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Published on : Saturday, May 21, 2016
The PHS Pop Up Gardens, which have brought a new dimension to the city’s landscape and nightlife, are blooming this year in two locations that offer exciting designs, enticing menus and drinks, and special programs and entertainment from June 1 to September 30.
The gardens created by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will unveil a beautiful new look for its wildly popular PHS location on South Street, and will transform an unlikely space into a fabulous community asset in a historic neighborhood that is undergoing a creative rebirth.
PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street – Opens first week of June
Returning for the third year to its popular flagship site, 15th and South Streets, the Pop Up Garden will be operated by the renowned Khyber Pass Pub. PHS is planning an opening celebration on Wednesday, June 1, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The garden will feature a superb selection of craft beers, creative cocktails, and a fantastic menu reflecting the diverse cuisines of South Philly, including sweet potato summer rolls with chipotle-hoisin sauce, Italian charcuterie and cheese with roasted olives, artichoke salad, pickled mushrooms and fig toast, bacon guacamole, fire-toasted salsa and spicy corn chips. Every holiday and weekend, the garden will be firing up the grill for barbecues.
Khyber Pass Pub also plans an exciting season of events spotlighting local and visiting brewers and special beers. The bar and culinary programs will include a beautiful Botanical Bar, frozen rum daiquiris, Margarita Mondays with Mexican treats to eat; Brewsday Tuesdays, highlighting breweries, special releases, chef collaborations, and live music and games; South Street Gulps on Wednesdays, featuring sangria, Hendricks Gin and Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails, and craft drafts.
The Pop Up will have an enchanting design by Karen Regan, of Tallulah & Bird, who created the lush, romantic garden last year. This year Karen, in partnership with Jeff Regan of Regan Construction, is enhancing beloved elements at the site and designing new intimate and social spaces for the optimum visitor experience. Aged woods, inventive planters, antiques, flea market finds and curiosities will conjure a magical retreat with the city skyline as backdrop.
The soothing plant palette will include bursts of roses; fragrant herbs; cocktail cucumbers; a fluffy canopy of pink crape myrtles; climbing vines of hops, wisteria and clematis; a multi-textured perennial mix, including feather grass, ferns, and Queen Ann’s lace; and an illuminated, towering mulberry tree.
Official Sponsor of the Pop Up Garden at South Street is Whole Foods Market. Promotional Partners include Hendricks Gin and Victory Brewing Company, which will offer a new PHS Beer – an American wheat ale with orange blossom honey — specially created and served at both PHS Pop Up Gardens.
PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park – Opens first week of June
The new PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park, 10th and Hamilton Streets, raises awareness of the impressive horticulture, history and new development being planned for the Reading Viaduct, and transforms a post-industrial landmark into a 21st-century urban oasis. PHS will host an opening celebration Friday, June 10, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Major support for the PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for creative installations by designers, artists and historians that will interpret the site and introduce visitors to the rich architectural heritage of the three-mile park. Working in collaboration with the Friends of the Rail Park and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, PHS is creating a Pop Up Garden adjacent to the rail line to inform and engage visitors in the significance of the Rail Park, which involves a rare combination of historic preservation, contemporary planning, and green advocacy.
Creating the culinary excitement in the Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct will be a pair of all-star chefs and HFA Bridge, the back-office restaurant management team currently working with some of the city’s most popular hospitality venues. Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski, of ELA and Gaslight, will feature his boundary-breaking presentations and thoughtful comfort food. Joining him will be Chef Sylva Senat of Dos Tacos and Maison. They are developing a novel food concept for the garden, the Bun Box, an array of steamed buns with select ingredients for palates that range from mild to wild. The menu also will include Guac (smashed avocado, lime, black truffle cream, kim chi salsa and chips); Buffalo Chicken Nugget Boa (crispy chicken, hot sauce, Bayley Hazen blue cheese and celery); Tikka Masala Curry; and Warm Churros (with ginger-cinnamon-sugar and salted sweet sesame dulce de leche).
The garden bar will feature six taps and canned beers; wines; and refreshing cocktails including Blood Orange Margarita, Fish House Punch, Pimm’s Cup, and Summer Sangria. Special themed dinners and events, including a ‘90s Night and acoustic musical performances, are planned throughout the Pop Up season.
The design of the Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park is a merging of the overhead rail structure with green urban space and is led by nationally renowned landscape artist Walter Hood, of Oakland, Calif. The design is inspired by railroad cars and remnants of what had been an abandoned site, and it seeks to engage visitors with the emerging ecology and cultural history of the rail line.
The garden’s horticulture will include species that naturally emerged on the Viaduct since the rails were decommissioned, as well as plants that share similar characteristics. The garden will include red cedars, staghorn sumac, serviceberry trees and viburnum, and a range of perennials: asters, ferns, foxglove, great blue lobelia, bee balm, blue gramma grass, golden ragwort, rudbeckia, and common rush.
A site-specific sound installation created by artist Abby Sohn, a Philadelphian now based in Wales UK, will be on display underneath the Viaduct. The new work is in response to Sohn’s research into the history, places and people connected to the three-mile rail line. The artwork aims to reactivate the once heavily trafficked corridor, making use of the iron structure to create a sonic experience that explores the cultural heritage and the rail site’s creative potential, and prompts visitors to consider our relationship with the industrial past and how we shape our public spaces.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will provide archival images of the Reading line mounted in the garden gallery. The Pop Up will also feature a stretch of Philadelphia’s new ball toss game, Stones, created by the Philly Stones League, which borrows from bocce, chess and other games.
In addition to casting a spotlight on the Rail Park project, the Pop Up Garden is part of the transformation of a section of Callowhill, also referred to as Spring Arts, a growing community of artists, performance venues, tech firms and startups, bars and restaurants, and other creative contributors to the Callowhill neighborhood.
Official Sponsor of the PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park is Whole Foods Market. Major support for the garden’s interpretive installations and programming has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Official Partners are Friends of the Rail Park, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Arts & Crafts Holdings, HFA Bridge, and the Reading Company. Promotional Partners are Victory Brewing Company, the LandHealth Institute, and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, which will bring the Philadelphia History Truck to the garden and coordinate artistic interventions in the neighborhood this fall.
PHS Pop Up Programs
Both gardens will host a range of special programming designed by PHS and its partners, including DIY horticultural workshops on gardening in window boxes and containers; making hot sauce from your garden peppers; mixing cocktails with homegrown herbs; grooming your plants to win ribbons at the Philadelphia Flower Show; and ways to create a more sustainable community.
The LandHealth Institute will lead experiential programs at the Viaduct garden that look ahead to the possibilities of the Rail Park, including field trips of little-known but treasured plantings that grow in the area.
Tours of the Rail Park and greening projects in the surrounding neighborhood are also planned.