A vacant lot in the heart of Center City’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood has been transformed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society into a temporary garden and gathering place, highlighted by a communal table that emphasizes the need for healthy food for all residents. The PHS Pop Up Garden was planted in June.
Last year’s PHS Pop Up Garden at 20th and Market streets hosted visits by 6,000 neighbors, Center City workers, children’s groups and other guests, and was chosen for inclusion in the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale.
The focus of the 2012 garden is the PHS City Harvest program, which grows fresh produce through a network of community gardens and helps feed more than 1,000 families in need each week. The message of the garden is, “Bring everyone to the table.” More than 3,600 visitors have already come to the garden, which covers about one third of an acre. Guests can stroll past raised beds brimming with a variety of peppers and herbs, annuals and perennials; trees and shrubs; and a tranquil urban meadow of grasses and wildflowers bordered by a walking path. The urban meadow in the back half of the site will feature an art installation that changed — like any garden — throughout the summer by Mat Tomezsko, of the Mural Arts Program, whose work will complement the theme and ambiance of the garden.
The 2012 PHS Pop Up Garden is located at 1905-15 Walnut St. and will be open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Thursday evenings from 5 to 7; and the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 15. For more information, visit www.PHSonline.org.