“The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.” Thomas Jefferson
It’s been 302 years since I was born. In all of that time, people have returned to my garden on the banks of the Schuylkill River to the south of the main intersection of Broad and Market Streets in the city of Philadelphia. They have seen what is left and have acknowledged what they know or are told about my plants or Billy’s paintings or the nursery’s introductions. They are introduced to botanical history and horticultural wonders. They smell the mulch in the spring or the composting leaves in the fall. They wonder whether any of it is still vital. Is it still important?
And I smile. I still believe, after all of these years, that it’s vital. It’s crucially important to our survival. We need to remember and know that Horticulture (with a capital “H”) provides us with nourishment for body and soul. Horticulture promises the future. Horticulture confirms our place in the natural order. Horticulture is our future.
And that is why John Bartram Lives. His spirit returns triumphant.