By Anne Lockhart
With spring here and summer right around the corner, the PHS Pop Up Gardens at South Street and Manayunk are open and blooming! Both Pop Up Gardens are the perfect place to enjoy the wonderful weather with refreshing drinks and delicious food. This year, we have a few new menu items to try while you enjoy the beautiful foliage. Along with food and drinks, we have added some new plants to enjoy while relaxing at the garden bar and restaurant. Both Pop Up Gardens will host a variety of workshops and activities throughout the summer!
Read more for a sneak peek into what’s new this year and what you can expect when visiting the gardens.
With 50 new seats added at the PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street, there is room for you and all your loved ones to relax and enjoy summer in the city! We have added a selection of snacks to the menu, including chips and guacamole, movie theater-style popcorn, cheese curds, and so much more! Those with a plant-based diet can feast on Impossible cheeseburgers and veggie wraps. Cool off with frozen cocktails such as the Sno-Groni featuring Bluecoat gin, Carpano Bianco, and Carpano bitters, along with our regular wine and beer selection.
Leave the grilling to us! We have introduced several items straight from the grill this year, such as grilled Caesar wraps, shrimp rolls, and grilled cheese. If you are looking for garden classics, the sidewinder nachos, vegan chicken tenders, fries, and hummus prepared with toasted pita and fresh vegetables are a perfect choice. Manayunk has also added three new cocktails to its menu including the High Tide, which combines Elijah Craig bourbon, green tea syrup, and Fever Tree lemon tonic. Don‘t worry, our classic cocktails such as the Woodermelon, made with Tito's Vodka, watermelon, Fever Tree ginger beer, and lime will still be there.
We did not forget about your furry friends -- water bowls and snacks from local pet bakeries will be available in both gardens. South Street carries Amelie's Bark Shop treats and Manayunk offers Saint Rocco's Treats from Bucks County.
Both Pop Up Gardens will feature several new plants from all around the world this season. From colorful European blossoms to wispy evergreens, you will be sure to pick up some inspiration for your garden or see something new. Every day the gardens are changing, and throughout the season the plants will continue to grow and transform. All our perennial beds in Manayunk are coming to life, and the zelkovas at South Street just fully leafed out, providing wonderful shade and cool spots to hang out throughout the garden.
Bellis perennis, commonly known as English daisy, originates in Europe. This wonderful plant blooms with pink and yellow flowers. Hurry up and see this plant in action – it's a cool season annual and stops displaying around the end of May.
Digitalis purpurea ‘Excelsior’ also known as foxglove has amazing light purple/pink funnel-shaped blossoms. From Asia, foxglove thrives in full sun or partial shade and is easy to maintain.
Epimedium ‘Spine Tingler’ or barrenwort is a unique evergreen with lace-shaped leaves. This plant originated in North Africa and is drought tolerant, which is perfect for hot summers.
This flowering plant is originally from the Balkans and is commonly referred to as avens. When in bloom, beautiful red-hot flowers emerge from its body, adding an eye-catching element to the Pop Up Garden.
This perennial is commonly known as foamflower and is loved for its spiky leaves and white foamy looking blossoms. This North American native plant works best in shade and adds a unique texture to any garden.
Commonly known as autumn fern, this Asian perennial originates from hillsides and mountain slopes of Japan, China, and Taiwan. Before maturing into their dark green leaves, the leaves of this perennial sprout's orange-red and pinkish fronds. It is an incredibly minimal maintenance plant and requires partial sun and shade.
Beautiful lilac purple flowers bloom from this Southern European perennial and emit a sweet fragrance. During winter months in its natural habitat the wallflower blooms in the winter, but in Philadelphia it will bloom in early spring making it a very cool season annual.
Referred to as coral bells, this perennial blooms round metallic pink leaves in the spring and warmer months. This plant can withstand high heat and will thrive in the shade.
Light purple flowers bloom over the needle-like foliage on this U.S. native plant. This plant is drought tolerant, which makes it perfect for hot and dry summers. Growing best in partial sun, this beautiful blooming plant is perfect for a sunny spot in the Pop Up Garden.
Known as the giant pussy willow this unique shrub produced large 3" catkins, adding an incredibly special texture to any garden. The foliage of the giant pussy willow turns a golden color in the fall, bringing beauty to any garden throughout most of the year.
Both gardens will host weekly activities that include both free and ticketed events. From plant swaps to great classes and workshops, there is a little something for everybody this year.
Plant swaps allow you to exchange your beloved plants with others attending the event, as well as pick up complimentary flower seeds provided by Solo Real Estate at the South Street Garden. One of many interactive activities taking place is Small Space Gardening with PHS's Vice President of Horticulture, Andrew Bunting. Participants will learn how to arrange the perfect springtime container garden and receive three plants to take home. Look out for a Floral Design workshop with Terra Luna Herbals and Herbal Vinegar classes with Dope Botanicals next month!
Visit the Pop Up Gardens website to see updated menus and hours for the season, along with the full schedule of events.