On Thursday June 4th, we set out with Terry Mushovic who works with the Neighborhood Gardens Association. www.ngalandtrust.org/
She has been such a great help. She contacted many gardeners and laid out a course of action for the day– to get as much done before the rain. We visited gardens throughout Point Breeze, which is a poorer neighborhood in SW Philly, bound by Washington Avenue to the north. Driving through the city, I was surprised by how much the socio-economic status of a neighborhood can change just by crossing one street. Point Breeze is undergoing many revitalization projects– one of which is gardening in abandoned plots.
It’s interesting to note that some gardens have fences, others don’t. Of the fenced gardens, some have locks, others don’t. I think it is safe to say the accessibility to these gardens says something about the neighborhoods in which they are located.
Gardens we visited on 6/4:
6. Pemberton Garden: 704-706 S 19th St. This first garden we visited is in Center City, in a plot between 2 townhouses. This garden is quite close to where I will be living beginning next month. I think I will be seeing it more often!
7. Bouvier Street Garden: 1348-1350 Bouvier St. This garden spans two lots.
8. Kimball St. Garden: 1012 Kimball St. We met a woman gardening. She told us a bit about the history of this garden: the plot used to be a factory, and ownership of the land is not completely settled. The owner donated the land to get a tax break. The plot couldn’t be used as a fully functioning factory b/c the road next to it is SO narrow that trucks could not fit through (yes, it’s true. It’s the width of 1.5 cars). After the factory, the land was turned into a tree farm. Many of the trees on sidewalks in Point Breeze originated here. Looking at the area today, you can tell it used to be a factory– other industrial buildings remain in the area.
9. Bodine Street Garden: 939 N. 3rd St. This garden won a gardening award. It is SO beautiful! The walls of the buildlings surrounding the garden have mosaics on them, created by high school students from NJ on a service project. There are all sorts of mirrors put into intriguing shapes. This is the only garden I didn’t bring my camera to!!
10. Daly Street Garden: 1055 Daly St. Located next to a home of a woman who gardens with several of her friends. We met her son and another woman.
11. Hope Garden: Ellsworth and 12th. This garden was very active long ago, but was untouched for 15 years until just this past year. A young woman showed us around and offered us tea in the rain
I finally figured out how to upload photos. I know viewing photos always makes it easier for me to get a better feel for something, so here they are, for your viewing pleasure.