This oasis of quiet fields and modest 18th-century farm buildings is where gardening first took root in America.John Bartram purchased the 102-acre farm along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River, three miles southwest of colonial Philadelphia, in 1728, and turned it into America's first garden. For more than 50 years, John and his son William devoted themsevles to the collection and study of North American plants, traveling far and wide to collect trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants for their own garden, as well as for other collectors at home and abroad. The Bartrams are credited with identifying and introducing into cultivation more than 200 native plants. In 1765, King George III appointed John Bartram the “King’s Botanist” for North America, a position he held until his death in 1777. They supplied plants and seeds to horticultural enthusiasts in England and Europe throughout the 18th Century, and Washington ordered some for Mount Vernon. Bartram’s heirs issued the first catalog of American plants and developed one of the first commercial plant nurseries in America. In 1850, industrialist Andrew Eastwick purchased the garden to protect it from encroaching industry. Today, the garden includes a playground, ball fields and picnic areas as well as the boat dock.