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What's Blooming In Philadelphia's Public Gardens This Spring
Big Bugs Exhibit, Behind-The-Scenes Tours & Fantastical Flora & Fauna Take Root
This spring, the Philadelphia region’s gardens and arboretums are marking the warmer-weather season with a city-wide festival that celebrates the delicate cherry blossom, big bugs sculpted from fallen trees at Morris Arboretum, new behind-the-scenes tours at Longwood Gardens and plenty of beautiful blooms at gardens all across the region. Here’s a look at what’s in bloom:
- More than just flora and fauna have sprung to life at Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Eleven Big Bugs, the creation of Long Island sculptor David Rogers, dot the grounds of the arboretum through August 31. Made primarily from found materials and from trees and plants that have died, the whimsical bugs—a Praying Mantis, a Dragon Fly, a Lady Bug and a Grasshopper, among others—are meant to be a reminder of the vital role that insects play in the environment. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777, morrisarboretum.org
- Home to numerous public gardens and arboretums, the region will celebrate National Public Gardens Day on May 10 with a full lineup of events taking place at 30 local gardens. Participants will enjoy native plants in full bloom, receive native wildflower seeds to plant themselves and learn about important issues such as plant and water conservation. greaterphiladelphiagardens.org
- An oasis of harmony and tranquility just minutes outside of Center City, the 17th-century-style Shofuso Japanese House and Garden debuts a recently completed historic landscape restoration this spring. The island, waterfall and pond have been restored to the design principles of the 1957 landscape plan, while the original boat landing has been uncovered and serves as the perfect perch from which to feed the koi. On select weekends, guests can experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Horticultural & Lansdowne Drives, (215) 878-5097, shofuso.com
- Visitors exploring Longwood Gardens’ 1,077 acres of lush flowers and foliage from around the globe can learn what it takes to create and maintain the spectacular 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens thanks to new behind-the-scenes tours. The Beyond the Garden Gates series offers exclusive and revealing tours lead by Longwood’s expert guides. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
- The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is creating the PHS Guide to Center City Gardens, a map that highlights the public gardens, parks and other green spaces in Philadelphia. Available for download the first week of May, the guide directs visitors to four walkable sections of the city, with the historic squares and riverfronts serving as focal points, in addition to other points of interest. pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org
- The Barnes Foundation’s acclaimed arboretum, located at the museum’s original location in Merion, Pennsylvania, hosts horticulture events all spring and summer long. On the docket for green thumbs: Plant Sale (May 11), Roses: A Natural History of the Queen of Flowers (May 16) and Ferns at the Barnes (June 18). 300 N. Latches Lane, Merion, (215) 278-7360, barnesfoundation.org/programs
- Tucked away in Philadelphia’s stylish suburban Main Line neighborhood of Wayne, Chanticleer is the 100-year-old former estate of the Rosengarten family. Open April 3 through November 3, the 35-acre garden is divided into distinct areas such as The Gravel Garden, The Ruin and Asian Woods, each offering a different experience to visitors. Spring brings an abundance of both beloved blooms, including tulips, rhododendrons and magnolias, as well as lesser-known foliage and unique hybrids. 786 Church Road, Wayne, (610) 687-4163, chanticleergarden.org
- Bartram’s Garden, site of the former home of America’s first botanist John Bartram, features early spring bulbs and blooms such as rare broken tulips and perennials, including trillium, bloodroot, tiarella and crescent iris. Visitors can see the showy fringe tree, as well as azaleas and rhododendron, many of them Bartram discoveries, in bloom. 54th Street & Lindbergh Boulevard, (215) 729-5281, bartramsgarden.org
- At Longwood Gardens, tulips, dogwoods, wisteria, native azaleas, columbines, snapdragons, bluebells and more herald spring’s arrival both indoors and out during the Spring Blooms display, on view through May 19. Guests will breathe in the fresh air and relish the beauty of the 40 distinct gardens, where every day something new bursts into bloom. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
- Where do witchazels, winterhazels, magnolias, cherries, maples, dogwoods, rhododendrons, azaleas, crabapples, roses and stewartia stand side-by-side to show off their spring finery? At Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, home to more than 12,000 labeled plants, trees and flowers—encompassing 2,500 different types total—beautifying 92 acres of lush and colorful gardens. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777, morrisarboretum.org
- In Historic Philadelphia, a cobblestone path leads through the Rose Garden, a tribute to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The buds reach their peak in late spring. Just across the street, the smaller Magnolia Garden was built in honor of the founders of our nation and inspired by George Washington, who apparently loved the magnolia tree. The 13 magnolia trees bordering the garden represent the 13 original colonies. Prime time to catch the trees in full bloom is early May through mid-June. Walnut & Locust Streets and 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
- Donna Schorr, (215) 599-0782
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Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
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Quirky Events In Philadelphia
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
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Philly Neighborhoods Host Fun & Funky Festivals All Year Long
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
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Philly Neighborhoods Host Festivals Galore All Year Long
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
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