John Bartram

by Lesley Parness —

This Virtual Gardener entry is about John Bartram. This year’s New Year’s Party will allow you to meet John Bartram in person, no small feat as he was born in 1699 and died in 1777. Please read the program description for information about this fabulous presentation!

In preparation for this program, and in order to understand the importance of his work to the world of horticulture, please start at for a concise biography of the man. Note the many references to Peter Collinson. At the New Year’s Party, you will see some of Mr. Collinson’s books and letters to Mr. Bartram from our Rare Book Collection. Although John Bartram lacked a formal education, he corresponded with many of the great scientific minds of his age: including Mr. Collinson; Phillip Miller, author of the “Gardener’s Dictionary” (also to be on display);
Sir Hans Sloane (founder of the British Museum); various Earls; Dukes; and Linnaeus himself, who called John Bartram the “best natural botanist of his time.”

Now on to for more insight into this fascinating figure. Next,, the website of the non-profit organization that manages Bartram’s home and garden and Finally, enjoy the detailed house information at

This year’s New Year’s Party includes a program that should not be missed, about a man who has been largely overlooked but who played a role without which the green history of the world would not be the same. I hope to see all of you at the New Year’s Party!