Philadelphia recognized as America's Garden Capital

May 12, 2013 8:48:25 AM PDT
Bartram Gardens on Lindbergh Boulevard in Philadelphia is the nation's first and oldest botanical garden.

Maitrey Roy, the executive director, took a group of children on a tour of the gardens this week.

She says it's an extraordinary place for them to learn about horticulture.

"Kids from the public school system come here and learn about being good stewards of the environment. The more kids are involved, the more that we have the opportunity to imagine a green, rich, healthy future," said Maitrey.

The girls walked through the garden, eager to point out different plants and flowers along the way.

"My favorite flower is the marigold," said 6-year-old Dorothy Schwab.

Philadelphia has thirty public gardens within thirty miles and this week was chosen as America's Garden Capital.

"They provide a place for us to disconnect from our digital world and reconnect with the sacred beauty and bounty of a garden," said Casey Sclar, Executive Director of America's Public Garden Association.

The children on the tour put their green thumb prints on a white planter, filled with geraniums, petunias, bebalm and dianthas.

They were sent to First Lady Michelle Obama, who the kids say appreciates gardens the way they do.

For these girls, what they like most about gardens are that they are simply a quiet place to get away.

"It's very pretty and very silent so you get to think a lot," said 11-year-old Emme Pallante.

"I like that it's peaceful and calm. I get to stand under the tree with the botsing all around me and it makes me feel really nice inside," said 9-year-old Victoria Sidnlinger.