of food annually for the city.

Springtime in Valley Forge

March 19, 2017 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


Spring flowers - crocus

Nothing says the start of Spring better than beautiful blue crocus!

Baskets of spring flowers

Signs of Spring — Apple Blossoms!


A snowy January day in Valley Forge National Historical Park

January 29, 2015 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


Valley Forge National Park ( ) is open year-round.  Although the Park is wonderful in all the seasons, there’s something very special about a walk in the park on a snowy January day … the quiet stillness with history all around.




Open daily, year-round 7 AM to dark (1/2 hr after sunset).

9 AM – 5 PM daily.
9 AM – 6 PM daily, mid-June through mid-August.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years Day.

9 AM – 5 PM daily, March – December.
10 AM – 4 PM weekends, January – February & President’s Day.
9 AM – 6 PM daily, mid-June through mid-August.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years Day.

9 AM – 5 PM daily, March – December & President’s Day Weekend.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years Day.

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday – Saturday & 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Sunday.

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM weekends, mid-June through Labor Day.

7 AM to dark daily, April – October.
7 AM to dark weekends through November.

Valley Forge Bike Rental — in Valley Forge National Historical Park

July 8, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog



Many guests have asked whether bikes are available to rent at Valley Forge Park.  And the answer is yes –Valley Forge Bike Rental is located conveniently in the lower Visitors Center Parking area within the park.  From their website, here’s everything you need to know about renting one of the Valley Forge Bikes.  (Update — the Valley Forge Bike Rental is currently closed but will reopen in June.)

  • Location:
Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Phone: 215-789-6259

  • HOURS: 
June 1st thru August 28th
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Sat, Sun 9am-6pm
May, Sept., October
Sat, Sun 10am-5pm
  • RATES:



Adult Bike*



Performance Bike*



Child Bike*






Child Helmet



Adult Helmet






All Day Rentals must be returned by 5pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends.

Adult Bikes are Jamis Explorer 1.0, Trek 7000 and Trek Navigator 50.

Child Bikes are Trek MT220, and Trek MT60.

*All rentals include helmets for every rider.


Click here to see photos and descriptions of all the available bike rentals.





Multi-use trail: A 5.5 mile loop that follows the rolling hills around the perimeter of Valley Forge. The loop is part of the historical tour of the park. There are picnic areas, bathrooms, and vending machines.

  • Some of the things that you will see on the way:—Welcome Center—Muhlenberg Brigade—Outer Line Defenses—National Memorial Arch—Wayne Statue—Grave of the unknown soldier—Redoubt 3, Redoubt 4—Artillery Park—Varnum’s Quarters—Washington Memorial ChapelThe multi-use trail also offers extensions that travel to George Washington’s Headquarters and to Knox’s quarters.

The Schuylkill River Trail 21.5 miles. Begins in Valley Forge National Historic Park and travels to Philadelphia. The trail passes through Conshohocken, Manayunk, Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Art Museum and ends at 25th and Locust Streets. There is easy on/off to restaurants and attractions in Manayunk and Center City Philadelphia.

The Perkiomen Trail 20 miles. Begins in Valley Forge National Historic Park and ends in Green Lane State Park.

Schuylkill River Trail/ Perkiomen Trail Pickup and Drop-off On weekends and holidays we can meet you with bikes and helmets at the trailhead of the Schuylkill River Trail or the Perkiomen Trail starting in the Betzwood Parking area. Please call ahead to reserve bikes for this activity.

George Washington Didn’t Have a Swimming Pool!

June 27, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


Summer has finally descended on the Philadelphia suburbs in all its glory.  With temperatures creeping past the 90 degree mark and humidity on the rise, no one is moving too quickly, unless its to the swimming pool.  Surrounded by ancient maple and oak trees and hedges of boston ferns, the pool offers a welcome escape from the summer sun!

Pool beyond fence

Annual March Out of the Continental Army – Valley Forge National Historical Park on June 15, 2013

June 8, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


Valley Forge re-create history

Re-creation of Revolutionary War history at Valley Forge National Historic Park

On June 19, 1778, George Washington’s Continental Army marched out of the Valley Forge encampment, having endured six months of challenging hardships.  Yet positive changes had also taken place, and the army that left the encampment was larger and more unified than before, and was in pursuit of the British Army which had evacuated captured Philadelphia.  Every year, Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates the march-out of the army, and this year’s event offers visitors a special opportunity to participate.

