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:
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.
Lessons from Chanticleer
Want to explore more of Philadelphia? Use this handy address book for a reference of great places to visit.
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
814 N 4th St. Philadelphia PA 19123
Corinthian and Fairmount Avenues
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave
2501 E. Cumberland Street
Liberty Lands Park
913-961 North 3rd Street
1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Matthias Baldwin Park
Hamilton and 19th Street
2301 Market St
Green Roof Tour is arranged through Philadelphia Horticultural Society