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The Flower Show

New Plants and Programs at the Drexel Gateway Garden This Summer

July 14, 2022

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Early Summer plantings at the Drexel garden

By Melissa O'Brien

Summer is well underway, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy the tropical plants and programming at the Gateway Garden at Drexel University. The lush new plants aren’t the only thing to look forward to this season, with beer and cider tastings and gardening workshops happening all summer long! Plus, keep an eye out for additional shaded areas and new paintings, which will be added later this summer. 

Keep reading to preview some of the amazing plants and engaging programs you can experience for yourself this summer at the Gateway Garden. 

Must-See Tropical Plants at the Gateway Garden for Summer 

Drexel Gateway Garden has been transformed into an urban jungle this season. PHS Design and Procurement Manager Sam Keitch designed the garden with dark foliage and textured elements to serve as a backdrop for vibrant orange, sunny yellow, and magenta floral displays. Here are some of the tropical plantings that are making the garden look especially lush this summer. 

Iresine ‘Blazin’ Rose’ 

Commonly known as bloodleaf, this annual is native to Brazil. It thrives in sunny, tropical environments, making it the perfect addition to the Drexel Gateway Garden this summer. 


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Bloom’  

Salvia features showy spikes of vibrant, dark blue flowers. This lovely tropical plant originated in Brazil, enjoys the sun, and is now viewable at the Gateway Garden. 

salvia guarantica

Verbena Superbena Royale® ‘Plum Wine’ 

Verbena is a warm-weather annual featuring beautiful blooms all season long. Keep an eye out for this lightly scented stunner that is sure to attract butterflies. 


Sage officinalis ‘Purpurea’ 

Common sage has beautiful deep purple and green leaves. This annual is native to the Mediterranean and thrives in full sun. 

sage officinalis

Cuphea Vermillionaire® 

Nicknamed the firecracker plant, Vermillionaire® has vibrant orange flowers that bloom all season long. Hummingbirds happen to love this plant, so keep an eye out for them in the garden! 


Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ 

Pink New Zealand flax stands out with its wide leaves that have stripes of bubblegum pink outlining them. This tropical plant enjoys full sun and provides colorful interest to the Gateway Garden landscape. 


Canna Tropicanna® 

Noted for its vibrant orange flowers, Tropicanna® canna stands out in the Gateway Garden. This tropical, sun-loving perennial brings the perfect pop of color to any garden or landscape. It tolerates wet or dry conditions. 

canna phasion

Workshops and Events You Won't Want to Miss

The popular ‘Meet the Brewers’ series is back this season at the Gateway Garden! Every other Wednesday evening from 5 – 7 pm, get to know local brewers and taste a selection of your favorite beer and cider. This event series is free to attend with an additional cost for menu items. You don’t need to be a student, alumnus, or employed by Drexel to attend these great public events! All 21+ events will require an ID for entry. 

New to the Gateway Garden this summer, Garden Workshops are happening every other Thursday afternoon from 3 – 5 pm. These events are complimentary for Drexel students and staff and include fun topics such as flowerpot painting, teacup gardening, and more. 

Transforming Vacant Land into Green Space 

Did you know that the Gateway Garden at Drexel University was built on a former Firestone automotive repair site? The lot sat vacant for several years before PHS and Drexel partnered to transform the space into the multi-use, serene outdoor gathering spot it is today. This is one of many examples of PHS transforming unused land into beautiful green space to be enjoyed by the community. By visiting the Gateway Garden, you're playing an important role in helping PHS to “garden for the greater good.” 

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