Less than a 10-min. drive from the Great Valley House of Valley Forge, on Saturday, June 15, from 11 AM – 1 PM, re-create history at Valley Forge National Historical Park and participate in a commemorative march.  The program begins at Artillery Park (Tour Stop #7) where participants will form up into a marching formation and walk about a half mile along a historic road that the army actually used 235 years ago to leave the encampment. Along the way, costumed interpreters will present programs that show how events at Valley Forge allowed the army to turn things around and march out and successfully engage the British.

A special soldier life program concludes the program near Varnum’s picnic area (Tour Stop #8).  Visitors who choose to pack a lunch have the option to enjoy it at the picnic area following the program.  Sturdy footwear should be worn, as the historic road is unpaved and uneven in spots.

Much Anticipated Annual Devon Horse Show & Country Fair – 10 min. from Great Valley House!

May 27, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


The annual Devon Horse Show & Country Fair has been going strong since 1896 — 2013 marks its 117th year!  The Devon Horse Show began as a one-day show but today it has become the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States.  The much anticipated annual event, it is one of the most exciting events to happen in our area.  Although an international competition drawing competitors from around the world, the show and country fair continues to reflect what makes the Philadelphia Main Line traditions so special. May 22 – June 2, 2013. Devon Horse Show & Country Fair —  Click here for full schedule of events.

There’s something for everyone at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair —

Lemon sticks, cotton candy, buckets of fudge, a sky high view from a Ferris wheel, shops to tempt the buyer and browser alike, handcrafted creations, and food booths bursting with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, ice cream and even more traditional fare in the Garden Café . Where can you find all that and more…at the Devon Country Fair.

Enjoy daily events at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair — the best part, at the end of the day, know that you are less than 10 min. from your room at the Great Valley House.


Spring Blooms at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens … Admission Free!

April 25, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


Often described as “the best-kept secret on the Main Line”Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens (631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, PA 19333) is a 10 min. drive from the Great Valley House. Jenkins Arboretum is open 354 days a year — Gardens open daily 8 a.m.-dusk, Education center open daily 9-4. Paved walkways through gardens provide vistas of woodland gardens with azaleas, rhododendrons, native wildflowers, and ferns. Jenkins Arboretum is located in a rare remnant of a hardwood forest. The stream and pond provide habitat for a variety of flora and fauna not normally found in a woodland setting.  Listen to the sounds and watch for the wildlife that abounds in this natural, complex ecosystem. The 1.2 mile, self-guided walking tour provides a wonderful back trek through nature.

Springtime at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is a testament to a husband’s love.  The home and 20 acres on which the Jenkins Arboretum was first planned were formerly the property of H. Lawrence and Elisabeth Phillippe Jenkins, given to them in 1928 as a wedding gift by Mrs. Jenkins’ father B. Pemberton Phillippe.  Elisabeth was an avid gardener and wildlife enthusiast and loved the property.  As a living memorial to his wife, H. Lawrence Jenkins placed the property in trust in 1965.  The Elisabeth Phillippe Jenkins Foundation forever preserves the property as a living memorial to wife.

In his will, Mr. Jenkins directed that the property become a “public park, arboretum, and wildlife sanctuary for the study of arboriculture, horticulture, and wildlife for educational and scientific purposes.” He also stipulated in the terms of the foundation that admission to the arboretum should be free for everyone. The property developed as a public garden and in 1971 doubled in size when friend Louisa P. Browning donated her home and the adjoining 26 acres of untouched woodland.  Jenkins Arboretum and gardens opened to the public in 1976.

Admission:  Free

Nearby Chanticleer Garden Named one of the Top Gardens in America!

April 14, 2013 ‐ PattyePosted by ‐ Under: Blog


If you live anywhere along Philadelphia’s Main Line, you don’t need a 3-hr. drive to Washington, DC to experience cherry blossoms. About 15 min. from the Great Valley House is the beautiful Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne.  April is National Garden Month, and to celebrate, TripAdvisor, has named the top 10 public gardens in the country.  Two gardens in the Philadelphia region, Chanticleer Gardens and Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square were on the list.

Chanticleer’s Cherry Blossoms, photo by Lisa Roper

Chanticleer is located at 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA and is open March 30 – October 30, Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. May through Labor Day, the gardens are open to 8 PM on Friday evenings.

On their website, the tag line for Chanticleer is ‘a pleasure garden’ and no words were ever truer! The 31-acre pleasure gardens features tropicals, perennials, and containers; a colorful cut flowers garden, woodlands, water garden, and ruin garden. A visit to Chanticleer will have you agreeing with the London’s Financial Times, which called the gardens, “planted to perfection”.