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Positively Philadelphia: Celebrating Our Region’s Public Garden Heritage

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(Bartram’s Garden, in Southwest Philadelphia.  Credit: KYW's John McDevitt)

(Bartram’s Garden, in Southwest Philadelphia. Credit: KYW’s John McDevitt)

lipton_lauren DL Lauren Lipton
Lauren Lipton, a fixture in Philadelphia journalism, is “at the...
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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This coming Friday, May 10th, is a very special day.   It’s National Public Gardens Day, and Philadelphia is home to more gardens than any other city in the country.

“Member gardens in the Philadelphia region are doing a whole bunch of different things,” says Casey Sclar, executive director of the American Public Gardens Association, located in Kennett Square, “everything from giving away native wildflower seed packets, to postcards, to plant giveaways.”

Sclar (below) says the Philadelphia region is the perfect place to mark the occasion.

“Many people would say it’s the garden capital of the United States,” he tells Positively Philadelphia.  “Philadelphia has a high concentration as well as the oldest public garden in the nation:  Bartram’s Garden [top photo] started in the early 1700s.”

(Casey Sclar, at the KYW Newsradio studios.  Photo by Ed Fischer)

(Casey Sclar, at the KYW Newsradio studios. Photo by Ed Fischer)

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And many gardens in this area, Sclar notes, are unique:

“There are really small ones, like Jenkins Arboretum (Devon, Pa.), Welkinweir (near Pottstown), and even the Shofuso Japanese House that’s located in nearby Fairmount Park, where you can get out and really get away with your family for the day.  But each one of them has something particular, something special that none of the others have.”

(The Shofuso Japanese House, in Fairmount Park.  Photo provided)

(The Shofuso Japanese House, in Fairmount Park. Photo provided)

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Why this area?

“Several of the gardens that are in the Philadelphia region can kind of trace their roots to their Quaker heritage, and to early settlers who came across.  Tyler Arboretum (Media, Pa.), Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square), Scott Arboretum (Swarthmore), Bartram’s Garden obviously — all of those have direct connections.”

Want to know what’s going on near you?

“A lot of that information is available at nationalpublicgardensday.org.”

Listen to the full interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 7:56)…

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And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

“Positively Philadelphia” main page

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