Twenty first century Philadelphia straddles its historical past and the future in a way that could only happen in America’s horticultural heart. William Penn originally envisioned the city as a utopian ‘Greene Country Towne’ and the legacy of that spirit exists today. For the casual garden traveler there is still much to be found, both old and new, in the city, as well as its outlying areas. The oldest parts of Philadelphia are architecturally interesting with glimpses of private gardens and its 18th century past. There are beautiful window boxes, exuberant designed and un-designed gardens, and charming vignettes everywhere. Neighborhood stylistic differences are apparent between them and each has a distinct flavor. Beyond Center City, urban neighborhoods celebrate re-claimed and gentrifying industrial landscapes. Further away there are world class public gardens and museums easily reached by car. Small cafes and vibrant chef run restaurants can be found everywhere.

Click on the images below for a guide to some of Philadelphia’s inspiring garden locales:

Windowbox Rittenhouse Square
Garden Design
Calimesa, CAPublic SpacesExperience Philadelphia's gardening community and historical public gardens.
City Planter Storefront Philadelphia
Garden Design
Calimesa, CAGarden ShoppingA must-have guide to Philly's garden lifestyle retailers, shops, and urban garden centers.
Spring Gardens Community Garden
Garden Design
Calimesa, CACommunity GardensLearn about Philadelphia's vibrant community garden scene.
Mural At Olive And Brown Streets.
Garden Design
Calimesa, CAMuralsEnjoy images of Philly's most vibrant murals.
Iconography And Typography At The Magic Gardens.
Garden Design
Calimesa, CAThe Magic GardensTake a virtual tour of The Magic Gardens, a three-dimensionnal mosaic environment.

It’s possible to explore the city using public transportation and by foot, but a car and good parallel parking skills make it even easier. Philly is the perfect location for a weekend of garden design and horticultural exploration. There is so much to see and do that a garden enthusiast could spend several weeks exploring it all. For a weekend trip, check out the highlights above that will engage those who are interested in gardens as well as their less garden-focused traveling companions.

Related: Lessons from Chanticleer

Want to explore more of Philadelphia? Use this handy address book for a reference of great places to visit.

Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway for advance tickets

Bartram’s Garden
5400 Lindbergh Boulevard

Brooklyn Flea at the Piazza at Schmidt’s
1050 N. Hancock St., Northern Liberties

Camden Children’s Garden
3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103

786 Church Road | Wayne, PA 19087

City Planter
814 N 4th St. Philadelphia PA 19123

Corinthian Gardens
Corinthian and Fairmount Avenues

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave

GreensGrow Farm
2501 E. Cumberland Street

Liberty Lands Park
913-961 North 3rd Street

Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Matthias Baldwin Park
Hamilton and 19th Street     

PECO Building
2301 Market St
Green Roof Tour is arranged through Philadelphia Horticultural Society

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