illustration by courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
American painted lady. Click for full illustration at the Academy's
Academy of Natural
The Ewell Sale
Stewart Library of The Academy of Natural Sciences has one of the
finest collections of literature on the natural sciences in the
Western Hemisphere, including the great botanical works of European
authors such as Leonhard Fuchs, Jan Commelin, Mark Catesby, Pierre-Joseph
Redouté, François-André Michaux, and Peter
Simon Pallas. American authors include Philadelphians such as William
Bartram, William P.C. Barton, and Joseph Carson. The library also
collects current scientific literature in plant systematics and
taxonomy. The Academy's Herbarium is the home for the original plant
specimens collected by Lewis and Clark on their transcontinental
journey of exploration.
Terra Cotta Co. Click for enlargement.
of Philadelphia is an example of a document collection containing
a wealth of landscape records but one that requires persistence
and care on the part of the researcher to identify and locate those
documents within the larger collection. Researchers are encouraged
to closely examine collections such as this, as landscape records
are often contained within architectural collections. Moreover,
the work of even prominent landscape architects can frequently be
hidden within a body of documents of an architectural firm or within
a collection of documents for a particular site. While the architects
for a site are often catalogued and cross-referenced in finding
aids or indices, landscape architects seldom are so listed.
matrix of the Athenæum's well-known architectural records
collection can be found significant holdings of landscape documents,
in particular those related to Philadelphia landscape architectural
firms. There are also numerous documents of landscape projects executed
by Philadelphia architectural firms or firms identified as architectural
but also employing landscape architects and executing landscape-related
projects. The reference collection of the Athenæum also contains
significant holdings of books and periodicals relating to landscape
drawings and/or business records and photographs of the following
are in the collections of the Athenæum: Alexander Mackie Adams
(1879-1967); F. Furman Bett (fl. 1922-1927); Robert M. Gemmill (1905-
); Mellor, Meigs & Howe; L.B. Schofield (fl. 1885); Thomas W.
Sears (1880-1966); Robert Cridland (fl. 1895-1930); and Willing,
Sims & Talbutt.
to biographical and holdings information on these designers can
be found in the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Database,
Detail, Hepatica angulosa. Click for enlargement from
Bryn Mawr website.
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College
Library Special Collections holds a large number of illustrated
botanical books printed before 1900, ranging from Renaissance medicinal
guides and Enlightenment taxonomic treatises to the garden books
and field guides popular among hobbyists and amateur botanists of
the nineteenth century. The illustrations in these books cover the
full spectrum of printing techniques, from descriptive woodcuts
intended to aid in plant identification to colorful lithographs
of artfully arranged flowers. For more information, see http://www.brynmawr.edu/Library/speccoll/guides/Botanicals/index.html
College of Physicians
blue gentian. Click for enlargement.
Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia contains approximately
2,000 books about botany and the use of plants for medicinal purposes.
The oldest herbals in the collection date to the fifteenth century:
Dioscorides' De Materia Medica (1478) and the anonymous Hortus
Sanitatis (1491). Other notable works include William Turner's
New Herball (1551); John Gerard's Herball (1633);
Carl von Linné's Systema naturae (1758); Samuel Stearns'
American Herbal or Materia Medica (1801); William P. C. Barton's
Compendium floricae Philadelphicae (1818); and U.S. Pharmacopeias
from 1820 to 2000.
garden. Click for enlargement
the Library's collection is the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Herb Garden,
organized into 4 parterres and located adjacent to the building
on 22nd Street. The garden boasts of over 55 herbs which
have been used for medicinal preparations since the Revolutionary
War era. Some are commonly used today, such as Chamomile (Matricoria
recutita), Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and St. John's
Wort (Hypericum perforatum). Others may be less well known,
such as Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) and Woolly
Betony (Stachys officinalis). Each plant is labeled with
its common and botanical names and therapeutic uses.
Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library
of Philadelphia has been collecting books on gardening, garden planning,
landscape architecture, and related subjects since 1893. There is
an excellent selection of recent books for loan in the Central Library,
especially in the ART DEPARTMENT, in Dewey numbers 712-719; and
in the BUSINESS & SCIENCE DEPARTMENT, Dewey 635. There is also
a very large selection of older titles in the stacks, including
the classics of Gertrude Jekyll, Graham Stuart Thomas, and all the
other great garden writers of the 20th century. Discover these through
the library's online catalog.
collections relating to gardening and horticulture at The Historical
Society of Pennsylvania range across the centuries. Noted early
material includes the papers of John and William Bartram and letters
from British horticulturalists Thomas Binks and the two John Blackburnes
to William Logan. There is also an anonymous manuscript volume entitled
Directions for raising nurseries, planting orchards, dated
1772, which has instructions and advice regarding the cultivation
of plants and planting of orchards, derived from written sources,
word of mouth, and personal experience.
materials include Mary Edith Powel's journals, in which she tracked
her activities in her garden: "October 17 1896. Planted in the north
west of the "wild garden plot" 29 lily bulbs (from Farquhar's Boston).
