It’s only the fourth season for this community garden in Germantown, and already 51 plots have been hacked out of the asphalt of a row of old tennis courts adjacent to Cloverly Park. The courts were once used by students at Germantown Friends School, and the land is held in trust for the school and Germantown Monthly Meeting, a Quaker group.
Catherine Adams co-chairs the committee that runs the garden. She has been involved in the garden from the beginning. “I became involved in the garden as soon as I heard of the project without any hesitation,” she said. She has hauled buckets of water, tended plants, and screened chunks of asphalt out of the soil. Adams lives two blocks from the garden in a former industrial building with almost no outdoor space, so she’s glad to have a place to grow vegetables.
If you garden in Philadelphia, you’re probably a connoisseur of shade plants. We have big old trees hanging over narrow streets. We have tall row houses and looming apartment buildings that block sunlight. And many of us have small, dark backyards. It’s easy to get a hundred gorgeous shades of green packed into one garden, but the options are more limited for flowering shade plants.
You can’t go wrong with bleeding hearts and hellebores, but I have a special weakness for columbines. There are dozens of varieties, and in many cases the colors are exquisite–deep purples, pale yellows, dark reds and pearly blues. The flowers look like something from an alien landscape, and the buds look like tentacled sea creatures.
A lively Baltimore Avenue corridor in University City that’s anchored on one end by Clark Park/Green Line Cafe and on the other by Dock Street Brewery/Satellite Coffee has taken several hits in the past year or two. Most recently, Elena’s Soul, the Baltimore Diner and Gary’s Nails were destroyed by fire in December 2012, which was devastating to the neighborhood.
But last August, the street lost one of its great ambassadors, Tony Rodriquez, the owner of Tony’s “Just for Men” Barbershop, which has now been listed for sale for $285,000. The benches and chairs outside of Tony’s were always a hopping gathering spot. The below memorial video gives a good sense of what the shop was, and who he was, to the neighborhood.
Also of note, Green Garden, the Chinese restaurant best known for the little girl who took orders when she was 4 years old (labor laws be damned) is for sale. Not the building, but the business, with a rental price of $1,500 per month. The owner of the building has his parents running the business now, but “they are old and have limited energy,” according to the listing.
Green Garden Chinese restaurant at 47th and Baltimore Avenue