It sucks that the last day of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Garden is this rainy Friday. But tonight at 5:30 p.m. will indeed be the last call at the at 313 S Broad Street. PHS chief of staff Nancy Goldenberg and University of Arts president Sean Buffington will make remarks and project some of the 1,00 images guests posted to social media over the past five months onto the garden wall.
The amazing garden has been visited by more than 28,000 guests who undoubtedly felt similar to Craig LaBan who wrote, “the sensation of stumbling upon an unexpected urban oasis is almost magical.”
The Broad Street site was the third pop-up garden for the PHS and by far the most successful. In addition to showcasing the organization’s ability to beautify the urban landscape and inspire use of vacant lots, money raised from the beer garden goes toward PHS programs, including City Harvest, which provides fresh food for families in need.
Though the garden closes today, much of its interior will be repurposed. The crape myrtle trees will find new homes reviving vacant lots throughout the city. Many of the tropical plants will winter over in PHS greenhouses while the great wooden bench and other furnishings will go to PHS Meadowbrook Farm in Abington Township. The junipers will remain in front boxes along the garden fence, to beautify the space along Broad Street.
It’s hard to imagine how the PHS can top itself next year and I’d be happy if they just did it again. Few programs have been as universally praised as PHS’s Pop Up Garden and I hope it inspires and wows other Philadelphians as much as it did me.