They were set in 2 inches sand and six inches of earth on top of
them, the ground being very rich from last spring I did not add
fresh manure - Two weeks later they were covered well with litter
but this being an unusual autumn all bulbs are now growing and I
enthusiasts often found each other and formed associations. The
Garden Club of Philadelphia, organized in 1904 for the purpose of
"promoting an interest in gardens, their design, and management,"
held regular meetings at members' homes, where they presented lectures
on gardens and gardening. Happily, they often photographed the meetings,
and there are numerous photos of behatted ladies in lavish garden
settings. HSP holds the Club's records from 1904-1979, and the notes,
minutes, and lectures reflect horticultural trends of the last century.
These women also combined their horticultural expertise and political
activism: one small group of papers deals with the Club's participation
in the Women's Land Army of America, 1917-1918, and agricultural
reconstruction in France in 1918.
There are many
other materials at the Society that relate to gardens and horticulture,
including maps, watercolors, and photographs of gardens and nurseries,
annual reports and bulletins of horticulturally-minded organizations,
as well as additional manuscript material.
Library Company of
John Birch, The View from Springland. Click for full image
Company of Philadelphia, best known as a research library for early
American history, is also a rich resource for anyone interested
in American garden history through the nineteenth century into the
twentieth. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century holdings include
the English books that the colonists used for referencne. In the
seventeenth century everyone had Worlidge's Systema Agriculturae
, from William Penn to Samuel Carpenter. In the eighteenth, it was
Richard Bradley, John Laurence, Batty Langley, and then Philip Miller,
in all eight editions; even Benjamin Franklin had a copy. The commonly
used American publications were the almanacs, which gardeners often
annotated as diaries, to the delight of the historian.
holdings include American books, beginning with M'Mahon's Calendar,
moving on to Downing and Scott. Meehan's Monthly is a rich
resource. Catalogues - not only Philadelphia nursery catalogues
- that tell us what was actually available back up the "how to"
books. The print department has some prints and some early watercolors
- particularly nice, because images of gardens in the first half
of the nineteenth century are hard to find.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a private, non-profit organization,
headquartered in downtown Philadelphia. Formed shortly after PHS's
founding in 1827, the McLean Library reflects American horticultural
trends both historically and currently. It serves the needs of amateur
and professional horticulturists, landscape architects, garden historians,
and researchers. It is used by the public and by the Society's members
and volunteers. The collection supports the horticultural and urban
greening activities of the staff.
Valley is known as "America's Gateway to Gardens" and has a long
tradition of intense interest in gardens and arboreta of every size
and kind. The library's Pennsylvania Collection reflects the Mid-Atlantic
region's horticultural history. The McLean Library houses a rich
collection of Delaware Valley seed and nursery catalogs, 1860-1950.
The Mary Helen Wingate Lloyd Collection consists of significant
European and American gardening imprints from the 16th-20th centuries.
The library houses the archives of the Philadelphia Flower Show
and the Society. The library also houses nearly 30,000 images of
the Philadelphia Flower Show, pre-World War II estate gardens of
the Philadelphia area, and garden and landscape images from around
the world, 1930's-1960's.
Museum of Art has horticulture-related works throughout its collections.
The Library has books on the subjects of flowers and gardens in
art, flower arrangement, landscape design, gardens, garden design
and garden history with broad cultural scope. We have many books
on oriental gardens and ikebana, a notable example being The
Flowers of Japan and the Art of Floral Arrangement by Josiah
Condor, dated 1892, which features hand colored illustrations by
Japanese artists. Another offering from the Museum collection is
an eighteenth-century book by Jacques Rigaud, (1681-1753), titled
Jardins de Versailles, which features engraved plates by
Le Pautre and Silvestre.
is open to researchers and Museum members Tuesday through Friday,
10AM to 4PM. Appointments are strongly recommended.
"The garden of live flowers." Click for image and
American historical collections are rich in accounts of European
explorers, whose descriptions of the continent included its rich
plant life. Among these are John Josselyn's New-Englands Rarities
Discovered (1672); and Benjamin Franklin's 1751 Philadelphia
edition of Thomas Short's Medicina Britannica, with notes
on American plants by John Bartram. Early American leaders' interest
in horticultural matters is represented by manuscript material like
George Washington's letters to the English agriculturalist Arthur
Young, and Philadelphian Isaac Norris's annotated copies of Poor
Richard's Almanack, which provide valuable evidence of the gardens
and grounds of his now-vanished country house at Fairhill. Gardens
also flourish in the literature collections, from the painted roses
and talking flowers of Lewis Carroll's Alice books to Robinson Crusoe's
island plantings and poet Marianne Moore's depictions of Brooklyn's
Botanic Garden and Prospect Park. The outstanding illustrated work
in the collections is the Histoire Naturelle (1749-1803)
by the Comte de Buffon, keeper of the royal botanical gardens in
Paris. Its 56 volumes form the first modern systematization of natural
history, and include nearly 3,000 engraved plates showing animals
in their natural surroundings.
