Come learn about the original love story that ultimately lead to the creation of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. This slide show lecture is based on the 40th anniversary publication of a retrospective book titled – The Blossoming of a Dream: A Love story. Lawrence and Elisabeth Jenkins fell in love while Elizabeth was on holiday in England. Their home was constructed in 1928 and the property remained largely undisturbed woodland until plans were made to create a new public garden upon their death. It was Mrs. Jenkins love of gardens, birds, and nature that ultimately led to the creation in 1976 of the Arboretum & Gardens the public enjoys today.
The love of horticulture and nature continued as the new public garden was developed by Leonard Sweetman, the first director, and his successor for the past 31 years, Harold Sweetman, thus maintaining a dedicated continuity of vision.
The Philadelphia area is America’s Garden Capital with more public gardens than anywhere else in the United States. Jenkins is one of the newer gardens and uniquely complements the other area gardens. Today Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is truly a “Garden for All Seasons” and continues to serve the community with tranquil woodlands and a world-class botanical garden. Jenkins is welcoming to all with a free admission and open public access 365 days a year.
Dr. Harold Sweetman has been Executive Director since 1986 and has dug, planted, pruned, weeded, propagated, lectured , written grants, grown the endowment and continues to oversee the continued development of the gardens with talented staff, volunteers, and a supportive board of directors.