Saturday, February 15, 2014

Garden Visit: Very Belated Post on the 2013 PHS Pop Up Garden

Each year the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has been creating a “pop-up” garden in the summer on a different vacant lot each time. May through October of 2013 the Pop-Up garden was at 313 South Broad Street, which is diagonally across the street from the enormous Kimmel Center. It is also right near my alma mater, The University of the Arts. Since I have been taking web design classes in the evenings at University of the Arts, I decided it would be fun to check out the Pop-Up garden while there one night. So one night in September, after an orientation I had to attend, Brian met me at the Pop-Up garden. The following are photos that he took with his cell phone.

The entrance to the PHS 2013 Pop-Up Garden...

The Garces Group provided food and drinks that could be purchased.

There was a large picnic area and additional seating behind it on risers.

The church in the background brings back memories for me. When I went to college and lived in the city, I could hear the ringing of the bells from this church tower.

Here you can see the curved glass roof of the Kimmel Center across the street. (When I went to college at UArts, the Kimmel Center wasn’t there yet. We had a park on that lot and I was upset to hear it was going to be torn down for the Kimmel Center. I even participated in a protest to try to prevent it from happening. I have to admit, it’s a beautiful building, though, and I have enjoyed seeing some Philadelphia Orchestra concerts there. I just wish they could’ve built it without tearing down the park.)

There weren’t a lot of plants in the Pop-Up garden, it was more like a beer garden than an actual garden. But they had some really interesting and unusual plants. Several were tropicals, which I guess works out ok for them since this garden is meant to be temporary. Unfortunately, the plants weren’t labeled and I had to try to figure out the plant names by looking at their plant list online.

This is a sub-tropical plant called Solanum Quitoense (Bed of Thorns). It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the leaves have dangerous-looking purple thorns that line the veins and there are round, fuzzy fruits that will eventually ripen into something that looks similar to an orange. According to Wikipedia, the fruit tastes like a combination of rhubarb and lime. The purple-leaved plant is a type of Coleus called Solenostemon Scutellarioides Sedona.

This is a balloon flower called asclepias physocarpa. It has these really interesting hairy pods on it. It is also sometimes called the “Family Jewel Tree.” Too bad it wasn’t blooming because from what I see on Annie’s Annuals website, it is a stunning tropical flower. But then I guess if it was blooming, I wouldn’t have had the chance to see the fascinating seed pods. I want one of these. I wonder if I can grow one in my greenhouse.

This vine with its unusually shaped leaves is called ipomea x multifida, or Cardinal Climber. I definitely wish I had seen this in bloom. It has bright red flowers that look similar to morning glory flowers. I recently discovered Margaret Roach’s website and she has a post on the Cardinal Climber And Its Cousins, Annual Vines That Are Hummingbird Favorites. If her name sounds familiar, it may be because she used to write for Martha Stewart Magazine. I am addicted to her website lately.

So even though there wasn’t a large area of plants in the PHS Pop-Up Garden in 2013, I discovered some really fascinating new plants and look forward to seeing what they do this summer.

Speaking of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society...the Philadelphia Flower Show is coming soon! Wahoo! Can’t wait for March!

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