Story by: DAYANE OLIVEIRA / Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush
Photo by: JANIECE OWENS / Paul Robeson High School
For the second year, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has opened its popular ‘Pop-up Gardens’ but this year’s garden is at an unusual location. This year the Society selected a location near ritzy Rittenhouse Square in Center City, a place not known for urban gardens.
The Garden, located at 1905-15 Walnut Street across from Rittenhouse Square Park, was built on a vacant lot over a two-week period at a cost somewhere between $16,000 and $19,000.
“It has been a vacant lot since 1990,” said Allen Jaffe, Public Relations Manager for PHS. Gardens like this, Jaffe said, “brings up property values.”
Last year’s Pop-up Garden was at 20th and Market Streets. It was a bigger project that cost $80,000 and took two months to be put together. That garden won many awards including an International award from Venice, Italy.
Allen Jaffe explained that every annual Pop-up Garden would be different. One purpose of this program is to bring fresh food to neighborhoods where none is available. That’s not part of this year’s plan since the garden is located in an upper-middle class neighborhood where everyone is constantly in a rush. Jaffe said this garden serves as an escape from the city-life’s daily rushed routine and it creates a more family-like environment.
PHS representative, Allen Jaffe graduated from Temple University and worked as a journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and other big newspapers on the East Coast before joining the Society seven years ago.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is known for helping Pennsylvania residents for more than 180 years. Two years after its founding in 1827, the society established America’s first flower show, now the annual Philadelphia Flower Show.
PHS is involved in many different social projects, such as the City Harvest. The City Harvest consists of creating green jobs and feeding about 1,000 per week during growing season.
Additionally, PHS is responsible for taking care of Philadelphia’s landscapes and creating gardens at remote locations to bring life, health and beauty to residents. The Pop-up Gardens will be opened to the public until September, for more information visit: http://www. pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/pops_up/index.html