The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has transformed a vacant lot at 20th and Market in Center City into a pop-up garden. On Monday they will introduce PHS Pops Up, a showcase for PHS’s community greening program. PHS received funding from the William Penn Foundation as well as help from the Brandywine Realty Trust and Independence Blue Cross for the garden which, according to PHS, will not only serve as a temporary oasis that will grow vegetables, herbs, grains and flowers, but will also garner support for their City Harvest Program.
The program has teamed up with six well-known local chefs who will be creating special dishes using what is grown in the garden, then donating the proceeds back to the City Harvest Program. The transformed landscape at 20th and Market covers nearly 32,000 square feet and includes an herb and vegetable production area; an incredible spread of flowers; topiary creatures; as well as clover, grasses, grains and corn. The City Harvest Program provides fresh produce for residents in need, working with 45 participating community gardens as well as SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange) who helps with distribution and the Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania who provides workshops on nutrition.
The garden will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2pm with free, on-site horticultural workshops (topics will include container gardening, cut flowers, organic pest control, and more). Tours and other special events will be planned throughout the summer as well, giving the PHS Pops Up garden a full line of family activities for the next few months to come. The garden will be dismantled in late October, but will be popping up again in a new location next year. —Kaitlin Bostwick