"I grew up 8 blocks from America's first botanical garden and spent many days playing in the garden while never even realizing it was a public garden. We played under one of the first three Gingkos (Gingko biloba) planted in the US and under one of the oldest trees still alive in the garden, and a Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentuckea) planted at the beginning of the 19th century. When I was a child the garden suffered from years of neglect but over the past 15 years or so, it has been revitalized.
The house has been renovated and the garden closest to the house has been restored. They have even started a nursery that focuses on native plants and is the first nursery on the property since the original nursery ceased production back in the 1850's. My favorite element of the garden and the element that has stuck with me are the large trees. I think playing under so many mature specimens influenced my love of trees especially historic ones.
Also being immersed in all things Bartram, America's first botanist certainly influenced me. Everything from a major street, to the public high school to even the public housing project were all named after John Bartram."