University of Pennsylvania
The Anne and
Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library, a unit of the University of Pennsylvania
Library, provides services and collections in support of Penn's
program in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.
include garden history and design, landscape restoration and theory,
and environmental design. The Perkins Architecture Library supports
study in the history and theory of architecture as these disciplines
have evolved over the centuries. For example, holdings include Asher
Benjamin's American Builders' Companion (1820) and Andrew
Jackson Downing's Cottage Residences (1842). The collections
are available for consultation at the Fisher Fine Arts Library.
Museum, Garden & Library
History and Design. The library's collection of printed
material on gardening, developed from the core collection owned
by Winterthur founder H. F. du Pont, focuses on American landscape
theory and design of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and
on the English and European works that influenced them. Eighteenth-century
source books include Richard Bradley's New Improvements of Planting
and Gardening, both Philosophical and Practical and John Lawrence's
Clergy-man's Recreation, both published in London in 1717.
Many nineteenth-century gardening books in the collection are noteworthy
not only for their description of the theory and practice of landscape
gardening but also for their superb color plates. The illustrations
of gardens and outdoor structures as well as plants and animals
represent the best of nineteenth-century color printing. The periodical
collection contains many important titles including The Gardener's
Magazine and Register or Rural and Domestic Improvement, published
from 1826 to 1839, and the English magazine The Garden, published
from 1871 to 1927.
Ornament and Supplies.
The Winterthur Library's collection of trade catalogs and advertising
ephemera includes many items concerning the decoration and maintenance
of the garden. From the 1835 catalog for Austin's Artificial Stone
Works, which includes fish ponds, flower pots, and sundials, to
late nineteenth-century ads for wrought iron garden furniture, the
material reflects the changing taste of the home gardener. Advertising
material for seeds, plants, and other garden supplies are also represented
in the collection. In addition, the Decorative Arts Photographic
Collection at Winterthur has hundreds of photographs of garden furniture,
primarily wrought iron work in the rustic and Victorian styles.
Of special interest is the gardening material in the Edward Deming
Andrews Memorial Shaker Collection. The collection contains both
manuscript and published writings on gardening as well as hundreds
of seed packets and labels for seeds and medicinal products produced
by the Shakers. Elisha Myrick's manuscript "A Diary Kept for
the Use and Convenience of the Herb Department" was written
at the Harvard village between 1853 and 1857. He discusses planting,
weather, and the daily routines of the herb gardener. In 1836 Charles
F. Crosman published The Gardener's Manual: Containing Plain
and Practical Directions for the Cultivation and Management of Some
of the Most Useful Culinary Vegetables; to which Is Prefixed a Catalogue
of the Various Kinds of Garden Seeds Raised in the United Society
in New Lebanon... The first of a series of Shaker gardening
guides, this was sold outside the village along with the Shakers'
seeds and other garden products.
H. F. du Pont's lifelong interest in gardening is reflected in the
collections of the library and the archives. Influenced by the English
garden theorists Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson, du Pont adopted
the English emphasis on color and the natural landscape. In the
1930s du Pont sought the advice of landscape architect Marian Cruger
Coffin in planning for a garden to complement the expansion of the
Winterthur house. This collaboration continued until Coffin's death
in 1957. The many books on garden history and design that were purchased
by du Pont have become a core part of the library collection. An
unpublished manuscript in the library recreated du Pont's horticultural
library. Du Pont's notes and plans for the gardens are available
for study in the Winterthur Archives. Included is a collection of
400 autochromes, produced between 1910 and 1916, that record the
color and design of the Winterthur landscape. Winterthur also houses
the papers of landscape architect Marian Cruger Coffin. This collection
of correspondence, specifications, drawings, planting lists, and
photographs record her work for such notable clients as Marshall
Field, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Childs Frick, and Frederick Vanderbilt
as well as H. F. du Pont.
to thank garden historian Elizabeth McLean for presenting her lecture,
"Digging for Books and Bulbs, or, Old Garden 'Dirt' and Where
to Dig It," at the 2003 Philadelphia Flower Show on PACSCL's
behalf. The lecture was the inspiration for the creation of this
page of PACSCL plant-related resources.
THE FLOWER SHOW ON THE WEB